Runnymede St Edward's Catholic Primary

Part of the Edmund Rice family of schools ‘Inspire, Challenge and Support through Faith’

Phonics at Runnymede


Our fundamental aim is to teach every child to read as quickly as possible, and be enthused about reading. We strive to teach children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension, as well as develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. These essential skills not only unlock doors to the rest of the curriculum, but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life experiences. 


At Runnymede St Edward’s School, phonics is taught across EYFS and KS1 as well as in intervention sessions across KS2. Using the RWI programme of study, we are able to teach in a way that follows best research, which indicates that, when phonics is taught in a structured way – starting with the easiest sounds and progressing through to the most complex – it is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. According to the Department for Education (DfE), almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. They can then go on to read any kind of text fluently, confidently and read for enjoyment too. 

Within RWI sessions children will be encouraged and supported to not only develop their decoding skills but also their comprehension and fluency skills. In EYFS, they are taught how to recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes, identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’ and then blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word. Children can then use this knowledge to ‘decode’ new words they hear or see. 

In KS1 we continue to develop children’s phonics knowledge through the RWI scheme. The children continue to learn set 2 and 3 sounds, which enable them to read and write a range of words. Children learn different representations of a sound (‘graphemes’), for example ay, a-e, ai. This enables children to become more confident not only with their reading, but also spelling and develop skills which are transferable to their Literacy. In Year 1 there is a greater emphasis on the reading of the sounds, whereas in year 2 this progresses by using the graphemes more in spelling. The continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development.

Each session is broken up into different parts including: revision of previous sounds taught, teaching of a new sound, reading words with the new sound and writing them. This is followed by a reading session and during this time we use RWI phonic based reading books. This ensures that there is consistency between our phonics and reading sessions and that children apply their phonics knowledge to reading books, giving them a purpose and sense of achievement.

Phonics is also embedded across the curriculum and the children are encouraged to use phonics to support them in their work. A Speed Sound Chart is displayed in each classroom across the school. Children are encouraged to use these to support their writing in all lessons across the curriculum. 

All children are assessed using the RWI assessments test at the end of each half term and then placed in a group that is matched to their ability. We are constantly informally assessing the children to make sure that they are at a place where they are accessing books at an appropriate level. If needed children receive additional support to help them on their journey to becoming a confident reader. The assessment identifies the children's progress so far as well as their targets. 

The final Year 1 Phonics Screening test, takes place in June. The check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learned sufficient phonic decoding and blending skills to an appropriate standard. The test consists of 40 words – it is a combination of 20 real words and 20 pseudo words (nonsense words) for the child to read 1:1 with their teacher. This is carried out by a member of staff who has undertaken the phonics testing training and who the children are familiar with. Children who do not pass this in Year 1 will be re-assessed in Year 2, in the same manner. The results of this are reported to parents in the summer. 

We follow the Read Write Inc Progression Map across our school and know what to expect our children at Runnymede St Edwards to achieve in each year group in phonics and early reading.


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. The children read books in line with their phonics knowledge. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. Embedding the alphabetic code early on means that children quickly learn to write simple words and sentences. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1 and ongoing assessment throughout the Read, Write, Inc programme.

Results from the Y1 Phonics Screening Test 2022

PassedBoys PassedGirls PassedDid Not AchieveBoys Did Not AchieveGirls Did Not AchieveDisappliedTotal% Pass




We want our parents to be involved in the children’s learning of Phonics at home as well as in school. Please take a look at the following information to find out more.



Parent video: What is Read Write Inc Phonics

Parent video: How to say the sounds