Read, Write, Inc. Phonics programme: Led by Mrs Thomas

 At our school and nursery 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 can open the doors to so many different worlds! 

More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners. 

We can achieve this together through: 

  • Read Write Inc: a program to help your child 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 books at school and at home 

At Newdale we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their Literacy development.  Mrs. Thomas is our Read Write Inc lead teacher, so if you have questions about RWI, contact school who can refer you to her.  

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. However, at Newdale we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7, as we use a ‘stage not age’ approach. RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at 

How will RWI be taught? 

Read Write Inc is taught every day in school to ensure every child makes rapid progress. All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead teacher to accurately group children so they can work with peers on the same stage.   

Nursery & Reception 

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

In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. 


The children use the following strategies: 

  • 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-fiction 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 use the following strategies: 

  • 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 work in pairs so that they can do the following: 

  • 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 

Children follow the same format as Early Years but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last up to one hour (30 minutes in Reception). Once children become fluent and speedy readers, they will move on to the RWI Spelling programme which is followed through the rest of the school. 

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: 

Below are the sounds we use to speak in English. Children initially begin using pictures for each sound which will help them to first recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.  

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 insect’s body, dot for the head. 
n  Down Nobby and over the net. 
p  Down the plait, up and over the pirate’s face. 
g  Round the girl’s face, down her hair and give her a curl. 
o  All around the orange. 
c  Curl around the caterpillar. 
k  Down the kangaroo’s 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. 

At this stage we do not use the letter names 

Use the link below to support your pronunciation  sounds correctly. 

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  Set 3 Speed Sound cards 
ay  ay: may I play  a-e: make a cake  ai: snail in the rain 
ee  ee: what can you see  ea: cup of tea  e: he me we she be 
igh  igh: fly high  i-e: nice smile 
ow  ow: blow the snow  o-e: phone home  ao: goat in a boat 
oo  oo: poo at the zoo  u-e: huge brute  ew: chew the stew 
oo  oo: look at a book     
ar  ar: start the car     
or  or: shut the door  aw: yawn at dawn   
air  air: that’s not fair  are: share and care   
ir  ir: whirl and twirl  ur: nurse for a purse  er: a better letter 
ou  ou: shout it out  ow: brown cow   
oy  oy: toy for a boy  oi: spoil the boy   
ire    ire: fire fire!   
ear    ear: hear with your ear   
ure    ure: sure it’s pure?   


Nonsense words (Alien words): What ‘a load’ of nonsense!        

As well as learning to read and blend real words, children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills when reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.  The words provide endless opportunities for children to apply and practice their thinking in a range of different contexts.  

Step 3: 

Within all the  RWI sessions/books 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. Greenwords 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. You may hear 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. 

To help at home: 

Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers, relating to their reading stage. You will find they will bring home a phonics-based book, this will aid application, speed and fluency: developing speedy reading!  They will also bring a ‘book bag’ book which will begin to enrich their reading, and will require decoding skills as it will be new to them – though the sounds won’t be. In addition, your child can choose a ‘share a story’ book which you can read with / to your child. This book may have sounds that they have not learnt yet, so we do not expect them to read these. Once they are fluent and confident readers, children will bring home a wider range and choice of books.  

Useful websites for Parents 

Please find a link below to the Ruth Miskin website where you will find useful videos and information to support your child’s learning of phonics.