At Exeter Primary School we are committed to the delivery of excellence in the teaching of Phonics. We aim to develop each child so that they are able to read with fluency as well as develop a love of reading that will stay with our children all their lives. Being able to read is the most important skill children will learn during their early schooling and has far-reaching implications for lifelong confidence and well-being.

At Exeter Primary School we use Read Write Inc. Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their English. Children in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 have a daily phonics lessons.


Read Write Inc. (RWI) is a phonics programme which helps children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at Exeter Primary we continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.


The independent review of early reading conducted by Jim Rose confirmed that ‘high quality phonic work’ should be the prime means for teaching children how to read and spell words. The review also highlighted the importance of developing from the earliest stages children’s speaking and listening skills, ensuring that beginner readers are ready to get off to a good start in phonic work by the age of five. Such work should be set within a broad and rich language curriculum.

The use of phonics is one of the many skills needed to be able to be a reader and writer. We aim to teach high quality phonics to ensure the children have the best start possible in reading and writing. The learning of phonics is the beginning of children’s body of knowledge, skills and understanding that are an essential part of learning to read. In order to read and understand texts children must learn to recognise/decode the words on the page. Good quality phonics teaching allows the child to be secure in the skills of word recognition and decoding which allows children to read fluently. This will result in children being able to read for pleasure and will allow them to move onto developing higher order reading for meaning skills. These phonic skills need to be taught systematically and involve a variety e.g multi-sensory resources for all learners.



In line with the School’s policy and commitment to excellence in Phonics, each class in Reception and KS1 will teach phonics as a discrete lesson every day and will include phonics as part of teaching and learning throughout other curriculum lessons on a daily basis.


Age Related Expectations for the end of the school year:

By the end of EYFS children should:

  • Read and understand simple sentences.
  • Use phonic knowledge to decode common words and read them aloud accurately.
  • Confidently read by sight the common exception words
  • Use phonic knowledge to write words in a way which matches how the sounds are said.
  • Write some irregular common words.


By the end of Year 1 children should:

  • Apply phonic knowledge and skill as the prime approach to reading unfamiliar words that are not completely decodable;
  • Read many frequently-encountered words automatically;
  • Read phonically decodable three-syllable words;
  • Read a range of age-appropriate texts fluently;
  • Demonstrate understanding of age-appropriate texts.
  • Read decodable words that end –s, –es, -ing, -ed, -er, -est
  • Say the correct sound to grapheme for all the 40+ phonemes up to Set 3.

By the end of Year 2 children should:

  • Read accurately most words of two or more syllables.
  • Read most words containing common suffixes. 5
  • Read and spell most common exception words for year 2.
  • Read words accurately and fluently without overt sounding and blending.
  • Sound out most unfamiliar words accurately, without hesitation.
  • Segment spoken words into phonemes and represent these by graphemes.


All teachers have a range of resources to use which are appropriate for the level at which the children are working. They include practical resources such as the alphabetic code poster, sounds frieze, grapheme tiles, magnetic letters and phonic strips etc., which should be used in every lesson to create a point of reference. These resources can be added to so that children are continually engaged with their learning. There should also be age and phase appropriate displays in both Reception and Key Stage 1 classrooms and intervention rooms to support the teaching and application of phonics in Reading and Writing.