Reading & Phonics

At Jupiter, we strive to teach children to read effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme (RWI) which includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation.

We passionately believe that teaching children to read and write independently, as quickly as possible, is one of the core purposes of a primary school. These fundamental skills not only hold the keys to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances. Using the RWI phonics programme we teach children to:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information


In practice, children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and are taught how to blend these sounds to decode (read) words. We start by teaching children to read and blend the first thirty Set 1 sounds. Once they have conquered this skill, they start reading stories and texts that have words made up of the sounds they know. This means that they can embed and apply their phonic knowledge and start to build their reading fluency. Once secure, children learn Set 2 and Set 3 sounds and then read texts with increasingly more complex sounds and graphemes.


Throughout this process there is a focus on comprehension, reading with expression and reading for enjoyment.


Children are taught in groups, which reflect their phonic knowledge and reading fluency. We regularly assess children so that they are taught in a RWI group, which matches their phonic knowledge. We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ability to read ‘tricky words’; so they experience early reading success and gain confidence that they are readers.


How you can help at home!

  • Read to them and always discuss the story you are reading to try to build your child’s comprehension skills, inference and understanding.
  • Practice the sounds they know at home. These are the sounds in the Speed Sound Chart at the start of the storybooks.
  • Listen to your child read, both their RWI storybook and other storybooks, every day. Make sure that your child brings their RWI Storybooks into school every day! These books must be returned on a Friday. A charge will be put in place for any books not returned.
  • Talk to them! The most important thing you can do is to talk to your child and listen to them when they are talking to you. Try to extend their vocabulary range and their skill at talking in increasingly more complex sentences. For example, try to teach them alternative words for ideas, or nouns they already know.
  • Make sure that they attend school every day, and that they are on time, as this will help your child to make the most progress.
  • Visit the Parents section of the RWI website:
  • Visit the Oxford Owl Reading at home pages:

If you need further advice or help with how best to help, please contact the class teacher who will be happy to meet with you.

All about RWI

You might hear your child using key phrases while they are on their journey and we have tried to explain these below.

Fred Talk

We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily.

At school we use a soft toy frog called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.

Blending is key, try to include this in everyday activities. Fred talk things you see on the way to school, Fred talk items in the garden and even Fred talk what is for dinner.

The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred.

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.


Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.


Set 1




Down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.


Round the apple, down the leaf.


Slide around the snake


Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet.


Down the tower, across the tower,


Down the insects body, dot for the head.


Down Nobby and over the net.


Down the plait, up and over the pirates face.


Round the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl


All around the orange


Curl around the caterpillar


Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg


Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle


Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel


Down the stem and draw the leaves


Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg


Down the long leg


Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Down the robot's back, then up and curl


Down his body, curl and dot


Down a wing, up a wing


Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head.


Down, up, down, up the worm.


Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back


Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.


Curl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl


Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way


A thing on a string


I think I stink


Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.


The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds (the same sounds made with different letters).


Long  vowel sound

Set 2 Speed Sound cards

Teach these first

Set 3 Speed Sound cards


ay: may I play

a-e: make a cake

ai: snail in the rain


ee: what can you see

ea: cup of tea

e: he me we she be


igh: fly high

i-e: nice smile


ow: blow the snow

o-e: phone home

ao: goat in a boat


oo: poo at the zoo

u-e: huge brute

ew: chew the stew


oo: look at a book




ar: start the car




or: shut the door

aw: yawn at dawn



air: that’s not fair

are: share and care



ir: whirl and twirl

ur: nurse for a purse

er: a better letter


ou: shout it out

ow: brown cow



oy: toy for a boy

oi: spoil the boy




ire: fire fire!




ear: hear with your ear




ure: sure it’s pure?



Nonsense words (Alien words)

As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term. 


Order of Story books

Children will hopefully follow the order listed below. The expectation is that all children will leave Year One as confident speedy readers, ready to take on the challenges of Year Two.  However, some children may need extra support and your teacher will talk to you about this. 


Year Group Expectations

Teach Set 1, 2 or 3 sounds

Red Ditty 1-10



Green 1-10


1 & 2

Purple 1-10


1 & 2

Pink 1-10

Reception/Year One


Orange 1-12

Year One

2 & 3

Yellow 1-10

Year One


Blue 1-10

Year One


Grey 1-13

Year One



Ditty Books

Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:

Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties. They will bring these home once they have read and discussed the book in class.


Red and Green Words

Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.


Taking Books Home

Across the daily RWI sessions, children will read the book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills.  They will be then sent home with a black and white version of the book they read in the RWI sessions. In addition to this they will also take home a ‘Book Bag Book’, which will match the new sounds learnt but they will not have read this in school, allowing them to practise their new sounds and words within a new reading book at home. The children will also bring home a book of their choice from the library.

The RWI story books go home on a Monday and must be returned on the Friday. Teachers will be keeping a record. Your child will not be able to take home the next set of books if the first set are not returned. You will be billed for any books that are not returned.


Progress expectations


End of Autumn 1: Read single-letter Set 1 sounds.

End of Autumn term: Read all Set 1 sounds; blend sounds into words orally.

End of Spring 1: Blend sounds to read words; read short Ditty stories.

End of Spring term: Read Red Storybooks.

End of Summer 1: Read Green Storybooks; read some Set 2 sounds.

End of Summer term: Read Green or Purple Storybooks.

Year 1

End of Autumn 1: Read Purple Storybooks; read some Set 2 sounds .

End of Autumn term: Read Pink Storybooks; read all Set 2 sounds.

End of Spring 1: Read Orange Storybooks; read some Set 3 sounds .

End of Spring term: Read Yellow Storybooks.

End of Summer 1: Read Yellow Storybooks; read all of Set 3 sounds.

End of Summer term: Read Blue Storybooks.

Year 2

End of Autumn 1: Read Blue Storybooks.

End of Autumn term: Read Blue Storybooks with increasing fluency and comprehension.

End of Spring 1: Read Grey Storybooks.

End of Spring term: Read Grey Storybooks with fluency and comprehension.


General Date  
First 16 set 1 speed sounds cards and sp... 15th Nov 2022 Download
Rwi sound chart 15th Nov 2022 Download