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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. Some children are taught to listen to and understand different sounds. This is taught through our adapted version of Letters and 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.

DFES Letters and Sounds

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 (RWI) 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.



The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn to read words using sound blending
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • after meaningful discussion led by an adult children show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions



The children:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes
  • learn to build sentences orally using adventurous vocabulary start with simple sentences and develop towards more complex ones by the end of the programme
  • compose a range of texts using discussion prompts



Children are assessed so they work with children at the same level. This allows them to take a full part in all lessons. They work in pairs so that they:

  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking to each other


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 to 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 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 video that explains Read Write Inc to parents click here.


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


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


GINN - A list of and the progression of books can be found by clicking here.

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