At SMC, we begin the teaching of reading in Nursery with Letters and Sounds. When the children are ready, they begin the Read Write Inc. phonics programme which we have adapted to meet the needs of our children. It teaches children to read accurately, fluently and develop their understanding of texts.

Letters and Sounds Phase 1 

Letters and Sounds Phase 1 concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills. Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.



Read Write Inc.

Children join their small Read Write Inc. group every morning 9:15 – 9:40am. Teachers and learning assistants teach children to read a new grapheme each day. During the focused reading session, children:


  • Review previously taught sounds, and words containing these sounds, to develop fluency.
  • Practise reading ‘common exception words’ (words that can’t be ‘sounded out’).
  • Read real and nonsense words with the new grapheme.
  • Apply their knowledge to a well-matched ditty/story book.
  • Answer questions about the text to show that they comprehend it.

Children are assessed every half-term and grouped according to their reading level. Those children who may need additional support are then given 1:1 or group intervention in the afternoon.

Please see the video link below for how to pronounce the sounds.

Information for Parents: How to say the sounds


Year 1 Phonics Screening

In June, every child in Year 1 is required to take a ‘phonics screening check’. Those children who do not pass, will retake the test in Year 2.

How does the check work?

  • Children read 40 words aloud with a familiar adult
  • 20 of these words are real and may be familiar, while other words are ‘nonsense’.

Here are some examples of the real and nonsense words they might read:
















Year 1 Phonics Screening Results

2016 2017 2018 2019
74.4% 76.9% 76.2%  

Year 2 Phonics Resit Results

2016 2017 2018 2019
62.5% 66.7% 100%  


Glossary of terms

Digraph – When two letters make one phoneme (one sound) e.g. aw as in claw.

Grapheme – The way a sound is written. e.g. ay (as in pay) and ai (as in main) are the same sound but a different grapheme.

Phoneme – A sound.

Trigraph – When three letters make one phoneme (one sound) e.g. igh as in high.

Oral blending – The adult may ‘sound out’ c-a-t for the child to hear and say the word ‘cat’.

Oral segmenting – The adult may ask the child to ‘sound out’ the word dog and the child would say ‘d-o-g’.