At Dowlais Primary we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their literacy. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

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 qu ickly 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.


If you have any queries or would like to discuss our phonics programme further, please do not hesitate to contact.


Mrs Suthers

Mrs Suthers' phonics lessons on Youtube are a brilliant way to learn and practise sounds at home.

Oxford Reading Owl

Oxford Owl provides free eBooks and Read Write Inc eBooks to help children learn and practise reading at home.

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The children practice their reading with books that match the phonics they know. These first steps into reading does wonders for their confidence.

These first sounds should all be stretched slightly. Try to avoid saying -uh after each one.:

e.g. mm/ not muh, ss/ not suh

m – mmmmmmountain (keep lips pressed together hard)

s – sssssnake (keep teeth together and hiss – unvoiced)

n – nnnnnnet (keep tongue behind teeth)

f – ffffflower (keep teeth on bottom lip and force air out sharply – unvoiced)

l – llllleg (keep pointed curled tongue behind teeth).

r – rrrrrrobot (say rrr as if you are growling)

v – vvvvvvulture (keep teeth on bottom lip and force air out gently)

z – zzzzzzig zzzzzag (keep teeth together and make a buzzing sound)

th – thhhhank you ( stick out tongue and breathe out sharply)

sh – shhhh (make a shhh noise as though you are telling somebody to be quiet!)

ng – thinnnnngg on a strinnnngg (curl your tongue at the back of your throat)

nk – I think I stink (make a piggy oink noise without the oi! nk nk nk)

These next sounds cannot be stretched. Make the sound as short as possible avoiding uh at the end of the sound:




t – (tick tongue behind the teeth – unvoiced)

p - (make distinctive p with lips – unvoiced)

k – (make sharp click at back of throat)

c - as above

h – (say h as you breathe sharply out – unvoiced)

ch - (make a short sneezing sound)

x – (say a sharp c and add s – unvoiced)

You will find it harder to avoid saying uh at the end of these sounds.

d – (tap tongue behind the teeth).

g – (make soft sound in throat).

b –(make a short, strong b with lips).

j – (push lips forward).

y – (keep edges of tongue against teeth).

w – (keep lips tightly pursed).

The long vowel sounds are all stretchy sounds





ay: ay may I play

ee: ee what do you see?

igh: fly high

ow: blow the snow

oo: poo at the zoo

oo: look at a 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