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Phonics at Gainsborough

Where everyone is welcome and everyone achieves 


At Gainsborough Primary School, we truly believe every child can become readers. By providing the children with Read, Write, Inc (RWI), we are giving them the best start in their journey to becoming a reader and writer. We do not teach children just to recognise sounds, we teach them how to decode words at speed to become fluent readers. This does not only support their comprehension when they are reading but also their confidence in writing and across school life. 


How we teach RWI

We teach using the detailed RWI programme. Children are taught a Grapheme (written form of a sound) and the Phoneme (how to say the sound) together in a way to help them to remember them. We teach three new sounds a week and have two days to review what we have learnt. We use the sounds we know to then begin to decode simple words. (For example: s-a-t sat. m-a-d mad.)

Each lesson looks similar: 

Learn a new sound 

Review sounds - looking for our new sound hiding. 

Green words - containing our new sound 

Review Green words - words which have sounds we know. 

Alien words - nonsense words which help us understand how sounds work. 

Along with learning new sounds in each lesson, we read books which have the sounds we already know. We read the same book for one week, thinking about our fluency (how we sight read words) and our comprehension (what we understand about what we are reading). Teachers work with their group to make sure they can read the words without always sounding them out, talk about what happened in the story and answer questions about how characters were feeling. 

We have now got RWI Book Bag Books. These match with the group your child is in. Your child can read this book to you. They will also bring home a copy of the story they have been reading in their RWI lessons. Additionally, they will bring home a library book. This has been chosen from our school library. They may not be able to read this book but this is to share with your child, read it with them, let them ‘read’ the pictures and really start developing a love of reading. Each book is changed on a weekly basis and your child’s class teacher will tell you which day. 

Children are assessed each half term to ensure they are being taught the sounds they need. They are put into a phonics group for a half term to help them. If any child is not at their expected level, we give them 1:1 tutoring with a trained teacher, additional sound time when they are around the school and in Reception and Year 1 are given an additional speed sound lesson in the afternoon. This helps them to keep up with their friends and not catch up. 

We run after school clubs which give the children additional support in understanding sounds and using them in different words. Parents are invited to do workshops to help you understand how to support your child at home, how to say some of the sounds and to demonstrate how we teach phonics to your child. 

What impact can RWI make?

Children who come to RWI lessons every day, read their books at school and at home are proven to be more confident and fluent readers. They are able to access reading across the curriculum and use the sounds they know to become more confident in their writing, including spelling.  

All children can enjoy books and develop a love of reading at Gainsborough Primary School.