Arundel CofE Primary School

Phonics in Rainbow Class (EYFS)

Learning to read is a life-long achievement and the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends upon this skill and so at ACE we put as much energy into ensuring that every single child not only learns to read but learns to love reading.
The key to unlocking the mystery of the written word is phonics and we make this a high priority in Rainbow Class(EYFS). At ACE we have taken the important decision to use Read Write Inc phonics which is used by more than a quarter of the UK’s primary schools. Phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter groups into sounds that are then blended together into a word. The scheme is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. Children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. Through Read Write Inc phonics children learn a simple alphabetic code followed by a more complex code. All reading books progress cumulatively, matched to the sounds children are learning and already know. 
We start the systematic teaching of phonics throughout the Early Years Foundation Stage (Rainbow Class). The children learn to recognise the shape of letters and the sound they make. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters.
Children are taught to:
  • say the pure sounds (‘mmm’ not ‘muh’, ‘sss’ not ‘suh’ etc. see link below to hear pure sounds) to decode letter/sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly and use their phonic knowledge and skills to see a letter, or group of letters and say the corresponding sound
  • say words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. m-a-t = mat, sh-o-p = shop. Children then learn to read words by saying the sounds in a word then blending them together to say the whole word.


  • read ‘tricky’ (red words) on sight such as ‘come,’ ‘was,’ ‘said’ and ‘you’. These are words where one part of the word is trying to trick the children. We teach them to look at the word and spot the part that is trying to trick us.
  • understand what they read
  • read aloud with fluency and expression
  • spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words. They use ‘Fred Fingers’ to say each of the sounds they can hear in a word before they attempt to write it.
  • develop pencil control, form letters correctly and acquire good handwriting
The children practise their reading with books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘red words’. This is so that, early on, they experience success and quickly begin to see themselves as readers. Please help your child to practise reading for at least 10 minutes every day at home. We cannot stress enough how important this is.
Phonics is taught daily to all children in Year R. Our aim is for most children to be finished Read Write Inc Phonics by the end of Year 1 or shortly after they start Year 2.