School Logo

Richmond Hill School


At Richmond Hill we grow independence, build communication and believe you can achieve your personal goals.


Each class at Richmond Hill has access to high quality phonics teaching. Children are taught to listen to and understand different sounds.


As the children progress through their learning and are beginning to learn letter sounds we move onto more formal phonics teaching. This is based on the principles of Read, Write Inc.


Rationale for the teaching of phonics at RHS

At Richmond Hill School, along with many other strategies we use a scheme of work based on the principles of Read Write Inc to get children off to a flying start with their English. Read write inc is a method of learning centred around phonics, and we use it to aid children with their reading and writing.


What is phonics? Words are made up from small units of sound called phonemes. Phonics teaches children to be able to listen carefully and identify the phonemes that make up each word. This helps children to learn to read words and to spell words. Two skills which are developed when using phonics include blending and segmenting.


Children are taught to be able to blend. This is when children say the sounds that make up a word and are able to merge the sounds together until they can hear what the word is. This skill is vital in learning to read. Children are also taught to segment. This is the opposite of blending. Children are able to say a word and then break it up into the phonemes that make the word. This skill is vital in being able to spell words.


Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.



When using RWI to read the children will:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts
  • Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk)
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It'



When using RWI to write the children will:

  • Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds
  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers)



When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:

  • To answer questions
  • To take turns talking and listening to each other
  • To give positive praise to each other



Help your child learn to read words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set (shown further down the page).

Help your child to say the pure sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh' etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word. A pronunciation guide can be found by clicking here. (


Reading Schemes

When children have a good grasp of blending through phonics we move children onto reading books.


We have a number of reading schemes that the children can access at Richmond Hill School. Some children will follow the reading books that are part of the Read Write Inc Phonics programme. Some children quickly move onto Oxford Reading Tree books where children soon learn to enjoy reading stories with favourite characters of Biff, Chip and Kipper! Oxford Reading Tree is used by over 80% of Primary Schools in England. For children that learn to read through site reading rather than blending we provide them a reading scheme known as GINN reading books.


More details can be found on all the schemes at these websites:


Read Write Inc: A link to a videos that explains Read Write Inc to parents anbd carers click here. (


Oxford Reading Tree: Further information on the scheme click here.



Suitable games links to Oxford Reading Tree can be found here.


Contact Info