At Ark Swift Primary Academy synthetic phonics is taught through the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme. Pupils begin the programme in the Spring term of Nursery, then the programme is taught in small groups with:

  • All pupils in Reception and Year 1
  • Any pupils in Years 2, 3 and 4 who are learning to decode.


Pupils who are learning to decode in Years 5 and 6 follow an age-appropriate version of the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme called Fresh Start.


With both programmes we assess and group pupils according to their reading progress. In their groups, pupils:

  • learn to read and write sounds
  • read and spell words containing the sounds they have learnt
  • read common exception words speedily
  • read fiction and non-fiction books which closely match their phonic knowledge
  • write about what they have read
  • practise letter formation and handwriting.


For further information about Read Write Inc. Phonics and how you can support your child, please click here:


In Year Two, once the pupils are fluent at decoding, they progress to Read Write Inc. Comprehension. This programme develops their comprehension, writing, critical thinking, discussion skills and gain a firm knowledge and understanding of grammar. This programme is used as a bridge from the phonics programme into whole class reading.


Prior to starting Read Write Inc. Phonics in Nursery, Phase One of Letters and Sounds is taught which concentrates on developing children’s speaking and listening skills and prepares pupils for the phonic programme. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and helps them to develop their oral blending and segmenting skills. Phase 1 is divided into seven aspects. Each aspect contains three strands: Tuning in to sounds (auditory discrimination), listening and remembering sounds (auditory memory and sequencing) and talking about sounds (developing vocabulary and language comprehension).


Whole Class Reading

Once the pupils have secured their phonic skills, they progress into whole class reading. From Year 2 to Year 6, each class has carefully chosen high-quality age-appropriate texts. This selection includes a range of fiction and non-fiction books as well as poems.


During a whole class reading lesson, the text will be introduced by the teacher to ensure all new vocabulary is explained within context. The lesson includes daily partner reading, which provides the teacher with an opportunity to hear the pupils read. This is followed by a 'think aloud' where the teacher will explain key parts of the text, teach comprehension skills and ask questions to assess the pupils' understanding. Pupils have the opportunity to write answers to questions about the text and each lesson finishes with a fluency re-read.


Promoting a Love of Reading

Ark Swift Primary Academy is passionate about promoting a love of reading and aims to ensure that all pupils become readers for life.