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Brooklands School

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Brooklands School

Phonics, Reading & Writing

At Brooklands we use the Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) programme to give all our children the best possible start with their Literacy development.

We adapt the programme for all four Curriculum Pathways and working closely with class teams, we ensure each child is accessing phonics, reading and writing suitable for their own individual needs.


Alongside this we use cross curricular teaching & learning through each of our themes to ensure reading and literacy skills are embedded throughout the curriculum and throughout each child’s day. We aim to teach pupils the tools to achieve functional literacy and communication skills in order to access their wider world with confidence and independence.


Claire Jones along with Natalie Carroll and Lisa Draghi are our Read Write Inc lead teachers and if you have any questions please do contact them -


What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics based English programme that provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.  

The programme was developed by Ruth Miskin and below is a short video with more information.

Parent video: What is Read Write Inc Phonics - YouTube


Read Write Inc at Brooklands

At Brooklands we base our phonics, reading & writing on the Read, Write Inc (RWI) programme and principles. The programme is adapted to the meet the individual needs and learning styles of our children.

Each curriculum pathway follows a similar structure to their sessions but the key focus and specific teaching and learning differs depending on the needs of the children.

Every child starts with the set one sounds, moving through the sounds at a pace that the teacher feels is relevant for them. There are also set 2 and 3 sounds to which children will move through as they develop within the programme.


We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’, ’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily. We do not use letter names at this early stage.

Click here to hear how to pronounce sounds correctly.

Alongside the pure sounds we also use Makaton signing. Watch this space for the videos of these signs - coming Spring 2023! 


As we teach the sounds, we begin to expose the children to oral & assisted blending using the sounds they know. We use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! We call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck. In the early part of the programme we play lots of Fred games to expose the children to hearing sounds separated and then put back together.


Each sound has a ‘hook’ that is used to support the children to recognise and remember it as both the grapheme (how it is written) and the phoneme (how it sounds). We use the rhymes within all our activities and we have also created our own songs linked to these hooks.

Alongside this ‘hook’, we use the attention autism approach to engage the children in their phonics activities which then leads onto a carousel of activities within their learning time. Below is a list of activities we might use for each phoneme. Please feel free to use these ideas at home.

As the children move through the program they begin to learn to spell using Fred Fingers and they then begin to learn story words and red words (this are tricky words you can’t sound out – you can’t Fred a red!). We also introduce “alien words”, nonsense words that you need to fred talk and in order to read the word. This is to show that they can apply their phonic skills to unfamiliar words.

Reading for Pleasure

All of these reading skills start from a child's love of reading for pleasure. 


At school we have a library on both sites and all classes have an area within class that fosters a love of books. The sharing and reading books for pleasure is timetabled into each classes week and this can present itself in many forms: sensory stories, small group reading, digital books. 

We also encourage our children to recognise that reading is more than just books and that there are a wide range of genres and media these include magazines, comics, newspapers, catalogues, maps, including poetry and literature from other countries.


Here is a list of some of our favourite books to read for pleasure:

  • Giraffes can't dance by Giles Andreae
  • Any book by Julia Donaldson; Room on a broom, Superworm, Zog
  • Slime by David Walliams
  • Stories by Roald Dahl - Charlie &the chocolate factory, The Twits
  • Why do the sun and moon live in the sky; an African tale by Elphinstone Dayrell 
  • Disney's The Jungle Book
  • That's not Fiona Watt
  • Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne
  • We're going on a lion hunt by David Axtell
  • 10 little...... by Mike Brownlow
  • Brown Bear Brown Bear what do you see?& Polar Bear Polar Bear what do you hear? by Bill Martin Jnr
  • The Hairy MacClary series by Lynley Dodd
  • Wonkey Donkey by Craig Smith
  • Whatever Next by Jill Murphy
  • Barefoot books - Animal Boogie, Over in the Meadow, Up Up Up, Port side pirates, hole in the bottom of the sea. (Barefoot Books - YouTube
  • My Granny went to market; a round the world counting rhyme by Stella Blackstone


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