Our curriculum

Our teaching staff spent the last year making preparations for the new national curriculum which became statutory for maintained schools in September 2014. Subject leaders have checked to make sure that there is progression in all subjects, throughout a child's time at our school. We believe that our curriculum is both broad and balanced.

More importantly we know that our curriculum is accessible to all children, will prepare them for later life and inspire them to continue a love of learning.

Futura Curriculum

Introduction to Phonics


'Teach a child to read and keep that child reading and we will change everything. And I mean everything.' Jeanette Winterson


Reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners. We can achieve this together through:

  • Read Write Inc, a program to help to your child read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home


Read Write Inc

At Wansdyke Primary School we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start to reading. Please take the time to read the information as it will provide invaluable information as to how you can help and support your child in reading.

What is Read Write Inc?

We teach sounds, children practise reading and spelling words containing these sounds, then we give children decodable books containing sounds and words they can read.

They read each Storybook three times at school and again with you at home.

On each reading, children’s fluency increases and the more they can focus on what the story is about. Children also learn to spell the words they have been reading and develop their ideas into sentences so that they can write about the storybooks they read.

We want to make sure every child learns to read in our school. Some children need extra practice when learning to read so we teach these children one-to-one every day – on top of their group lesson. We make sure they ‘keep up’ from the beginning and don’t need ‘catch up’ later on.


Five key principles of phonics

Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc sessions:

  • Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about
  • Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning
  • Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability
  • Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning
  • Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally.


All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead teacher so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.

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 puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! We call it, ‘Fred Talk’, for example: m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.

This video shows how to blend sounds with Fred.

The children are taught the sounds in the following three steps.

Step 1: Sounds

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

Sound Rhyme
m Down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.
a Round the apple, down the leaf.
s Slide around the snake
d Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet.
t Down the tower, across the tower,
i Down the insects body, dot for the head.
n Down Nobby and over the net.
p Down the plait, up and over the pirates face.
g Round the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl
o All around the orange
c Curl around the caterpillar
k Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg
u Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle
b Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel
f Down the stem and draw the leaves
e Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg
l Down the long leg
h Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back
sh Slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back
r Down the robot's back, then up and curl
j Down his body, curl and dot
v >Down a wing, up a wing
y Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head.
w Down, up, down, up the worm.
th Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back
z Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.
ch Curl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back
qu Round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl
x Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way
ng A thing on a string
nk I think I stink


Please do not use letter names at this early stage.

Watch this video to hear how to pronounce sounds correctly.

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

Step 2: Sounds - the long vowels

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.

Long vowel sound Set 2 Speed Sound cards Set 3 Speed Sound cards
ay ay: may I play a-e: make a cake ai: snail in the rain
ee ee: what can you see ea: cup of tea e: he me we she be
igh igh: fly high i-e: nice smile 
ow ow: blow the snow o-e: phone home ao: goat in a boat
oo oo: poo at the zoo u-e: huge brute ew: chew the stew
oo oo: look at a book    
ar ar: start the car    
or or: shut the door aw: yawn at dawn  
air air: that’s not fair are: share and care  
ir ir: whirl and twirl ur: nurse for a purse er: a better letter
ou ou: shout it out ow: brown cow  
oy oy: toy for a boy oi: spoil the boy  
ire   ire: fire fire!  
ear   ear: hear with your ear  
ure   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 1 phonics screening check in the summer term.

Step 3

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. Children will then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences.

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.

Words with dots and dashes representing the sound each letter makes

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

Order of story books

The expectation is that all children will leave Year 1 as confident speedy readers, ready to take on the challenges of Year 2. However, some children may need extra support.

  Reception  Year 1  Year 2 
Autumn half term  1B Purple  Blue 
End of autumn 1C  Pink  Grey 
Spring half term  Ditties Orange  Grey 
End of spring term  Red  Yellow  Comprehension 
Summer half term  Green  Yellow   
End of summer term  Green/Purple  Blue   


Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers. Please help them to read and give lots of praise! Please see the Parent information booklets one and two for more information about how you can support your child off to a quick start!

Booklet 1 tells you how to help your child:

  • Read Set 1 Speed Sounds
  • Blend sounds into words
  • Read the Blending Books
  • Read Red, Green and Purple storybooks.


Booklet 2 shows you how to help your child practise reading

  • Sets 2 and 3 Speed Sounds
  • Pink, Orange, Yellow, Blue and Grey storybooks.
Which books will my child bring home?

In your child’s book bag, they will bring home:

  • The Storybook they have read in class to practise reading what they can already read.
  • A Book Bag Book.They have guidance inside just for you as parents., They are matched to the books children read in school so provide practice of the same sounds – extra practice at the right level for your child. They include many of the same reading activities that we use in class.
  • A reading for pleasure book to share with you which has already been read to them so they care about it. You can read the story to them or they can retell the story by looking at the pictures. They are not expected to read the story themselves.

Phonics Screening Check Year 1

What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

The phonics screening check is taken individually by all children in Year 1 in England, and is usually taken in June. It is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill.

There are two sections in this 40-word check and it assesses phonics skills and knowledge learned through Reception and Year 1. Your child will read up to four words per page for their teacher and they will probably do the check in one sitting of about 5–10 minutes. The check is not about passing or failing but checking appropriate progress is being made.

Children progress at different speeds so not reaching the threshold score means a child can re-sit the check in the following summer term in Year 2.

What can you do to help at home?

  • Use ‘Special Friends’, ‘Fred Talk’, read the word, to read words.
  • Practise reading sounds speedily - ‘review, review, review’.
  • Listen to your child read their Read Write Inc. Storybook every day.

'Reading feeds the imagination, it expands horizons and offers new and exciting ways of seeing and making sense of our lives and of the world around us.' Michael Morpurgo


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