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Read Write Inc. Phonics at Callington Primary School

At Callington primary School, we use the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme to teach our children how to read (Early Years to Key Stage One). We begin by teaching the children to say and recognise the letters that represent the most common sounds and show them how to ‘blend’ these sounds together to make words. Reading opens the door to learning and we know that a child who reads a lot will become a confident and fluent reader. A fluent reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more they will want to find out.


When using RWI to read children will:

  • Learn that sounds are represented by written letters;
  • learn 44 sounds and their corresponding letter/ letter groups using simple picture prompts;
  • Learn how to blend sounds;
  • Learn to read words using Fred Talk;
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out;
  • Show that they comprehend stories by answering questions;


When using RWI to write children will:

  • Learn to write the letters/ letter groups which represent 44 sounds;
  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk;
  • Write simple sentences


What does a RWI lesson look like?

Each lesson has the same structure so that children focus on the new learning using consistent approaches. We check children’s progress at least every half term and make sure they are reading texts matched to their developing reading ability.

All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead teacher so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons at every child's challenge point. Accurate assessments also allow staff to identify children who require extra support. These children are given 1:1 tuition in addition to their regular RWI sessions. This includes children who are in Key Stage 2 if they are not yet secure in their fluency skills.



For much of their time in Nursery, children are explosed to a range of activities which strengthen their phonological awareness. This may include listening games, singing core rhymes, retelling stories or tuning into musical sounds. When appropriate, children will be introduced to speed sound cards in short sessions where they also learn to hear Fred Talk and blend words orally.



In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ and ‘write’ all of the sounds in Set 1 and 2. They are also taught how to blend these into words. Fred the frog helps the children to blend the sounds together which is then used to help children read. The teachers will often use the phrase ‘Fred Talk’ to sound out words. The children take part in lessons every day progressing to reading books which match their phonics learning. They also learn how to spell red words (words that cannot be sounded out). 


Year One and Two

Once a child knows all Set 1 and 2 sounds by sight and sound and uses them to blend to read words, we start teaching Set 3 long vowel sounds. Your child will need to learn that most vowel sounds have more than one spelling.


There are 12 Set 2 ‘speed sounds’ that are made up of two or three letters which represent just one sound, e.g. ay as in play, ee as in tree and igh as in high. We called these 'Special Friends'. It is important that your child does not pronounce these as 2 or 3 separate sounds. When your child sees the ‘speed sound’ letters together in a word, they say just one sound for these letters.


Reading Storybooks

In addition to 'Speed Sounds Sessions' children in Reception (if assessed as ready) and Key Stage One also take part ' storybook sessions'. Each storybook is matched to the sounds children can already read, which sets them up for success and helps to build their confidence with reading.  It is through the storybooks we teach children red words, which are irregular words that are not phonetically plausible and cannot be sounded out (Fred talked).  Every storybook is taught in the same way, children practise reading the green words in the story and also the red words before they begin to read the book. 



What does home reading at Callington Primary School look like?

Children take home books to read with parents and family members. These books are carefully chosen to match their phonics reading ability. We encourage parents and families to listen to children read at home as much as possible to encourage and support them in their reading journeys. Children also take home a copy of the RWI storybook they have read in lessons during the week. Children will have read the book several times to help build their fluency, storyteller voice and comprehension skills before taking it home to read and further develop these skills. Additionally, children also take a 'book bag book' home which has not been read in school time which allows them to apply their learnt sounds in a new book.  In doing this, children are able to develop their fluency skills and increase their reading speed.


Library Books are also taken home weekly to share with family. These books encourage passion and enjoyment of reading.

Read Write Inc. Phonics: an overview by Ruth Miskin

Ruth Miskin provides an overview of Read Write Inc. Phonics, a complete teaching programme for 4-7 year-olds who are learning to read and write. Find out more about Read Write Inc. Phonics:

Teaching Sequence

Letter Formation and Phrases

Phrases for each Speed Sound