Read Write Inc. Phonics

At Darnhall Primary School we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their reading and writing. We have put together a guide to how the RWI programme works together with some useful links.

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

How will RWI be taught?

All children are assessed regularly by their teacher so they are working at the right level. 

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 daily format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level.

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:

Sound   Rhyme
m Down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain. 
a Round the apple, down the leaf. 
s Slide around the snake 
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. 
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
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
e Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg
l Down the long leg
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.
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.
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

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.

Set 2  Set 3   
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 - thats not fair  are - care and share  
ir - whirl and twirl  ur - nurse with a purse er - better letter 
ou - shout it out  ow - brown cow   
oy - toy for a boy  oi - spoil the boy   
  ire - fire fire!  
  ear - hear with you 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. They will bring these home once they have read and discussed the book in class. 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.
Once your child has been introduced and taught these words in school we will send them home for you to continue practising with your child.
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. 

Useful Websites:

Files to Download

Sandyhill Road,
CW7 1JL,
and Darnhall School Lane CW7 1JR
Mrs Sarah Tomlinson, Headteacher
Mr Davie Kindon, SEN Contact