Safeguarding Notice

Our school is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. We expect all staff, visitors and volunteers to share this commitment.

If you have any concerns regarding the safeguarding of any of our pupils please contact one of our Designated Safeguarding Leads: Mrs Sarginson, Mrs Hill or Mrs Dixon

Please see the safeguarding section of our website under Policies > Safeguarding.

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Reading will give your child the tools to become an independent life-long learner and this is why it's one of our top priorities. 


We can achieve this together through:

  • Read Write Inc, a program to help your child read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home


At Hopwood we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their literacy. Below you will find some parent guides for reading at home, a phonics glossary and lots of resources to support your child at home. 

Mrs Makin is our Read Write Inc lead teacher, so if you have questions about RWI, contact school who can refer you to her.

Phonics Glossary 


 digraph (special friends)

A digraph is a sound that is represented by two letters e.g. the sound 'a' in rain is represented by the digraph 'ai'.

 split digraph (chatty friends)

A split digraph is a digraph that is separated by other letters e.g. the sound 'a' in the word take is represented by the split digraph a-e.


A grapheme is a visual representation of a sound e.g. a letter or a group of letters.

Some sounds are represented by a single letter whilst others are represented by more than one letter.


A phoneme is a unit of sound e.g. the word 'cat' contains three phonemes; c - a - t.


Segmenting is the opposite of blending. Children are taught to segment a word into its separate sounds in order to spell it.


Blending is the skill of joining sounds together to read words. Children are taught to say the separate sounds in a word and to then blend them together to decode the word.


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. The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets. 


Click  here  to find out how to pronounce the ‘pure’ sounds.


Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.

























The children are then taught  Set 2 Sounds – the long vowels.


Set 2 Sounds

ay: may I play  

ee: what can you see 

igh: fly high  

ow: blow the snow  

oo: poo at the zoo  

oo: look at the book 

ar: start the car 

or: shut the door  

air: that’s not fair 

 ir: whirl and twirl  

ou: shout it out  

oy: toy for a boy 



When they are very confident with all Set 1 and 2, they are taught  Set 3 Sounds.


Set 3 Sounds

ea: cup of tea
oi: spoil the boy
a-e: make a cake
i-e: nice smile
o-e: phone home
u-e: huge brute
aw: yawn at dawn
are: share and care
ur: purse for a nurse
er: a better letter
ow: brown cow
ai: snail in the rain
oa: goat in a boat
ew: chew the stew
ire: fire fire!
ear: hear with your ear
ure: sure it’s pure?
tion: (celebration)
tious / cious: (scrumptious / delicious)
e: he me we she be 


Nonsense words (Alien words)

As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘nonsense words’. These are made up of the sounds the children are learning e.g. d-u-t (dut), d-oi-n (doin), h-e-sh (hesh).



We use Fred to help us learn phonics. Fred can only talk in 'Fred Talk e.g. single letter sounds like sh-e-ll. When we are learning Set 1 sounds, we are also learning to orally blend. We are teaching Fred to squash the sounds together and blend them into a word.


The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred.


Spelling with your Fred Fingers

Children are taught to use their fingers to help them write words. The children say the word out loud and break it down into its individual sounds. If a word has 3 sounds children hold up 3 fingers, 4 sounds 4 fingers etc. Children pinch each finger as they say the sounds needed in the word then they write the letters that represent each sound. 

When using Fred Fingers each finger represents one sound. When children reach yellow Read Write Inc. storybooks, they will learn to trace the letters onto each finger and say the letter names.


Below you will find a list of Fred games that you may want to try at home. 

Fred Games

Phonics Activities