Moorside Community Primary School


Phonics at Moorside

At Moorside we follow the Read Write Inc (RWI) scheme for phonics. This starts in Nursery and continues through KS1. For children who require phonics teaching for longer, this is provided in KS2.

We follow the synthetic and systematic approach to phonics outlined in the RWI scheme with an additional application aspect which is routed in a practical and fun activity for the children.


Children begin their phonic journey in Nursery. Children in nursery focus on Phase 1 of Letters and Sounds to focus on developing their speaking and listening skills. They emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects. Each aspect contains three strands: Tuning in to sounds (auditory discrimination), Listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) and Talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).

It is intended that each of the first six aspects should be dipped into, rather than going through them in any order, with a balance of activities. Aspect 7 will usually come later, when children have had plenty of opportunity to develop their sound discrimination skills.

Aspect 1 - General sound discrimination - environmental
The aim of this aspect is to raise children's awareness of the sounds around them and to develop their listening skills. Activities suggested in the guidance include going on a listening walk, drumming on different items outside and comparing the sounds, playing a sounds lotto game and making shakers.

Aspect 2 - General sound discrimination - instrumental sounds
This aspect aims to develop children's awareness of sounds made by various instruments and noise makers. Activities include comparing and matching sound makers, playing instruments alongside a story and making loud and quiet sounds.

Aspect 3 - General sound discrimination - body percussion
The aim of this aspect is to develop children's awareness of sounds and rhythms. Activities include singing songs and action rhymes, listening to music and developing a sounds vocabulary.

Aspect 4 - Rhythm and rhyme
This aspect aims to develop children's appreciation and experiences of rhythm and rhyme in speech. Activities include rhyming stories, rhyming bingo, clapping out the syllables in words and odd one out.

Aspect 5 - Alliteration
The focus is on initial sounds of words, with activities including I-Spy type games and matching objects which begin with the same sound.

Aspect 6 - Voice sounds
The aim is to distinguish between different vocal sounds and to begin oral blending and segmenting. Activities include Metal Mike, where children feed pictures of objects into a toy robot's mouth and the teacher sounds out the name of the object in a robot voice - /c/-/u/-/p/ cup, with the children joining in.

Aspect 7 - Oral blending and segmenting
In this aspect, the main aim is to develop oral blending and segmenting skills.

To practise oral blending, the teacher could say some sounds, such as /c/-/u/-/p/ and see whether the children can pick out a cup from a group of objects. For segmenting practise, the teacher could hold up an object such as a sock and ask the children which sounds they can hear in the word sock.

The activities introduced in Phase 1 are intended to continue throughout the following phases, as lots of practice is needed before children will become confident in their phonic knowledge and skills.

Introduction of Sounds

Children will be introduced to a sound a week following the RWI structure. Children will explore and learn about the same sound in a variety of different context. For example:

·         Sound bag – orally exploring the sound of the day

·         RWI card – looking at the grapheme and the illustration

·         RWI picture – explore the grapheme using the illustration

·         Physical Application – Air writing, rocket fingers, sand writing etc


Reception – Y1

Once in Reception the children begin the official RWI approach.

Lesson Structure 

-          Revisit – Speed sounds

-          Revisit – Red words

-          Revisit – Green words

-          Teach – One new red word

-          Teach – One new sound*

-          Apply – Read green words with newly taught sound in

-          Apply – Write words with newly taught sound in

-          Apply – Practical and engaging game

-          Apply – Read a book which is linked to children’s performance on the assessment (this book aspect will vary by key stage)


Children apply their skills to phonically decodable RWI books. In KS1 this is a whole lesson on Friday, but in Reception, this is conducted in smaller chucks throughout the week:

Alien/ Nonsense Words

To support the children in their preparation for the phonics screening check, alien words will also be incorporated into the Year 1 lessons (Year 2 also for those who will be retaking). This will be within the ‘apply’ aspect on the lessons where appropriate.


Children are assessed using the RWI every half term, with the exclusion of the end of autumn 1, to monitor progress of children. These assessments are used to organise groups and direct the pitch of lessons.

If a child has made good progress and the staff member feels that they would benefit from moving groups, an additional assessment would be carried out before any changes made.

Beyond Year 1

Should children not pass the phonic screener, or simply require some additional support, this continues into Year 2 and, where needed, into Key Stage 2. Children will receive intervention and small group teaching following the RWI scheme to ensure their needs are met and any gaps in learning are plugged.

Further Information

There is a downloadable ‘Parents Guide’ below, but should you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Kearsley.