Reading and Phonics
Read Write Inc –
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a synthetic phonics programme, developed by Ruth Miskin, that supports all children to learn to read from an early age.
All children participate in daily Phonics sessions from Reception until they have completed the programme (usually by the end of Year 2). Phonics sessions are also for children in Year 3 and 4 who have not yet reached the expectations required by the Read Write Inc programme.
Phonics sessions are delivered daily from 9am until 9:45am. During these sessions, children are taught sounds, practise reading green words, learn to spell words and will read a decodable book suitable for their reading ability.
Additional one to one tutoring is given to some children who require extra practice when learning to read.
‘Fred Talk’ –
Fred the frog helps children when learning to read. Fred can only speak in sounds (c-a-t, d-o-g). Hearing Fred speak helps children to hear that words are made up of sounds. The children help Fred to blend these sounds together into a word.
This step of oral blending is a key skill which is needed when learning to read.
Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3 sounds –
Children will learn Set 1 sounds first and then move on to Set 2 and Set 3 sounds when relevant. Children are initially taught the sound a letter makes, and not letter names, in order to read words accurately.
Children will be taught ‘Special Friend’ and ‘Chatty Friend’ sounds.
‘Special Friends’ are a combination of two or three letters that represent one sound, eg sh, ay, ea.
‘Chatty Friends’ are two letters that make a sound but are separated by another letter eg, a-e in cake.
Set 1 sounds: 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 sh th ch qu ng nk
Set 2 sounds: ay ee igh ow oo oo ar or air ir ou oy
Set 3 sounds: ea oi a-e i-e o-e u-e aw are ur er ow ai oa ew ire ear ure
Additional sounds: ue ie au e-e kn ck wh ph
Please follow this link to hear how to say the sounds: https://youtu.be/TkXcabDUg7Q
Green words –
Green words are decodable words that contain previously learnt sounds to ensure that children are able to read them accurately. Children are taught to identify the ‘Special Friend’ first, then ‘Fred Talk’ the word before blending the sounds together into a whole word.
Over time, children are taught to ‘Fred in your Head’. This teaches the children to say the sounds in their head before saying the word out loud. Once children have learnt this skill, their reading speed will begin to increase as they begin to read and recognise more words.
Spelling using ‘Fred Fingers’ –
Read Write Inc uses ‘Fred Fingers’ to help children to sound out words to spell easily. Children are encouraged to use their non writing hand to sound out the word they wish to spell. They then use the sounds that they have learnt to spell the word. This means that, whilst your child is learning to spell words, some words may be phonetically plausible attempts.
Please follow this link to see how ‘Fred Fingers’ are taught: https://youtu.be/absSgYIPCns
Red words –
Red words are ‘tricky’ words that are not decodable as they do not follow regular language patterns. This means that children are unable to ‘Fred Talk’ these words and are therefore taught to identify the ‘tricky’ part in the word to help to read and spell them.
Progression of groups –
Children are assessed half termly to determine which coloured RWI group is the most suitable for their reading abilities. The difficulty and words per book increase as the coloured groups move on.
Coloured groups are ordered: Red, Green, Purple, Pink, Orange, Yellow, Blue, Grey.
Please see below to see the expected progress for children accessing RWI.
Reception – End of Autumn term – Group C
Reception – End of Spring term – Red group
Reception – End of Summer term – Green/Purple group
Year One – End of Autumn term – Pink group
Year One – End of Spring term – Yellow group
Year One – End of Summer term – Blue group
Year Two – End of Autumn term – Grey group
Year Two – End of Spring term – Completed the RWI Phonics programme
Supporting your child’s reading at home –
Listening to your child read daily is vital in supporting their reading journey. Encouraging children to practise the skills they have learnt in school will help them whilst reading their home books.
Children will bring home one or two closely matched reading books a week. This is to ensure that children read the same story again and again. Re-reading the same book helps children to become confident readers as they are able to read accurately, fluently and are able to comprehend what they have read.
It is also important to continue to read to your child, even when they are able to read themselves. Please follow this link for 10 things to think about when you read to your child: https://youtu.be/iHMl70ZmxIQ
Phonics Screening Check (include nonsense words) –
All children in Year One are expected to take part in a Phonics Screening Check. The check contains 40 words that are divided into two sections. Each section contains a mixture of real words and nonsense words. The aim of the check is to ensure that all children can accurately decode words to read.
Children who do not reach the expected standard in Year One are expected to take the check again in Year Two to ensure that they enter Key Stage Two at the expected level.
Please follow this link for more information about the Phonics Screening Check: https://youtu.be/LbKGLJPp6ww
To encourage a love of reading and provide further engagement and motivation for reading, Rosemellin School uses the Accelerated Reader programme for all children who have completed RWI phonics. Following an assessment carried out each term, our children spend time each day reading their own choice of books from a selection chosen to ensure the greatest speed of development.
After reading each book, children complete an online quiz in school which gives them feedback on their reading. Accelerated Reader promotes and rewards reading for pleasure, gives teachers the information they need to monitor children’s reading practice and to make informed decisions to guide their future learning. Children collect points based on the books they read and are awarded certificates as they progress through the AR levels.
More details about how Accelerated Reader works can be found here:
A parent’s guide to Accelerated Reading
Useful links –
Parents – Ruth Miskin Literacy
Parent guide to Read Write Inc. Phonics | Oxford Owl
200 Reads is the reading challenge for Key Stage 1. The children have been challenged to read 200 times at home before the end of the year. They will still get moves up for reading 3 or more times a week but every time they read at home they will earn a tick toward their 200. As an extra incentive they earn a prize for every 20 reads which they could achieve every month if they read 5 times a week. We hope that this will encourage the children to read at home, practice their reading skills and develop a love of reading. Thank you for your support with this.