Home Page

Early Reading

Click on this link to read our Early Reading Intent Document

Early Reading at Racemeadow

Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners. At Racemeadow Primary Academy, we achieve this by offering the following:

  • Daily phonics sessions.
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily and encouraging children to read daily at home.
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home


At Racemeadow Primary Academy, we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their literacy. Read Write Inc (RWI) is a complete phonics literacy programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling.

Please take the time to read the below information as it will provide invaluable information as to how you can help and support your child in reading. Mrs Deeming is our Phonics Lead, therefore, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak with her.


Watch video tutorials on to help you to understand more about Read Write Inc. Phonics and how to help your child read and write at home.

Other useful websites:

Ruth Miskin Facebook:

Free e-books for home reading:


Pupils at Racemeadow will learn jargon as part of their RWI sessions. Below is a glossary to help you understand the meanings.


‘Special Friends’
Special friends are a combination of two or three letters representing one sound, e.g. ck, ay, igh, oa.

Fred Talk
Fred the Frog helps children read and spell. He can say the sounds in words, but he can’t say the whole word, so children have to help him.

To help children read, Fred (the teacher) says the sounds and then children say the word.
For example, Fred says m-a-t, children say “mat”, Fred says n-igh-t, children say “night”.

Teachers are encouraged to use Fred Talk through the day, so children learn to blend sounds. For example:
Play Simon Says: Put your hands on your h-ea-d/ f-oo-t/ kn-ee. Put on your c-oa-t/ h-a-t/ s-c-ar-f.

‘Fred in your head’
Once children can sound out a word, we teach them to say the sounds silently in their heads.
We show them how to do this by:
– Whispering the sounds and then saying the whole word;
– Mouthing the sounds silently and then saying the whole word;
– Saying the whole word straight away.


How can I support my child’s reading and writing?

  • Ask your child to read the Speed Sound cards speedily
  • Use Fred Talk to help your child read and spell words
  • Listen to your child read theirRead Write Inc. Storybook every day
  • Practise reading Green and Red Words in the Storybook speedily
  • Read stories to your child every day.


What will my child bring home to read?

  • Speed sounds for children to practise reading the sounds at speed
  • Sound blending books: a combination of CVC words (consonant, vowel, consonant) for your child to ‘Fred Talk’ then read the word.
  • Book Bag Books: matched to the Storybooks children read in school and used for extra practice. They include many of the same reading activities that we use in class and include parent guidance.
  • Picture books to share with you: read these stories to children or encourage them to retell the story by looking at the pictures. They are not expected to read the story themselves.


How can I support my child to learn Set 1 sounds and to blend?

  • Use pure sounds, not letter names. Watch the ‘how to say the sounds’ parent film on
  • Watch the ‘Reading the stretchy sounds with your child’, ‘Reading the bouncy sounds with your child’ and ‘Reading the digraphs with your child’ parent films on to see how to teach Set 1 sounds
  • Practise reading known Set 1 Speed Sounds speedily using the small, green speed sound book. If needed, show your child the picture side of the card to help them remember the sound.


How can I support my child to learn Set 2 or 3 sounds?

  • Watch the ‘Set 2/3 tutoring’ film on
  • Help your child practise reading known Speed Sounds cards speedily. If needed, show your child the picture side of the card to help them remember the sound.


How do I listen to my child read?

Your child has a Storybook matched to the sounds and words they know – a decodable book – so they should be able to read all the words.

Please avoid saying, “This book is too easy for you!” but instead say “I love how well you can read this book!”

‘Special Friends’, ‘Fred Talk’, read the word

Remind your child to read words using ‘Special Friends, Fred Talk, read the word’ (see glossary).
For example ‘ship’: spot the ‘sh’, then Fred Talk and blend to read the word e.g. sh, sh-i-p, ship.

Red Words
Red Words are also known as common exception or tricky words. They occur in stories regularly (said, what, where) but have unusual letter combinations (‘ai’ in the word ‘said’ makes the sound ‘e’). Remind your child not to use Fred Talk to read Red Words but instead to ‘stop and think’.Tell them the word if you need to.

Read the same book again and again
Children love reading the same book again and again. Their reading becomes speedier, and they understand what they are reading.

  • Encourage your child to read words using ‘Fred in your head’ (see glossary)
  • Show your child how to read the story in a storyteller voice
  • Share your enjoyment of the story when they read it again and again.


What do I do with picture books?

One of the most important things you can do as a parent at home is read to your child. Loving stories is important because children who love stories want to read stories for themselves. Children who read a lot become better readers.

Here are some top tips for Storytime:

  1. Make it a treat – introduce each new book with excitement
  2. Make it a special quiet time – cuddle up!
  3. Show curiosity in what you’re going to read
  4. Read the story once without stopping so they can enjoy the whole story
  5. Chat about the story e.g. I wonder why he did that? Oh no, I hope she’s not going to…
  6. Avoid asking questions to check what they remember
  7. Link to other stories and experiences you have shared e.g. this reminds me of…
  8. Read favourite stories over and over again – encourage your child to join with the bits they know. Avoid saying ‘not that story again!’
  9. Use different voices – be enthusiastic!
  10. Love the book – read with enjoyment


How can I help my child to practise their handwriting?

Remind your child:

Challenge your child to see how many sounds they can write in a minute.
Say the sound and children write e.g. ‘write m’, ‘write s’, ‘write w’.


How can I help my child to spell words?

  • Encourage your child to use Fred Fingers to spell words
  • Ask your child to say the sounds in the word as they press the sounds onto their fingers
  • Ask your child to then write the letters – if they get stuck, say the sounds again
  • Praise your child for spelling using the sounds they know, even if their handwriting is not perfect.


We hope that this information has given you an insight into Phonics and Reading atRacemeadow Primary Academy. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to speak to our phonics lead: