Phonics Curriculum Statement

At St Oswalds CE Primary School, 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 program we teach children to:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences


Curriculum Intent

St. Oswald’s uses the Read Write Inc scheme of work and resources to offer a relevant and systematic phonic curriculum that inspires and excites our pupils to read fluently and independently.n All pupils will achieve their full potential and become fluent, confident readers. Children in Year One, and children from Year Two who need to re-sit, will pass the national phonics screening check in June.  Any children who do not pass it will continue to have intervention and support within class.

All training will be continuously relevant and up to date with CPD offered regularly and meaningfully so that phonic teaching and learning will always be in line with meeting or exceeding national DfE requirements. All pupils will develop their phonic knowledge to at least a good level which will encourage a love of reading and reading for pleasure. Having a good reading level and strategies to decode unfamiliar words underpins all other subjects and learning that children will undertake and is high priority in our school.

Children’s phonic education will begin in Nursery and will progress through Reception, Year One and at least Year Two. Children beyond these year groups who still need intervention and support will receive it.

We want to teach Phonics in a way that:

  • delivers early reading and phonics in line with new National Curriculum guidelines
  • creates a lively, exciting and stimulating environment
  • promotes the concept that acquiring phonic knowledge and skills provides the foundation for understanding the world around them
  • develops creativity and expression
  • encourages children to use subject specific vocabulary
  • allows time for partner talk in order to stimulate and develop a curiosity
  • challenges children to stretch themselves and take risks in their creativity
  • Promotes resilience when approaching new and unfamiliar words


All areas where phonics is taught has access to a very high-quality phonics and early reading curriculum using the Read Write Inc scheme and resources. All phonics staff will wear a pinny that contains flash cards that are to be used consistently throughout the day to target specific children. This progressively develops pupil skills in phonics through well-planned, differentiated daily lessons in EYFS and KS1. Read Write Inc handbooks will be used to inform planning and resources that are needed in order to ensure consistently high quality teaching and learning.

The subject leader will use half termly assessments to stream children between Reception and Year Two into ability groups to allow for precision teaching and learning to take place. Children can move between groups depending on their rate of progression. Each group will use texts specifically designed to develop thier phonic knowledge from thier current level of understanding. 

The phonic subject leader will observe the teaching of phonics and will provide meaningful feedback promptly. Weekly phonics meetings will take place including all staff that teach RWI in order to share experiences, ideas and issues also to ensure a consistent approach.

Children will progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of phonemes, vocabulary, language skills and grammatical knowledge in order to develop into confident, accurate and meaningful readers.

All teachers will know where every child is at any point in their phonics learning journey through half termly assessments. If pupils are not progressing in line with expectations, this will be identified in half termly Read Write Inc assessments as well as during on-going formative assessment. This will enable teachers to put in place an intervention programme to address any issues.

Set one sounds are aimed at teaching basic phonemes and the corresponding grapheme. Children will be taught to identify and name each of the 30 phonemes and digraphs and will then progress onto blending cvc, ccvc and cvcc words.

Set two sounds consists of 10 digraphs and 2 trigraphs and focuses on developing blending and decoding skills. These sounds allow for more complex 4 and 5 sounding words to be used and will progress to multi-syllabic and prefix and suffix words.

Set three words consists of 9 digraphs, 4 trigraphs and 4 split digraphs which aims to develop children’s knowledge of alternative spellings. Children at this stage should be able to decode most unfamiliar words and make plausible attempts at longer words. Children at this stage will also be expected to be applying their knowledge in all reading and writing tasks.

It is important that parents and carers are actively involved in the children’s education. In order to help keep them informed of what is happening within school we ensure all events are on the school website and published on the weekly newsletter. We also have termly reading meetings, which will inform them of current learning and strategies to support learning at home.

Paper copies of the week’s RWI story book will be sent home each week for children to continue practise at home and further develop reading as well as raising the profile of reading at home.


Through the thorough planning and monitoring of pupil progress all pupils should make at least good or better progress Phonics, and achieve good outcomes by the end of each year. Children will be confident applying learnt graphemes in their writing and applying phonics when decoding unfamiliar words.

Children will be expressive and accurate readers who have a bank of strategies to apply when decoding words. They will understand the relevance of phonics and will apply it in all relevant subjects. Pupils will see Phonics as being relevant to everyday life as well as being something that they will need as they move on through their school life and ultimately to the world of employment.

‘Train a child up in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.’ Proverbs 22:6

Phonics Assessment at St Oswald’s

The opportunity to assess pupil learning and progression in phonics is provided when completing Read Write Inc assessments every six weeks. This information will be recorded and will be monitored by the Phonics Subject Leader who can use this data to ensure teaching is targeted and appropriate for each pupil, class and year group as well as to feedback on progress to Subject Leader.

The weekly meetings will provide the opportunity to discuss children’s progress and how well suited the children are to each group. Ongoing assessment is vital in ensuring children achieve the most suitable phonics teaching.

Planning is provided from the RWI scheme, which ensure consistency and accuracy in teaching phonemes and graphemes. Planning is progressive and this is evident when walking through the phonic groups.

Any children that require additional support or intervention will receive it daily to ensure the gap is narrowed quickly.

Children will be provided with feedback either verbally or through written marking. When marking work teachers should adhere to the school’s Marking Policy.

In line with the School’s SEND & Inclusion Policy each child will have an equal entitlement to all aspects of the Phonic curriculum and to experience the full range of creative activities. Therefore, in delivering Phonics, care will be taken to ensure that a variety or learning styles are accessed and teaching methods adopted.


Each classroom will be resourced with materials to support the delivery of Phonics and there will also be a central store of phonics resources in the Year Two classroom. Each class will have phonic friezes on display that show Set One and Set Two sounds, complex speed sounds chart and a blue pocket for story words. Each table should also have phonics cards that show all taught phonemes and graphemes for children to use.

Children should be encouraged to use whatever resources are available to them in the classroom and which they feel would be beneficial to help them.

Interventions and Phonics Support

Any children that are identified as needing extra support will be targetted quickly to ensure maximum progression within their reading. Daily 1:1 or small group interventions take place in the afternoons to revisit, recap and consolidate learning for these children. The interventions are short and focussed and are proven to greatly support the retention of sounds and application of skills.

The effectiveness of the interventions is monitored by the member of staff delivering the intervention, class teacher and phonics leader.

The Phonics Manager for KS1 is Mrs Crawford.  If you have any queries or would like to discuss our phonics programme further, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Crawford.

Visit the Read Write Inc. website to hear the phoneme (sounds) pronunciation guide and other parent tutorials.

Additional links

You may find the following links useful:

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St Oswald's CE Primary School. Ronald Ross Avenue, Netherton, Bootle L30 5RH

Tel: 0151 525 4580 | E: