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Firs Primary School

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Phonics - Read Write Inc.

At Firs Primary School, we understand that reading is the gateway to learning. A child who reads frequently will become an excellent reader. A skilled reader will be able to read more difficult material. A child who is able to read more difficult material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more curious they become. This is why we have chosen to deliver our early reading and writing through Read Write Inc. 





Read Write Inc. developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK's primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. Read Write Inc. meets the higher expectations of the new curriculum and uses effective assessment to accelerate every child's progress.

Why did we choose Read Write Inc?

The Government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.


At Firs Primary School, we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their English. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, which aids children in their reading and writing.


The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their phonics knowledge. Children are groups homogeneously and access the group at their stage of learning, not age. They will work with a RWI trained Teacher or Teaching Assistant.

Our Reading Team

Mrs Pentith leads phonics and reading at Firs Primary School. If you have questions about phonics and early reading, please contact school who can put you in touch with one of the Reading Team. 

Reading - How will my child learn to read?

When using RWI to read the children will:

  • Learn sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using pictorial prompts.
  • Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred Talk).
  • Read stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out.
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It'.

Writing - How will my child learn to write?

When using RWI to write the children will:

  • Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the sounds, using simple rhymes to aid letter formation (see below).
  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers).
  • Learn to write sentences and create writing for a purpose linked to the books they have read in phonics lessons.

Fred Talk - Blending sounds together to make words

Children learn to read words by sounding out the letters in a word and blending them back together. This is called Fred Talk eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are taught in sets (see the picture above). 


Help your child to say the pure sounds, trying not to add any additional sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh' etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word.


Fred Frog is the RWI mascot that helps children to blend sounds into words.



Fred Fingers - Learning to spell

Children are taught to use their fingers to help them write words. The children say the word out loud and break it down into the 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 say the letter names.



Reading Books - What will my child bring home?

Children who are learning letter sounds and are not blending fluently will bring home letter formation sheets and a Reading for Pleasure book for you to read with them.


Once children can blend fluently they will bring home Read Write Inc books.


Your child will have access to an online resources called Oxford Owl. This is where they can access the book they have read in school that week. They will have read this book at least three times before they see it at home. They should be able to read this book with fluency and expression, having a good comprehension of what the book is about. They will also bring home a ‘book bag’ book linked to the sounds that they have been taught. Please read this book at least three times in the week.


Before your child begins to read the book, please encourage your child to read though the speed sounds page, then the green and red words page and then check your child understands the meaning of words on the vocabulary check page. At the back of the book are find it/prove it questions for you to do with your child.



More Information for Parents and Carers

You can find a wealth of information at the Read Write Inc Parent Information website such as pronunciation videos, how to support your child with reading, what is the Phonics Screening Check etc.


Your child's class teacher will also send home specific videos to support and your child and these can be watched again and again.


Finally, don't worry if your child is struggling at first with their sounds and words, they will get there in their own time. The most important thing you can do to support your child is read stories and talk about what they have read. This will help develop a wider vocabulary which makes a vast difference to their quality of writing but it will also encourage them to enjoy a good story.