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Phonics- Read, Write Inc

At Worlingworth, we use Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics to give your child the best possible start with their literacy development. 

Parent video: Understanding Phonics - YouTube

Becoming A Reader

 At Worlingworth Primary School teaching reading is the golden thread that links our curriculum.

We aim for all our children to become fluentconfident 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. More importantly, being a fluent reader will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners.

We achieve this aim together through:

  • Teaching Read Write Inc, a phonics system to help to your child learn to read at school
  • 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 quality books at school and at home
  • Linking opportunities for reading across our curriculum

What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a systematic system of phonics (SSP) which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can then focus on developing their skills in comprehension, understanding vocabulary and spelling.  

The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, we begin to expose our children in Nursery to phonics skills that will help them access the taught programme in Reception. If needed, we also continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7, as we use a stage not age approach. 

Parent video: What is Read Write Inc Phonics - YouTube 

How will my child be taught to read using phonics?

We start by teaching phonics every day to the children in Reception and Year 1. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last approximately 30 minutes . This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters.


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
  • 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 spell words by using ‘Fred Talk’
  • Learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write 


The children 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

Progressing through the stages

In Year 1, children follow the same session format as Early Years but will work on learning complex sounds and read more detailed storybooks appropriate to their reading level. Once a pupil has completed the RWI phonics system and is a reader, they move on as an independent reader and choose any books from our book bands to read – starting with white and lime books.


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.

This video is an example of blending sounds with Fred (click the link).

Speedy Sounds

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.

These are the sounds we use to speak in English. Children initially begin using pictures for each sound, this will help children recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound. 

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




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

At this stage we do not use the letter names.

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)- What 'a load' or nonsense!       

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.  These words provide endless opportunities for children to apply and practice their thinking in a range of different contexts. 

Parent video: How to say the sounds - YouTube

Step 3:

Within all the RWI phonics and storybook sessions, children will be exposed to 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 storybook 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 hear your child talking about ‘hold, edit or build a sentence’.

How Can I Help At Home?

Each week, your child will bring home a phonics book which matches the exact sounds they are learning in school that week. They must practise reading this familiar book to you. This will aid application, speed and fluency and therefore develop more fluent reading!  In addition, they will bring home a Shared Reading book. This is a quality text to be read to your child, talked about and enjoyed together.  The shared reading books enhance your child’s comprehension of inspirational language, promoting depth to their understanding and a love of stories and language.

Parent Video Sound Blending 

Parent video: Reading the digraphs with your child

Parent video: Reading the bouncy sounds with your child

RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and lots more useful information for parents about the system, access to free resources and how to help your child learn to read at home can be found at :  

Parent guide to Read Write Inc. Phonics - Oxford Owl


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