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Norton Fitzwarren Church School

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I am the good shepherd - John 10:11

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Phonics and Early Reading

At Norton Fitzwarren Church School, our vision is for all children to be fluent readers, who develop a love of reading. We encourage our parents to read regularly with their children/ child at home, sharing and enjoying books together. 


At Norton Fitzwarren Church School we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to begin our children’s reading and writing journey. RWI is a method of learning centred based on letter sounds and synthetic phonics and it has proved to get children off to a flying start with their literacy learning. All children across EYFS and KS1 follow the RWI programme to ensure a systematic approach to the teaching of this es­sential part of learning to read. Children in EYFS and KS1 have six, thirty minute RWI phonics sessions:


They are taught in small groups by our teaching staff who have all had specific training in RWI. During our RWI sessions, the children will learn that sounds are represented by written letters. When teaching the children, we ensure they say the ‘pure’ sounds. If you would to support your child in saying these sounds, please follow the link to a video which will support you in pronouncing the sounds



During our RWI sessions, the children will engage in a variety of exciting learning activities.

They will meet Fred Frog who likes to talk in sounds. He helps us with our phonic learning. Fred Frog is always on the look out to give team points to super sound work.


During year one the children will undertake a phonics screening test. At at our phonics parents meeting we shared the slides below to help children to continue to read at home. Click on the link below to access the slides and resources shared.




When using RWI to read the children will:


  • Learn the 44 sounds.


  • Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk).


  • Read exciting stories that include the sounds they are learning.


  • Be introduced to ‘red words’ these are words that the children are unable to phonetically decode.




  • When using RWI to write the children will:


  • Learn to write the letter of the corresponding 44 sounds.


  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes. We use our ‘Fred Fingers’ to help us with this.


In reception, the children begin to learn how to write letters. When teaching children to write letters we follow the RWI handwriting rhymes. Each letter has a picture and rhyme that goes with it to help us to learn how to write it.


In preschool we introduce the children to the RWInc pictures and Fred Talk games.


At Norton Fitzwarren Church School, we have subscribed to the RWI E-Library. This gives children ac­cess to the RWI books they read at school, electronically at home. 

Parents Phonics Screen Check meeting

Reading Vipers 

In KS2 children are taught to develop their reading comprehension skills through the VIPERS approach. VIPERS is a range of reading prompts, developed by The Literacy Shed, based on the reading content domains found in the National Curriculum.

The ‘VIPER’ reading skills are: vocabulary, inference, prediction, explanation and summerising/sequencing.

Through a combination of whole class and group sessions children work through a series of tasks which will develop their understanding of different types of reading skill. 

An example of how questions link to the VIPERS:

V - Can you think of one word that will best describe how the girl's Father is feeling?
I - How is the girl feeling at this point?  Use evidence from previous pages to explain why she may be feeling like this. 
P - What do you think will happen now her Father has arrived? 
- Explain the difference between her Father in this scene and when we see him in the first two pages of the book. 
- Where are the characters when the girl's father finds them?
S - The Father will want to know what has been happening.  Imagine you are the girl, summarise the events in the story so far to tell to her Father.

KS1 Vipers - the children in KS1 start with V = vocabulary and P = Prediction they then slow meet the other elements. S in KS1 = Sequence rather than summarise like in KS2.

Bath & Wells MAT