Potten EndChurch of England Primary School

Rooted in faith, we nurture, grow and flourish

Parable of the Mustard Seed Mark 4:30-32

Read Write Inc (RWI Phonics)

Phonics at Potten End CE Primary School 


We use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their Literacy development.  


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, we 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 my child be taught to read?

We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. 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
  • 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:

  • 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

Read Write Inc Progression of skills

Children in Reception are introduced to initial sounds. Children then begin to learn how to 'read' the sound in words and how those sounds be can be written down. As children progress, they 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 45 minutes. Once children become fluent speedy readers they will move on to the RWI Spelling programme.


Children will be taught how to read as follows:

Before you start to teach your child, practice saying the sounds below. 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. 


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.

RWI Set 1, 2 and 3

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.

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.


Set 2 Speed Sounds



  Words to practice reading and spelling


ay: may I play

  play, day, may, way, say, spray


ee: what can you see

  see, three, been, green, seen, sleep


igh: fly high

  high, night, light, fright, bright, might


ow: blow the snow

  blow, snow, low, show, know, slow


oo: poo at the zoo

  too, zoo, food, pool, moon, spoon


oo: look at a book

  took, look, book, shook, cook, foot


ar: start the car

  car, start, part, star, hard, sharp


or: shut the door

  sort, short, horse, sport, fork, snort


air: that’s not fair

  fair, stair, hair, air, chair, lair


ir: whirl and twirl

  girl, bird, third, whirl, twirl, dirt


ou: shout it out

  out, shout, loud, mouth, round, found


oy: toy for a boy

  toy, boy, enjoy



Set 3 Speed Sounds




  Words to practice reading and spelling


Cup of tea

  clean, dream, seat, scream, real


Spoil the boy

  join, voice, coin


Make a cake

  make, cake, name, same, late, date


Nice smile

  smile, white, nice, like, time, hide


Phone home

  home, hope, spoke, note, broke, phone


Huge brute

  tune, rude, huge, brute, use, June


Yawn at dawn

  saw, las, dawn, crawl, paw, yawn


Care and share

  share, dare, scare, square, bare


Nurse with a purse

  burn, turn, spurt, nurse, purse, hurt


A better letter

  never, better, weather, after, proper, corner


Brown cow

  how, down, brown, cow, town, now


Snail in the rain

  snail, paid, tail, train, paint, rain


Goat in a boat

  goat, boat, road, throat, toast, coat


Chew the stew

  chew, new, blew, flew, drew, grew


Fire! Fire!

  Fire, hire, wire, bon/fire, in/spire, con/spire


Hear with your ear

  hear, dear, fear, near, year, ear


Sure it’s pure

  pure, sure, cure, pic/ture, mix/ture, ad/ven/ture


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. 


How to say the sounds


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. 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 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 have heard 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! Following on from this, they will bring a comprehension based book which will begin to enrich their reading, which will require decoding skills. Only then, children will bring home enriched reading books which will enhance their understanding via inspirational language promoting depth to their understanding.


Parent video: Sound blending


Parent video: Reading the digraphs with your child


Parent video: Reading the bouncy sounds with your child


Read Write Inc guide for parents 

The following links provides lots of free Read Write Inc. Phonics resources to help your child, including eBooks, practice sheets and parent films.