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What is Read Write Inc Phonics? 

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a comprehensive literacy programme that teaches children reading, spelling, and writing. In Reception and KS1. At Roman Way, we teach RWI phonics every day to the children in Year 1 and 2 for 40 minutes. In Reception, children participate in shorter lessons that grow longer throughout the year. Children are in groups appropriate to their phonic level and children are re-assessed and re-grouped each term to maximise progress. Each lesson includes phonics, reading, comprehension, and writing.



What does the Read Write Inc programme look like? 
Children are introduced to Phonics and single-letter sounds in Nursery during the Summer term in informal lessons. We start formally teaching Phonics to the children in Reception. The children learn the sounds that individual letters make and also how to blend these sounds into words. They also learn how these sounds are written with proper letter formation. In this way, children are also learning to spell. When they are ready, they also begin to learn digraphs and trigraphs, which are two or three letters that together make one sound, such as ch, qu, th, ee, ay, and igh. 

Children continue learning phonic sounds in Years 1 and 2. By the end of Year 1, children should know all the Set 1 and 2 sounds, as well as almost all the Set 3 sounds. They should also be able to read a story at 60 words per minute. The children will practise reading these sounds in engaging books that match their levels, and they will practise various types of writing linked to these stories. Phonics will continue in Year 2 if the children are not secure in all 40 sounds. 

Once children move up through the school, if they do not know all their Set 1, 2 and 3 sounds they will participate in Fast Track Tutoring. This is a quick ten-minute Phonics booster that helps children learn sounds, read them in words and increase their fluency in reading. This can take place in Years 1-6.


What other reading lessons will children have?

We also read to the children daily during story time, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. These story times are engaging and continue to develop a love of reading for the children. Children also learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing. Once a week, our school librarian visits classroom for a Book Club lesson where children have the opportunity to explore book. 

In Years R, 1 and 2, children have additional English lessons throughout the day to ensure they develop all of their English skills, including writing composition and handwriting. 


What will children read at home?

In Years 1 and 2, and later on in Reception, children bring home reading books that are matched to their phonic knowledge and are called RWI Book Bag Books. These are similar to the books the children read in their Phonics sessions. These should be read multiple times as children improve their decoding, fluency, and comprehension every time they read the same story.

Teachers can also share video links from the RWI School Portal for children to view at home. This can be excellent additional practice for children as it will solidify what they have learnt in school.

We also have access to the Oxford Owl eBook Library, through which children can read the same books from their lessons and many other books available on the website. This is primarily used in Years 1-2. You can access the Oxford Owl eBook Library at this link: Please contact your child’s teacher if you need help logging in to your child’s account.

We also encourage parents and carers to read to and with children as much as possible! Story time can be a special bonding experience and will help to develop a love of reading, expanded vocabulary, and an understanding of story structure. It is also beneficial to read the same loved stories lots of times as children learn more every time they hear and read a story.


What are some key skills and phrases families should understand? ​​​​​​​

Special Friends: Two or more letters that make one sound, rather than individual sounds. These begin at the end of Set 1 and make up all sounds in Sets 2 and 3. Examples include: th, qu, ee, igh, ou, oi, a-e, air, ure. Children are taught to spot the special friends in a word before they work through each sound.

Fred Talk: The process of saying each sound in a word before blending the sounds together. After children spot any special friends (or say that there are none for simpler words), they say each sound either aloud or in their heads (Fred in your head). The children then blend the sounds together into the full word.

Red Words: The children also practise reading (and spelling) what are called ‘red words,’ such as ‘once,’ ‘call,’ ‘said’ and ‘where.’ These words do not follow phonics rules and must be remembered as they cannot be sounded out phonetically.

Decoding: The process of breaking a word down into its sounds, then blending the sounds together to say the whole word. Children first look for and say any special friends, then they Fred Talk each sound, and then they read the word.

Fluency: The skill of reading smoothly and quickly, which children develop after they learn phonics sounds and can decode words quickly.

Comprehension: The skill of understanding a story after reading it one or more times. Children can comprehend a story when they can talk about it and answer questions about what happened, what characters might be feeling, and what might happen next.


Where can I learn more?

You can learn more about RWI Phonics and how to support your child’s reading at home at this link:

Tricky Words Song

Phonics: How to pronounce pure sounds