Phonics / Early Reading

Read Write Inc

Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who can read more challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

Read Write Inc - Our Phonics Scheme

Here at North Walkden, we are using 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, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or teaching assistant.

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.

Each Read Write Inc. programme meets the higher expectations of the new curriculum and uses effective assessment to accelerate every child's progress.

Our Read Write Inc 'Reading Leader' is Mrs Richardson (Deputy Headteacher)


During the autumn and spring term, children in Nursery spend their RWI time listening to, learning and joining in with carefully chosen stories, rhymes, poems and songs. They then use this to role-play together, develop vocabulary and build sentences orally and make up stories through planned talk experiences.

In the summer term, the focus of learning at this stage is to learn the initial letter sounds and introduce oral blending through ‘Fred Talk’ throughout the day. This will progress to letter sound blending and segmenting for writing by the end of Nursery. Children are taught the correct letter formation using the RWI rhymes and we help the children to achieve the correct pencil grip. 


Children in Reception are taught daily phonics lessons according to their ability. In the first four weeks of Reception, the initial sounds (Set 1 Speed Sounds) are taught in class groups. After this period, children are individually assessed and grouped according to their stage. Children receive daily phonics teaching in these groups using the structured speed sounds lesson plan.

It is our aim that all children leave Reception on track to achieve the expected standard for the Year 1 phonics screening check.

Key Stage 1

Children in Key Stage 1 continue to be taught phonics in small groups, depending on their stage of ability, not age. They are assessed half termly to ensure nobody is left behind, and those who are at risk of falling behind the programme’s pace and expectations are identified early and additional 1:1 Fast Track Tutoring is put in place to ensure that these children keep up and don’t have to catch up. Children in Year 1 complete the phonics screening check at the end of the year.

All classrooms and teaching spaces across the school display the RWI Speed Sounds chart to support children with their reading and spelling.



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'


Parent Video: How to say the sounds



Help your child learn to read words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set (shown further down the page).

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

As your child learns each sound (phoneme), they are taught how to blend the sounds together to make two and three letters words (CVC words - consonant, vowel, consonant - such as the word 'dog').  Your child will learn how to read real and nonsense words.

Parent Video: How to blend the sounds



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


Reading Books Sent Home

Children in Reception who are learning the first 44 letter sounds and are not blending fluently will bring home a library book for you to read with them and their set 1 flashcards to keep reviewing at home.

Once children can blend fluently and know the first 44 sounds they will bring home a sound blending book or a Red Ditty book and will progress through the RWI scheme.

Parent Video: How to help your child with a Red Ditty Book



Read Write Inc Books

Please encourage your child to read each word carefully, use the videos above to help your child sound out the words.

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.


Parent Video: Reading the digraphs with your child - these are two letters that make one sound

Files to Download

North Walkden Primary School

Worsley, Manchester, Lancs, M28 3QD

General Enquiries - Mrs L Nolan - 0161 921 2921

SENDCo - Mrs Emma Cosgrave - 0161 9212921

0161 921 2921[email protected]