Towcester Church of England Primary School

We will send the children out, as Noah did the dove (Genesis 8:8-12), having nurtured and prepared them for life. Knowing that they are valued and can fly and can take the values of the school out into the world.

Islington Road, Towcester, Northamptonshire, NN12 6AU

01327 350332



Here at Towcester C of E Primary School we follow the ‘Read Write Inc’ Phonics programme designed by Ruth Miskin. We are dedicated to ensuring that each and every one of our children learns to read with accuracy and confidence. We believe that the Read Write Inc programme allows us to do this, so we can send your children out ‘flying’.

Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible.  We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.

How will my child be taught to read?
We start by teaching phonics to the Foundation Stage children. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. Ask them to show you what these are.
The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’.
The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.

We can already see the difference our daily Read Write Inc. lessons are having and the children and the staff absolutely love them.  There is a real buzz about our phonic lessons and especially when the children see Fred – the frog!

Children will continue to have Read Write Inc. phonic lessons throughout year 1 and into year 2.  The programme is progressive and builds upon previously taught sounds and words that the children learn to read and spell.


What can parents do to help? Is there anything that parents shouldn't do?

We would very much like you to know how to help. Your child will bring different sorts of books home from school. It helps if you know whether this is a book that your child can read on their own or whether this is a book that you should read to them. Please trust your child’s teacher to choose the book(s) that will help your child the most. Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly at this link: 

Sometimes your child might bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.

We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family. You can find out about good stories to read to your child here: 



Phonics Testing in Year 1 and Year 2

Year 1 Phonic Screening Check
This is a Government Assessment for every child on their phonic knowledge that takes place in the summer term when the children are in year 1.  It will confirm whether individual children are able to decode words using their knowledge of sounds.  Year 2 pupils who did not achieve the pass mark last year will be given the test again.

This video gives you more information: 

The test involves the children reading a set of words to their teacher. Some of the words are real words and some are non-words. The reason for this is to assess whether the child can use their sounds to decode. The non-words are accompanied by a picture of an alien to give the children a context that it is not a word they would necessarily recognise. We expose the children to real and non-words on a regular basis to give them practise in applying their skills. 


What can you do to help at home?

1. Use ‘Special Friends’, ‘Fred Talk’, read the word, to read words.
2. Practise reading sounds speedily - ‘review, review, review’.
3. Listen to your child read their Read Write Inc. Storybook every day.


If you would like further information or guidance of how you can help your child at home, please follow the links below:

 Department of Education


Sample test


Phonics Games:  This website offers free games for the children to practise their understanding of phonics. 'Buried Treasure' and 'Picnic on Pluto' are particularly useful at helping the children practise reading words and non-words.