St Bartholomew's CE Primary

Considerate, Co-operative, Confident

Early Reading and Phonics Page   (RWInc)

Our School Vision: Our goal is to produce members of society who are Considerate to everyone they meet, who have a Co-operative approach to life and who are Confident in each other and in themselves to strive for the very best that they can be.

We aim to achieve this by using Christian values as our guide and helping them to grow within a caring and inclusive community

How Early Reading fits into the vision: 

At St. Bartholomew’s Primary School, we believe that fostering the love of reading is the key to all learning and, as such, children are exposed to books on a daily basis.  We want all pupils at St. Bartholomew’s school to begin their journey to read with confidence.  We want them to develop a love of reading and apply their skills competently to writing.


Read Write Inc. Scheme: 

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics programme which helps all children learn to read fluently and at speed so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling.  It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write. The children are assessed by the RWI lead teacher and grouped according to their ability. Small group phonics lessons are taught daily by trained staff and there are consistent expectations across the range of abilities. At the end of each half term the children are assessed to check on their progress and regrouped.


We use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 to give your child the best possible start with their Literacy.  Mrs Connor is our Read Write Inc lead teacher, so if you have questions about RWI, contact school who can refer you to her. Please take the time to read this information below as it will help you to support your child with their reading.

Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions


Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about

Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning

Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability

Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning

Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally


In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. Those who are ready, will begin to read simple words within books and write some of these.


Year 1 and above

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for 40 minutes.

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets. 

 Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending.

 Please do not use letter names at this early stage. Watch the video below to find out how to pronounce the ‘pure’ sounds. 

How to say 'pure' sounds


 The children are then taught  Set 2 Sounds – the long vowels.

Set 2 Sounds

ay: may I play  ee: what can you see igh: fly high  ow: blow the snow  oo: poo at the zoo  oo: look at the book 

ar: start the car or: shut the door  air: that’s not fair ir: whirl and twirl  ou: shout it out  oy: toy to enjoy 


When they are very confident with all Set 1 and 2, they are taught Set 3 Sounds.

Set 3 Sounds

ea: cup of tea  oi: spoil the boy  a-e: make a cake  i-e: nice smile  o-e: phone home  u-e: huge brute  aw: yawn at dawn
are: share and care  ur: purse for a nurse  er: a better letter  ow: brown cow  ai: snail in the rain  oa: goat in a boat
ew: chew the stew  ire: fire fire!  ear: hear with your ear  ure: sure it’s pure?  tion: (celebration)                                 
tious /cious: (scrumptious / delicious)   e: he me we she be 


Fred Talk

We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily. Fred is our Read, Write Inc. friend. He can only speak in sounds, so we help him learn to say words instead of sounds. For example, Fred says 'm-a-t' instead of mat. We also teach him not to add 'uh' to our sounds to keep them pure. For example, we say 'c' and not 'cuh'.

Help your child learn to read words by sound-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. 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.

Spelling with your Fred Fingers 

Children are taught to use their fingers to help them write words. The children say the word out loud and break it down into its individual sounds. If a word has 3 sounds children hold up 3 fingers, 4 sounds 4 fingers etc. Children pinch each finger as they say the sounds needed in the word then they write the letters that represent each sound. 


Children will: 

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts 
  • learn to read words using sound blending 
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out 
  • after meaningful discussion led by an adult, children show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions 


Children will: 

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds 
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes 


Children are assessed so they work alongside children at the same level. This allows them to fully participate in all lessons.  
They work in pairs so that they: 

  • answer every question 
  • practise every activity with their partner 
  • take turns in talking to each other  


Nonsense words (Alien words) 

By reading nonsense words children develop their ability to decode individual sounds and then blend them together to read. They are an indicator of early reading skills and work as a quick, reliable, and valid way of assessing children. However, reading nonsense words is only a small part of the Read, Write Inc. phonics teaching.


RWInc. Policy