Phonics at Pilgrim

When your child has settled into the Foundation classes, they will begin to learn phonics through the Read Write Inc. programme.


Hearing the sounds

We start by doing lots of activities which get them used to hearing letter sounds and listening to how they fit together to make words.

You can help your child by playing listening and guessing games while they play or as you read them a story eg:

  • “What animal am I thinking of...  g-oa-t?”   “Where is the c-a-t?”   “Can you do up the z-i-p?”

  • “All was quiet in the deep dark wood.  The mouse found a n-u-t and the nut was g-oo-d”


Recognising the sounds

Your child will learn a new sound each day, with a hand writing phrase to help them form the letter shape when writing it. 

For example, if they are learning to write p they would say “Down the pirate’s plait and around his face” as they write the letter.

Fred talk

As your child learns the sounds, they also hear and practise putting sounds together to make words. 

Fred the frog helps them do this and we call it ‘fred talk’ 


When they can blend the sounds together to read words, they will start to read:


  • green words   

  • red words  (words which you can’t blend easily, eg ‘the’  ‘through’)

  • ditties    or

  • story books 

They will bring copies of the books home so they can practice with you.


They will also learn sounds made by putting 2 or more letters together, which we call 'special friends' (see below for Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds)


If you want to know more about how you can help your child, please ask your child’s teacher.

You can also find lots of useful information on


The Phonic Screening Test

Each year, in June, there is a national screening test to check the phonic knowledge of each child in Year 1. 

Click on the set sounds for a printable matching game!