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Read Write Inc

What is Read Write Inc?


Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at Brighton Avenue we begin the programme in Nursery when the children develop a sound awareness including beginning to hear rhyme, sound talk and initial sounds. We will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 and to any children where English is their second language if they still need support in their reading. 

RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at


How will RWI be taught?

All children are assessed each half term by the RWI assessment lead so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons. However, if we feel a child is progressing quickly we will assess them when needed to ensure they can continue to make accelerated progress.



When appropriate, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short five minutes sessions.



When appropriate, in Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.



The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
  • learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • work well with partners
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions



The children:

  • learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • learn to write words by using Fred Talk
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write 



The children

  • They work in pairs so that they:
  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • develop ambitious vocabulary


Year One & Year Two

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for one hour Monday to Thursday.  Once children become fluent speedy readers, they will move on to English lessons.


Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions:  

Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about

Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning

Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability

Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning

Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally.


Children will be taught how to read as follows:

Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below. These are the sounds we use to speak in English.


Fred Talk

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.

At school, we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.


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


The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.


Step 1:

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.


Set 1






m- down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.




a-round the apple, down the leaf.




s-slide around the snake

ss- kiss and miss



d-round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet.




t-down the tower, across the tower,




i-down the insects body, dot for the head.




n-down Nobby and over the net.

kn-knock, knock, who’s there?



p-down the plait, up and over the pirates face.




g-round the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl




o-all around the orange




c-curl around the caterpillar

ck- tick tock clock



k-down the kangaroos body, tail and leg




u-down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle




b-down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel




f-down the stem and draw the leaves

ff-huff and puff

ph-take a photo


e-slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg




l-down the long leg

ll- Jill up the hill



h-down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back




Sh-slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back




r-down the robot's back, then up and curl




j-down his body, curl and dot




v-down a wing, up a wing




y-down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head.




w-down, up, down, up the worm.

wh- whisk, whisk



th-down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back




z-zig-zag-zig, down the zip.

zz- buzz, buzz



Ch-curl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back




qu-round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl




x-cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way




ng-a thing on a string




nk- I think I stink




Please do not use letter names at this early stage.


Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.


Step 2:

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2, they are taught Set 3 Sounds.



Long  vowel sound

Set 2 Speed Sound cards

Teach these first

Set 3 Speed Sound cards


ay: may I play

a-e: make a cake

ai: snail in the rain



ee: what can you see

ea: cup of tea

e: he me we she be

e-e: go Pete and Steve


igh: fly high

i-e: nice smile

ie: terrible tie



ow: blow the snow

o-e: phone home

ao: goat in a boat



oo: poo at the zoo

u-e: huge brute

ew: chew the stew

ue: come to the rescue


oo: look at a book





ar: start the car





or: shut the door

aw: yawn at dawn

au: Paul the astronaut



air: that’s not fair

are: share and care




ir: whirl and twirl

ur: nurse for a purse

er: a better letter



ou: shout it out

ow: brown cow




oy: toy for a boy

oi: spoil the boy





ire: fire fire!





ear: hear with your ear





ure: sure it’s pure?




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 words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term. 


Step 3:

Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:

Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties.  Children will then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences.

Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.




Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

During the RWI session, children will read the book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills. You may have heard your child talking about ‘hold or proofread a sentence’.

Hold a sentence is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.

Proofread is an activity that allows the children to check for mistakes linked to spelling and grammar.  Children complete a longer piece of independent writing, which gives them the opportunity to show off their creativity and to practice their spelling, grammar and punctuation.


Spelling Check



A spelling check will be held each week (This will only start in Reception when children are ready to write and form their letters).  Children will use first use ‘Fred fingers’ to first sound out a word before they write it down.  Children learn how to spell rather than just get tested. Furthermore, this way of teaching spellings allows children to use Fred fingers whenever they get stuck with spelling a word. Children pinch each sound on fingers before writing the word.


To help at home:

Your child will bring a book home which closely matches the sounds they have learnt in RWI that week.  We also like to encourage reading for pleasure therefore your child will be given the opportunity to choose a book from our school library to read at home with you. Please help them to read and give lots of praise!

If you have any other questions about RWI, please see your class teacher or see Miss Brown.


Phonics Screening Check Year One

What is the Year 1 phonics screening check?

The Year 1 phonics screening check is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.

It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode.


Useful websites for Parents

Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child  learn about phonics. Games and fun activity websites are also included. - Games and information for parents - many games to play - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play and information for parents  - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play  - fun games for the children to play

BBC Bitesize - many games to play covering all areas of the curriculum

RWI Expected Progress