Read Write Inc – Our Phonics Scheme

Read Write Inc., developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching reading skills. It is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and writers.

At Burnham-on-Crouch Primary School, we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their reading. We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.

The Government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert letter or letter groups into sounds that are then blended together into a word. 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 children who are at the same reading level as them. Children will move to a different group (within their bubble) if they are making faster progress and we provide one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up. The children will work with a RWI trained teacher or learning support assistant.

In the summer term, the government asks us to do a phonics check of all the Year 1 children. This check gives us extra information about your child’s progress.

How will my child be taught to read?

We start by teaching phonics to the children in the Reception class. Children begin by learning how to read the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters, using familiar rhymes and phrases.

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 blended (Fred Talk)
  • Practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’
  • Practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions about the text




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 grapheme (Fred Fingers)


When using RWI the children will work in pairs:

  • to answer questions about the text they have read
  • to take turns talking and listening to each other
  • to give positive praise to each other


Help your child learn to read words by blending sounds together (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 Sound sheet (see download link below).

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.

Reading at Home

Your child will bring different types of book homes for them to practise reading. Children who are learning the first 44 letter sound and are not blending fluently will bring home sound books, picture books and CVC word books. Once children can blend fluently and know the first 44 sounds, between Reception – Year 2, they may bring home a RWI book bag book, Oxford Reading Tree book, RWI lesson story book or a Jelly and Bean book.

What can I do to help?

Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly at this link:

Finally, 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 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 whilst supporting them to develop a love for reading. (See our ‘listening to your child read at home’ and ‘reading at home’ documents for more information).