Broadway Avenue, Milton Keynes, MK14 5PY

Phonics and Spellings

Read Write Inc at Giffard Park


Phonics is a method of teaching children to read by linking sounds and the symbols that represent them. At Giffard Park we use a scheme called Read, Write Inc.

In Read Write Inc. Phonics, children learn to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension.


Here is a tutorial which explains how Read Write Inc is taught:

Parent Tutorial


To begin, children are taught individual sounds, a new sound is introduced each day and previously taught sounds are recapped. After these have been learnt, children begin to learn how to blend these sounds into words during regular 'Word Time' sessions.


Here is a guide to how each sound is pronounced:

Pronunciation Guide


The sounds are taught in 3 sets:

Set 1 - m, a, s, d, t, i, n, p, g, o, c, k, u, b, f, e, l, h, sh, r, j, v, y, w, th, z, ch, q, x, ng, nk


Set 2 – ay, ee, igh, ow, oo,  oo , ar, or, , air, ir, ou, oy each sound also has a phrase to help the children to remember e.g. ay – may I play?


Set 3 – ea, oi, a_e, i_e, o_e, u_e, aw, are, ur, er, ow, ai, oa, ew, ire, ear, ure, tion, cious and tious


When there are sounds made by more than one letter e.g. ie, ea, air we call these special friends.  There are some special friends which are too chatty and so they are not allowed to sit next to each other e.g. a_e as in mate.


These sounds are then taught within decodable  Green words.


In our wonderful, challenging, eclectic English language there are words that are not decodable and need to be learnt by sight, these are  Red words e.g. the, said.




Nonsense/Alien words

Nonsense words, which we also refer to as Alien words, are used to assess children’s knowledge of sounds by asking them to read the sounds they know in unknown words.

As children’s reading develops, they will need to work out longer real words that include some syllables that, on their own, have no meaning e.g.  fan-tas-tic, e-nor-mous


Here are some examples of nonsense/alien words for each stage of Read, Write Inc. just to give you an idea of the types of words and sounds your children will encounter.

Nonsense words Set 1-3


Who is Fred?


Fred Talk

Fred is our Read, Write Inc. mascot. He can only speak in sounds though (this is called  Fred Talk),  so we have to help him learn to say words, instead of sounds. For example Fred says  'c-a-t'  instead of  cat . (See the link above for the pronunciation guide).


Fred Fingers

We use 'Fred Fingers' to help make the transition between oral sounding out and spelling with magnetic letters or in books.

Firstly we count how many sounds we can hear:

"bat, b-a-t, 3 sounds".

Then we hold up that many fingers.

For each sound we use our writing hand to squeeze a Fred Finger and say the sound:


Then we use our free hand to 'sweep' over our Fred Fingers and to blend the sounds into a word:


 Be careful - words such as  this  needs 3 Fred Fingers -  "th-i-s".  Words such as  flairs  need 4 Fred Fingers -  "f-l-air-s".



Books for Read Write Inc. Phonics


Once they have learned enough sounds, children will begin to read 'Ditty' books in their lessons. 

After Ditty books, children continue to read groups of books that have been specially written to support progress through the scheme. These books follow their own colour scheme and do not tie in with the home/school reading books scheme.

The aim of using these books is to teach the children accuracy, fluency and comprehension.


Reading at home

  • Read favourite stories over and over again
  • Read some stories at a higher level than they can read themselves.
  • Listen to them reading their home/school books

Here are some videos to inspire you to read at home:

Why read with your child?

Storytime at home