English Intent Statement

At Archbishop Benson, we believe that speaking and listening, reading and writing are essential life skills. We aim to nurture a love for reading, writing and discussion, equipping our pupils with the knowledge and skills needed to become life-long readers and authors. Reading and writing weave their way through our CHAIN curriculum, binding skills together for a richer learning experience.


Phonics Intent Statement 

‘I can do all things through Him who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13)

With fun and learning, hand in hand, all things are possible.’


At Archbishop Primary School, we strive to teach children to read and write effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. phonics programme (RWI).  Teaching children to read and write independently and as quickly as possible, is essential. These fundamental skills not only hold the key to the rest of the curriculum but also have a huge impact on children’s self-esteem and future life chances. Using the RWI phonics program we teach children to read and write easily and fluently.


Children throughout Reception and Key stage 1 take part in daily phonics sessions. Children are taught the grapheme-phoneme correspondences in a clear sequence, from the simple alphabetic code to phonemes with alternative graphemes. For each phoneme, children are taught to ‘say it’, ‘read it’, ‘write it’, using child friendly mnemonics and visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities.

Children learn to decode words by identifying the graphemes and blending the phonemes. Children learn to spell words by segmenting them into phonemes, they learn this is the opposite of blending. 

Children learn high frequency words (referred to in RWI as ‘red words’) from the earliest stages, and use their knowledge of grapheme-phoneme correspondences as a first approach to words which are not completely phonically regular.

Every 6-8 weeks children are assessed to gauge their current attainment levels in phonics. These assessments then allow children to be placed into homogenous groups across Key stage 1. Phonics teaching then can be pitched at a child’s individual ‘challenge point’ to ensure speedy progress is made. These assessments also highlight children who need extra support in order to meet age-related expectations in phonics. Allowing interventions to take place to ensure children keep up, instead of having to play catch up.

We aim to make a strong start to phonics in Reception, and from their very first weeks in school children learn the relationship between phonemes and graphemes. Children practise the essential skills of blending and segmenting with magnetic letters, moving onto reading the lively, decodable Ditty Books or Storybooks, matched to their phonic ability and the sounds they are currently learning in school. The skills of segmenting and blending are also imbedded in our daily routine, allowing children to become confident decoders early on in their schooling.

As children progress through the RWI programme they review and learn new grapheme-phoneme correspondences and apply their increased phonic knowledge to reading the Storybooks and completing writing activities.

Phonic knowledge is taught as quickly as possible. Speed Sounds Sets 1 and 2 should be mastered by most children at the end of Reception. Children continue to apply this knowledge throughout Year 1+ while they are taught Speed Sounds Set 3. At the end of Year 1, all children must sit a national phonics screening test.  For children who do not ‘pass’ this phonics test, intervention programmes are put in place to support children. For some children Phonics will continue into KS2 through ‘Fast track’ and ‘Fresh start’ interventions, which ensure children continue to build a secure phonic knowledge. We ensure that every child in our school continues through the RWI phonics programme until its completion, emerging as confident writers and fluent readers who can see the joy and the pleasure of reading and writing.  


Key vocabulary we use in our teaching of phonics:

Phoneme- The smallest unit of sound within a word. There are approx. 44 phonemes in the English language

Grapheme- The written form of a sound. This can be a single letter of group of letters that make up a single sound.

Digraph- A grapheme which uses 2 letters to make one sound. (RWInc- Special friends)

Trigraph- A grapheme which uses 3 letters to make one sound (RWInc- Special friends)

Split digraph-A digraph split by a consonant e.g. a-e in make. (RWInc- Chatty friends)

Oral blending- Hearing phonemes and being able to blend them together to make a word.

Blending- Looking at a written word, knowing the sounds for each grapheme, and blending them together to make a word (This forms the basis for reading)

Oral segmenting-Hearing a whole word, and then verbally splitting it up into the phonemes that make it. (RWInc- Fred talk)

Segmenting-Hearing a word, splitting it up into the phonemes that make it, then writing down the graphemes (This forms the basis for spelling)




At Archbishop Benson CE Primary School, we teach phonics, reading and writing through our Read Write Inc programme in Reception, Year 1 and 2. 


Videos for Parents and Carers



Activities for Learning at Home


Speed Sounds are sounds and the letter, or groups of letters, to represent them. These are taught in three sets: Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3. 


Speedy Green Words

Speedy Green Words are high frequency words found in lots of stories. These words are always taught first by sound-blending. Children then practise reading the words at speed so they can read the stories without sounding out each word. Children’s effort can then go into comprehending the story.