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Read Write Inc. Phonics

What is Read Write Inc. phonics?

Read Write Inc. phonics is a programme of teaching children how to read and write. There are 44 sounds in the English language, which we put together to form words. Some are represented by one letter, like 'b', and some by two (digraphs), like ‘ar’ in car or three (trigraphs), like ‘air’ in chair. Digraphs and trigraphs we call ‘Special Friends’.

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Read Write Inc phonics is a systematic synthetic phonic teaching programme that supports children to read and write. Children learn how to read (decode), develop handwriting skills and spelling.


How does RWI work?

Children are taught the sounds in 3 Sets. This ensures that they will be able to decode and blend the sounds in words with confidence.

Set 1 sounds order: m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v y w z x ch sh th qu ng nk

Set 2 sounds order: ay  ee  igh  ow  oo  oo  ar  or  air  ir  ou  oy

Set 3 sounds order: ea oi  a-e  i-e  o-e  u-e  aw  are  ur er ow ai oa ew ire ear ure


It is really important that the children say each sound clearly. This video shows how each sound should be said  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCI2mu7URBc


The children will learn a sound a day. The order of teaching these sounds has been specially developed so that children can start reading complete words as soon as possible. Letter names are introduced later in the programme, initially we focus on the sounds that are used so that the children can sound out words. When children say the sounds in words, and then blend to read the word, we call this ‘Fred Talk’.

As children become more confident using ‘Fred talk’ to read words, they are encouraged to use ‘Fred in their head.' This is where the children read words silently, in their head, in order to just say the word. This is an important part of building fluency in reading. 

Alongside the teaching of phonics, children are also taught ‘red words’. These are words that cannot be sounded out using phonic sounds and therefore need to be learnt by sight. We say 'you can't Fred a red' to help the children to remember these are words that they cannot sound out.

The children are regularly assessed throughout the programme  and 1:1 support is given to children who are in danger of falling behind with their reading. Children are grouped according to their reading level and taught to their next steps. 


Useful phonics websites



Here are a few websites that you might like to explore with your child:


Handwriting Sheets

Practice sheets set 1 - m, a, s, d, t