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Read, Write Inc

At Tilery Primary School, we aim to teach children to decode texts effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read.  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 Foundation Stage, Key Stage One and Key Stage 2 (where appropriate) 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 Chapman 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.

Order of Teaching Sounds

In RWI phonics the individual sounds are called ‘speed sounds’ – because we want your child to read them effortlessly. Each sound has a simple picture prompt linked to the ‘speed sound’ and a short phrase to say e.g. may I play.

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with short phrases to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.

These are the Set 1 sounds written with two letters (your child will call these ‘special friends’):

 sh  th  ch  qu  ng  nk  ck

The children are then taught  Set 2 Sounds

Set 2 Sounds

ay: may I play

ee: what can you see

igh: fly high

ow: blow the snow

oo: poo at the zoo

oo: look at the book

ar: start the car

or: shut the door

air: that’s not fair

 ir: whirl and twirl

ou: shout it out

oy: toy to enjoy

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

Set 3 Sounds

ea: cup of tea
oi: spoil the boy
a-e: make a cake
i-e: nice smile
o-e: phone home
u-e: huge brute
aw: yawn at dawn
are: share and care
ur: nurse with a purse
er: a better letter
ow: brown cow
ai: snail in the rain
oa: goat in a boat
ew: chew the stew
ire: fire fire!
ear: hear with your ear
ure: sure it’s pure?
tion: (celebration)
tious / cious: (scrumptious / delicious)
e: he me we she be

Reading Books

Children learn sounds in school which help them to read and write. They then practise these skills through reading their class RWI story book and their ‘Book Bag Books’ at home which are specifically pitched to both consolidate learning and provide challenge in an engaging and fun way!     

Home Reading in Each Key Stage

Nursery children are able to take home a book to share with an adult. These are taken from the class selection.

Reception, KS1 and KS2 (where needed) follow these guidelines for home reading:

  • Children who are at the initial stage of learning set 1 sounds, but are not yet blending, take home the set 1 sounds cards they are learning and a book to share with an adult
  • Children who are able to blend but have not yet acquired a broad range of graphemes take home the RWI sounds blending book, green word cards with the words they have been working on in their RWI lesson and a book to share with an adult
  • Children working in the Ditty/Red Ditty groups take home the RWI ditty sheet or Red Ditty book, the matching book bag book and a book to share with an adult.
  • Children working within the rest of the colour groups for RWI take home the RWI class book, the matching book bag book and a book to share with an adult.

This is what our reading at home books look like:

Class story book


Book Bag Book

Book to Share

Fred Talk

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’.  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.



The children learn to read words by sound-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop.  They learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set.  We always 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 Fred Fingers

Children are taught to use their fingers to help them write words. When using Fred Fingers each finger represents one sound. 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.

Please click on the videos below to for further information on Read Write Inc