Roundhill Primary School

Roundhill Primary School

Listening, Learning and Achieving Together

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Read Write Inc


At Roundhill Primary School we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading. Children who read regularly or are read to regularly have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! Reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners. We can achieve this together through:


  • Read Write Inc, a programme to help your child read
  • 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


We use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) in Reception and Year 1 to give your child the best possible start with their literacy. We have put together a guide to how the RWI programme works together with some useful links. Mrs Herring is our Read Write Inc lead teacher, so if you have questions about RWI, contact school who can refer you to her. Please take the time to read this invaluable information as it will help you to support your child with their reading.

What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics 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.  It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write. The children are assessed by the RWI lead teacher and grouped according to their ability. Small group phonics lessons are taught daily by trained staff and there are consistent expectations across the range of abilities. At the end of each half term the children are assessed to check on their progress and regrouped.

Children learn sounds in school which help them to read and write. They then practise these skills through reading 'Book Bag Books' at home which are specifically pitched to both consolidate learning and provide challenge in an engaging and fun way! This is what they look like.

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



In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. Those who are ready, will begin to read simple words within books and write some of these.


Year 1 and above

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.


The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets. 


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.


Please do not use letter names at this early stage. Watch the video below to find out how to pronounce the ‘pure’ sounds. 


Parent video: How to say the sounds

Uploaded by Ruth Miskin Training on 2020-01-20.

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


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




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. Fred is our Read, Write Inc. friend. He can only speak in sounds, so we help him learn to say words instead of sounds. For example, Fred says 'm-a-t' instead of mat. We also teach him not to add 'uh' to our sounds to keep them pure. For example, we say 'c' and not 'cuh'.



Children will: 

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts 
  • learn to read words using sound blending 
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out 
  • after meaningful discussion led by an adult, children show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions 


Learning to blend and Ditty Books

As soon as children have been taught a few initial letter sounds they begin to learn to blend the sounds together to read real words in a Word Time session.  Each word time session involves oral blending of known sounds before they are shown the words written down on green cards.  Children practice Fred talking the words until they become able to read them on sight.  Ditty lessons follow on from this where children who are becoming excellent at reading single words are introduced to reading short sentences.  Once children are confident reading the short sentences they are challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write a sentence.


Storybook Lessons

After ditty books, the next stage is storybooks. These books are closely matched to their developing phonic knowledge.  The storybooks consist of green words linked to the sounds that they have been learning, red words and challenge words to extend the children’s vocabulary.  After children have practiced these words individually they are prepared to see them in context in the story. Comprehension activities, partner discussion and writing activities based on the book, follow on from reading.



Children will: 

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds 
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes 
  • learn to build sentences orally using adventurous vocabulary 
  • start with simple sentences and develop towards more complex ones by the end of the programme 



Children are assessed so they work alongside children at the same level. This allows them to fully participate in all lessons.  
They work in pairs so that they: 

  • answer every question 
  • practise every activity with their partner 
  • take turns in talking to each other 



Help your child learn to read words by sound-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set. Help your child to say the pure sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh' etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word.

Nonsense words (Alien words) 

Research has shown that incorporating nonsense words into  teaching reading can be an effective way to establish blending

and segmenting skills. However, it is important to ensure that

children understand that they are reading nonsense words

(and why) so that they are not confused by trying to read

the words for meaning. By reading nonsense words children

develop their ability to decode individual sounds and then

blend them together to read. They are an indicator of early

reading skills and work as a quick, reliable, and valid way of

assessing children. However, reading nonsense words is only

a small part of the Read, Write Inc. phonics teaching.

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.

To help at home

Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers. Please help them to read and give lots of praise! Remember you can share the enjoyment of reading with your child using a variety of picture and story books at home.

Parent video: What is Read Write Inc Phonics

Uploaded by Ruth Miskin Training on 2019-09-12.

Parent video: Why read to your child?

Uploaded by Ruth Miskin Training on 2019-09-12.

Parent video: Reading the stretchy sounds with your child

Uploaded by Ruth Miskin Training on 2019-09-12.

Parent video: How to say the sounds

Uploaded by Ruth Miskin Training on 2019-09-12.

Parent video: Understanding Phonics

Uploaded by Ruth Miskin Training on 2019-09-12.

Parent video: Sound blending

Uploaded by Ruth Miskin Training on 2019-09-12.

Parent video: Reading the digraphs with your child

Uploaded by Ruth Miskin Training on 2019-09-12.

Parent video: Reading the bouncy sounds with your child

Our Reading Progression across the School