Read Write Inc. (RWI)

Read Write Inc. (RWI) at Grasmere Primary School

At Grasmere Primary School we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading.

Children who read or are read to regularly have the opportunity to 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 to 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 Grasmere Primary School we use Read Write Inc. Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their Literacy development. Emmy and Siobhan are our Read Write Inc. lead teachers, so if you have questions about RWI, contact the school they can then refer you to them.

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.

At Grasmere 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?

All children are assessed every half term by one of the lead RWI teachers. Assessments consider reading, spelling and comprehension. From these assessments children are grouped into challenge groups where they work with peers at the same challenge level. We approach groupings as challenge levels so that children are constantly being encouraged to make progress.


When appropriate, children are introduced to the initial sounds in daily phonics lessons.

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 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

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 40 minutes.

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, 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.

A video to support the saying of these sounds can be found here.

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 frog 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.

mDown Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.
aRound the apple, down the leaf.
sSlide around the snake
dRound the dinosaur’s back, up his neck and down to his feet.
tDown the tower, across the tower,
lDown the insects body, dot for the head.
nDown Nobby and over the net.
pDown the plait, up and over the pirates face.
gRound the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl
oAll around the orange
cCurl around the caterpillar
kDown the kangaroos body, tail and leg
uDown and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle
bDown the laces, over the toe and touch the heel
fDown the stem and draw the leaves
eSlice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg
lDown the long leg
hDown the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back
shSlither down the snake, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back
rDown the robot’s back, then up and curl
jDown his body, curl and dot
vDown a wing, up a wing
yDown a horn, up a horn and under the yak’s head.
wDown, up, down, up the worm.
thDown the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back
zZig-zag-zig, down the zip.
chCurl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back
quRound the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl
xCross down the arm and leg and cross the other way
ngA thing on a string
nkI think I stink

At this stage we do not use the letter names.

Step 2:

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds – the long vowels.

Long vowel soundSet 2 Speed Sounds Cards Teach these firstSet 3 Speed Sounds Cards
ayay: may I playa-e: make a cakeai: snail in the rain
eeee: what can you seeea: cup of teae: he me we she be
ighigh: fly highi-e: nice smile 
owow: blow the snowo-e: phone homeoa: goat in a boat
oooo: poo at the zoou-e: huge bruteew: chew the stew
ooar: start the car  
aror: shut the door  
orair: that’s not fairaw: yawn at dawn 
airir: whirl and twirlare: share and care 
irou: shout it outur: nurse for a purseer: a better letter
ouoy: toy for a boyow: brown cow 
oy oi: spoil the boy 
ire ire: fire fire! 
ear ear: hear with your ear 
ure ure: sure it’s  pure 

When they are very confident with all of Set 1 and Set 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.

Alien words/Nonsense 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. These 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. 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 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.

To help at home:

Your child will start to bring books home when they are confident readers, relating to their challenge group.

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.

Please practice the Speed Sounds, Green and Red words at the front of the book and the Speedy Reading words at the back of the book.

The books should be familiar to the children and hopefully they will read them confidently to you as they will have read them at least 3 times at school.

Useful websites for Parents

Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child learn about phonics.

Games and fun activity websites are also included. – Information and resources to support phonics learning at

home – fun games for the children to play – fun games for the children to play – fun games for the children to play – Helpful videos with guidance on RWI phonics for teachers and parents/guardians. – videos to help with phonics as well as stories to enjoy!

Parent Sessions

We try to hold regular RWI parent workshops or sessions.

Please refer to the school calendar for upcoming events.

Resources from the sessions will be shared below:

Speed Sound Chart

Complex Speed Sound Chart

Set 1 Speed Sound Flashcards

Parent Handbook – Introduction to RWI and Set 1 Sounds

Parent Handbook – Set 2 and 3 sounds

Parent FAQs

Virtual Classroom

Virtual Classroom videos will be added to your child’s year group page at the start of every half term’s holiday. These are for you to practice at home with your child in a quiet space. Each link is available for six weeks and you can use the videos as many times as you would like within this time frame.