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RWInc Phonics and Early Reading

At Norfolk Community Primary School we believe that reading is one of the most important life skills that we can teach our children. We are dedicated to getting every one of our children reading as quickly and as efficiently as is possible. 


We teach with fidelity to the Read, Write Inc. (RWI) programme in a whole school approach to the teaching of phonics. This is a systematic way of teaching synthetic phonics and is a highly successful way of ensuring that children learn to read and write quickly and confidently. 


Read Write Inc. 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 - Our Phonics Scheme


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. Here at Norfolk, we are proud to be a Read, Write Inc School to get children off to a flying start with their English. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.


The five key principles that underpin the teaching in the Read Write Inc. Programmes are:

  • Participation – our teaching strategies ensure that all children participate fully in the whole lesson – there is no chance for children to lose concentration and miss key elements of the teaching
  • Praise – children work together, as partners, taking turns to teach and praise one another and they are motivated by the focused praise they receive from teachers and teaching assistants
  • Pace – a lively pace keeps all the children fully engaged
  • Purpose – teachers know the purpose of every activity and how it leads into the next
  • Passion – it is easy for teachers to be passionate about their teaching because they see their children make such rapid progress.

Phonics is taught through daily delivery, along with identified individual support, ensuring that each child progresses through the program and succeeds in learning to read. 



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



When using RWI to read the children will:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts 
  • Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk)
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It




When using RWI to write the children will: 

  • Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds 
  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers)



When using RWI the children will also work in pairs: 

  • To answer questions
  • To take turns talking and listening to each other
  • To give positive praise to each other


Year One & Year Two

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for one hour. Once children become fluent speedy readers they will move on to a reading comprehension programme that compliments RWI. 


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, bl-a-ck.


The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred.



Helping at Home Read Write Inc Books

Please encourage your child to read though the speed sounds page first, then the green and red words page. Then check your child understands the meaning of words on the vocabulary check page, before they start reading the book. Aim to read this book at least three times before you bring it back to change. Children should be able to read this book with fluency and expression and they should have a good comprehension of what the book is about. At the back of the book are find it/prove it questions for you to do with your child.


Finally, don't worry if your child is struggling at first with their sounds and words, they will get there in their own time. If you have time (we know it is very precious!), we would urge you to try and read stories to your child before they go to bed. 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.


For more information about Read Write Inc, click on the following website

Top tips for reading at home:

Click on the documents below to find out more about how children can be supported in learning at home: