What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc is a phonics programme which was developed by Ruth Miskin.  It helps all children to learn to read fluently and at speed, so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling.

How will RWI be taught?

The children are assessed and grouped according to their ability.

At the end of each half term the children will be assessed again to check they have made progress and will be grouped again. This allows complete participation in lessons.

Please click here for useful ways in which you can help your child with Phonics at home.


Set 1 sounds

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

  1. PACE – no time is wasted during teaching sessions! Children are active and involved in a fun and creative way.
  2. PRAISE – teachers praise the children constantly throughout the teaching sessions.
  3. PURPOSE – each activity has a very clear purpose. The teacher will set this purpose at the beginning of the lesson so that the children know exactly what they will be learning.
  4. PARTICIPATION – all children take part in all parts of the lesson. Full participation is gained through partner work and choral response.
  5. PASSION – as a staff we are passionate about our teaching and the benefits of the Read, Write Inc. programme!

Pre - School

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


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 (see below) 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

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level.

How can I help my child at home?

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.

  • Step 1

    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.




    Down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.


    Round the apple, down the leaf.


    Slide around the snake


    Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet.


    Down the tower, across the tower,


    Down the insects body, dot for the head.


    Down Nobby and over the net.


    Down the plait, up and over the pirates face.


    Round the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl


    All around the orange


    Curl around the caterpillar


    Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg


    Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle


    Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel


    Down the stem and draw the leaves


    Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg


    Down the long leg


    Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


    Slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


    Down the robot's back, then up and curl


    Down his body, curl and dot


    Down a wing, up a wing


    Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head.


    Down, up, down, up the worm.


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


    Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.


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


    Round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl


    Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way


    A thing on a string


    I think I stink

    It is important that at this stage, you do not use the letter names.  

    Parent video: How to say the sounds

    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


    igh: fly high

    i-e: nice smile


    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


    oo: look at a book




    ar: start the car




    or: shut the door

    aw: yawn at dawn



    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. 

    Fred Talk

    What is Fred Talk?

    Teachers will introduce your child to a toy frog called Fred once he or she is ready to start reading words.

    Fred can only say the sounds in a word and needs your child to help him read the word. Fred will say the sounds and children will work out the word.

    For example, Fred will say the sounds c–a–t, and children will say the word cat. This is Fred Talk: sounding out the word.

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

  • Step 3

    Alongside learning the sounds, children will first 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. The children will bring home RWi Book Bag Books which match their phonics level

    You may have heard your child talking about ‘hold, edit or build a sentence’.

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

    Build a sentence is to give children the opportunity to create their own sentence to that shows the meaning of a word and edit a sentence allows the children to critique a sentence using their knowledge of spelling punctuation 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.

     Order of Story books: Children will hopefully follow the order listed below. The expectation is that all children will leave Year One as confident speedy readers, ready to take on the challenges of Year Two. However, some children may need extra support and your teacher will talk to you about this. 

  • 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.

  • Books For each Year group


    Year Group Expectations

    Red Ditty 1-10


    Green 1-10


    Purple 1-10


    Pink 1-10

    Reception/Year One

    Orange 1-12

    Year One

    Yellow 1-10

    Year One

    Blue 1-10

    Year One

    Grey 1-13

    Year One

  • 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.

    http://jollylearning.co.uk/ - Games and information for parents

    http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ - many games to play

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/literacy/phonics/play/ - fun games for the children to play

    http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html  - fun games for the children to play

    http://www.kenttrustweb.org.uk/kentict/kentict_home.cfm  - fun games for the children to play and information for parents

    http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/  - fun games for the children to play

    http://www.starfall.com/  - fun games for the children to play

    http://www.firstschoolyears.com/  - fun games for the children to play

    Sparklebox - lots of resources to print off and help you support your child at home

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