Rosewood Primary School Believe, Enjoy, Succeed Together - B.E.S.T.



Read Write Inc. Phonics

At Rosewood, we teach phonics through the Read Write Inc programme which teaches children the sounds and the individual letters that represent these sounds.
Read Write Inc (RWI) is a consistent, rigorous and dynamic phonics programme to teach children to read using synthetic phonics.

Parent video: Understanding Phonics

An introduction to Read Write Inc

Children throughout Reception and Key stage 1 take part in daily phonics sessions. These sessions focus on key reading skills such as decoding to read words and segmenting the sounds in a given word to spell. During Phonics lessons we also teach children to read and write 'red words’. These are words that you cannot sound out and children are just expected to remember how to read and write.

The video below tells you about the Read Write Inc Programme and how we use it at our school.

In Read Write Inc. Phonics pupils:

  • Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
  • Read common exception words on sight
  • Understand what they read
  • Read aloud with fluency and expression
  • Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar
  • Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words
  • Acquire good handwriting.

We have an emphasis on partner work, encouraging pupils to work effectively explaining and consolidate what they are learning. The teacher can then assess learning and pick up on difficulties, such as pupils’ poor articulation, or problems with blending or alphabetic code knowledge.  We group pupils according to their progress in reading rather than their writing.  This is so that pupils are challenged at their appropriate reading level, as development in writing often follows on from reading success.  This also doesn't hold pupils back in reading due to there less developed motor skills. 


In Reception, we emphasise the alphabetic code. The pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them. Simple mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly and this learning is consolidated daily.  Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings – common exception words or 'red' words.  We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words. 


Alongside this, the teachers read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils; they are soon able to read these texts for themselves.  Embedding the alphabetic code early on means that pupils quickly learn to write simple words and sentences. We encourage them to compose each sentence aloud until they are confident to write independently.

Pupils write at the level of their spelling knowledge. The quality of the vocabulary they use in their writing reflects the language they have heard in the books the teacher has read to them; they have also discussed what the words mean.


Our aim is for pupils to complete the phonics programme as quickly as possible. The sooner they complete it, the sooner they will be able to choose books to read at their own interest and comprehension level.


Outcomes for children Assessing and tracking progress


We assess all pupils following Read Write Inc. Phonics online assessment tools. The outcomes of these assessments then enable us to group the children at their correct level and to track progress regularly. We do this for all pupils, whenever they join us, so we can track all of them effectively, including those eligible for the pupil premium. For those on the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme, we record their starting date and entry point on the tracker to monitor the rate at which they are making progress. We can also easily identify those who joined the programme later.

Expectations of progress

All pupils are tracked and progress is monitored on a half termly basis. We identify those who are at risk of falling behind their peers - whatever their age and provide interventions to close the gap. For example, highly trained staff tutor them for 5-10 minutes every day, using the Read Write Inc. fast track tutoring programme. If a child arrives in Key Stage 2 reading below their chronological age or with English as an additional language they are taught Read Write Inc. Phonics until they too catch up with their peers.


We support pupils who have identified special educational needs in a similar way and for however long it takes until they can read. The activities may be adapted to meet their needs but we use the exact same format of teaching sounds and using interventions linked the the RWI programme.


By the end of Key Stage 1, our aim is for pupils to be able to read aloud age-appropriate texts accurately and with sufficient speed for comprehension. This means that we can focus on developing their comprehension, preparing them well for transition to Key Stage 2. Their good decoding skills mean that they have a sound strategy for decoding unfamiliar words when they come across them at whatever stage or in any subject, even into secondary school.

Home reading

Children are grouped according to their reading ability and the book they bring home to read will match the level they are on in school. Therefore, your child will receive different things as they progress through the programme. Your child may not be taught phonics by their own class teacher or TA. We have a highly trained and dedicated team of staff who are passionate about ensuring children make progress and become speedy readers. 


Your child should know what colour group they are in. Should you need to clarify this, the staff in your child's class will be able to help.  


Set 1 A-C: will take home a picture book to share. The children in this group cannot decode (read) words independently. To support your child, please read the picture book to them a number of times. Talk about the pictures, ask them questions about what you have read to them and challenge them to retell the story.

Children will also bring home small sets of cards, with the various sounds on.  Please practise these with them regularly. This only needs to take a couple of minutes. If there are sounds they are less confident with, make these a priority to practise daily.

Parent video: How to say the sounds

This video shows you how to say each of the phonics sounds.

Ditty: Children at this level will bring home either a piece of paper with the 'ditty' they have been reading in school that week or a sound blending book. The 'ditty' allows the children to practise the sounds and words they have learnt with their teacher. The blending books require the children to 'Fred Talk' (sound out) each letter before blending it into a word.   Please listen to your child read this as much as possible.  The phrase we use in school is: Special friends? Fred talk. Read the word.

All other colour groups: The children in the other groups will bring home a book matching the colour group they are in. This book will be fully decodable for your child, this means they can read it independently. However, please listen closely for any errors and ask the child to read the word again. You can use the phrase the children are used to hearing in class: "Special friends? Fred Talk. Read the word."  The children have the opportunity to read these books in school up to four times, therefore they maybe very fluent by the time they read this at home. This is then the opportunity to read using their 'story teller's voice.'  Encourage your child to read this story to you and remind them to make the story interesting with their voice.

Sound Flash Cards

Red or 'tricky' words


These are words that can not be sounded out. The children need to learn to read and spell all of these words.

Oxford Owl