Reading & Phonics


School Closure: Online Learning Resources for Phonics for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2

The following pack of materials is to help you support your child at home with their phonics. Please check the Ruth Miskin website for other parent support materials and videos, including how to pronounce the sounds correctly.


The children follow this progression in learning phonics.


Alongside this they also learn to read ‘red words’, which are difficult to blend but are key words they need to read and access text e.g. said, your, was

The green words file is in order, children work through set 1 words, before moving onto set 2, and then onto set 3 words.

The word cards have dots and lines under the different sounds- this is to help the children identify the sounds and blend them.

A line is placed under a sound that is made up of two or more letters, we call these ‘special friends’ the technical words are digraph’s and trigraphs.  

A dot is placed under a sound that is made by only one letter.

We use a curve to show split digraphs, we call these ‘chatty friends’ the children learn that there are some special friends which are too chatty and so they are not allowed to sit next to each other in a word e.g. a_e as in make.

How to read and practise the words

Green Words- Use ‘Fred Talk’- point with your finger under each sound as you make the sound, then run your finger under the whole word to blend those sounds together to say the word. As your child becomes more confident, encourage them to ‘Fred in the head’ (instantly sound blend so they are saying the sounds in their head quickly) then saying the word out loud.

Red Words- These need to learnt by sight and not blended.



Speed Sounds Lesson Times - April 2020

EYFS KS1 Phonics Lesson Update Letter - 29 April 

Suggested daily practise session

Speed Sounds Set 1

Speed Sounds Set 1a

Speed Sounds Set 2 and practise sounds

Speed Sounds Set 2a and practise sounds

Speed Sounds Set 3 and practise words

Speed Sounds 1,2 and 3 Green words to practise reading

Speed Sounds 1,2 and 3 a Green words to practise reading

Red words to learn by sight

Parent Help Guide

Parent Help Guide Reception

Parent Help Guide Year 1

Year 1 phonics screening tests 

Year 1 phonics screening tests 2

Additional resources

Additional resources 2

Online games and activities


Reading at Horsenden Primary

Research has shown that children who enjoy reading, do better at school in all subjects so at Horsenden Primary, we ensure that our pupils learn to decode accurately and develop a love of reading!  

Pupils learn to decode through the Read, Write, Inc. phonics programme which is detailed below. This allows pupils to learn the phonemes and graphemes that make up words. In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils also do the Read, Write, Inc. guided reading programme which develops fluency and accuracy in word and sentence reading. Phonics is taught daily and guided reading groups are taught at least three times a week.

Once the majority of pupils hit a fluent level in Read, Write, Inc. (usually between October-December of Year 2) whole class reading lessons begin and these focus on explicitly teaching the reading domains:

KS1 Reading Domains


draw on knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts


identify / explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction texts, such as characters, events, titles and information


identify and explain the sequence of events in texts


make inferences from the text


predict what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far


KS2 Reading Domains


give / explain the meaning of words in context


retrieve and record information / identify key details from fiction and non-fiction


summarise main ideas from more than one paragraph


make inferences from the text / explain and justify inferences with evidence from the text


predict what might happen from details stated and implied


identify / explain how information / narrative content is related and contributes to meaning as a whole


identify / explain how meaning is enhanced through choice of words and phrases


make comparisons within the text


Home Reading Books

Pupils at Horsenden bring home levelled books each week and the reading of these is recorded daily in their Reading Record. In addition to this, Year 1 through to Year 6 visit the school library weekly and can choose books of any level to borrow from here.

Reading With Your Child

Reading with your child at home is really important. It increases literacy skills and much more - it helps to build a strong and loving relationship between you and your child. It's never too early to start reading with your child and it so important to read with your child throughout their primary school years. Don’t forget to use the reading bookmarks that we send home at the beginning of each year – these have example questions suitable for each year group on them.

Reading for Pleasure

At Horsenden we have lots of exciting initiatives to ensure our pupils develop and maintain their love of reading. Some of these include:

  • Every class has a range of supplementary texts which are carefully chosen in order to expose children to a wide range of genres and authors. These are read to the children by their class teacher on a regular basis.
  • The Reading Cloud platform (links above) where pupils can review books and have their thoughts and opinions published.
  • Teachers reward pupils who consistently have their Reading Records up to date with tickets for a termly luck dip. The prizes are always very exciting!
  • Reading mornings throughout the year with parents and carers joining pupils to enjoy a slower start to the day with a good book.
  • World Book Day celebrations – a new theme every year and school-wide activities and events.
  • Whole School reading enrichment days, focused around a key text across the school.
  • Library Ambassadors leadership programme to ensure the library is open during lunch times for pupils to read (new this year!)
  • The Reading Shed in the playground which is open in the Spring and Summer terms during break times.
  • Weekly library sessions with Mrs Miller, our very knowledgeable and book-mad librarian.
  • Our Bookflix display which outlines new books to our library, new releases and teacher’s recommended reads. Prizes associated with reviewing these books on Reading Cloud (new this year!)
  • Class dojo points that can be saved until reaching the prize of a book voucher.

We are currently developing a recommended reading list for all year groups. Until we have this, please see the following links for some great reading options for your child:

 - BookTrust’s Great Book Guide 2019


 - BookTrust’s Monthly Recommended New Books


 - Books  for Topics’ also recommends a variety of books for each year group


Other Reading Resources

There are many local libraries throughout Ealing. The closest one to school being Wood End library on Whitton Avenue West, which has many children's and adults’ books, including dual language texts. It also has free Internet access. 

There are also several good websites to support parents and carers in knowing what to read and what questions to ask and how to read with children.

Words for life - This website is created by the National Literacy Trust and has sections from birth to age 11. It has suggestions of books to read, age appropriate milestones and fun activities to do with your child. 

Book Trust - The Book Trust also has some useful tips and hints for parents and carers including competitions to win books. They also have some useful information for parents translated into different languages here.

World Book Day - The World Book Day website contains some useful information including an area for parents to search for reading recommendations and an area where children can hear authors reading stories on the Story time Online page.


  Pawsome Reading Bookmarks 

Year 1 Year 3 Year 5
Year 2 Year 4 Year 6


Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully.

They are taught to:

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make- such as ‘sh’ or ‘ay’; and
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.

At Horsenden we follow the Read Write Inc programme (RWI), developed by Ruth Miskin for all children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Children from Nursery up to Year 2 take part in daily phonics sessions.  Any pupils in KS2 who need to catch up rapidly will participate in RWI Fresh Start.


Year 1 Phonics Screening

At the end of Year 1, children will undertake a statutory phonics screening check. This is a short assessment to make sure that children have learnt phonics to an appropriate standard.

There are 40 words in the screening check which children are asked to read on a one-to-one basis with their teacher. The check is made up of 'real words' (eg. 'mud') and 'non-words' (eg. 'splog') and children need to apply their phonic knowledge to read all words.

Preparation for the check takes place during the daily phonics session, but you can help your child at home by practising phonics on a regular basis.

For more information about Read Write Inc. and how you can help at home click here.

Please see document below for a full list of Speed Sounds sets 1-4 and their mnemonics.