Skip to content ↓

Read Write Inc

Phonics at Abbeywood First School - Read Write Inc


Phonics Expectations

At Abbeywood First School we aim for all our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading.

Children who read regularly, or are read to, have the opportunity to open the doors to so many different worlds! More importantly, reading will give your child the tools to become independent life-long learners. We can achieve this together through:

  • Read Write Inc, a programme to help to your child read at school
  • Encouraging children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school.
  • Giving children access to a wide range of books at school and at home.

At Abbeywood First School we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their reading and writing.

We have put together a guide to explain how the RWI programme works, together with some useful links.

‘Every child has the right to read because without being able to read children have absolutely no access into their education’ (Ruth Miskin, Creator of RWI).

A child who reads widely will become a good reader.

A good reader will be able to read more challenging material.

A child who reads challenging material is a child who will learn quickly and effectively.

The more a child learns, the more he/she will want to find out.

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It allows children to spell effortlessly so that they can concentrate on composing what they write.

Year 1 and 2

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for 40 minutes. We want children to become confident and fluent readers, so accuracy in reading is vital.

Mrs Hughes is our designated Read Write Inc lead. If you have any questions about RWI, contact the school and ask to speak to her. Please take the time to read through this page, as it will provide invaluable information on how you can help and support your child in reading.


What is Read Write Inc?

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. At Abbeywood First School we start the programme in Nursery. The programme traditionally runs until children reach the age of 7. We assess the children throughout their time on the programme. There are times when children are still on the programme after the age of 7. These children will have really targeted interventions.

Please watch What is Read Write Inc Phonics? to help you with understanding what RWI phonics is.


How will RWI be taught?

All children are assessed regularly by our RWI lead teachers, so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons. Pupils have a daily session along with up to 6 additional quick reflections a day.



Children are introduced to the letter rhymes, almost immediately, when joining the Nursery. Children are exposed to Fred Talk with the teaching staff playing Fred Games with the children. Your child is taught to hear sounds and blend them together in sequence, to make a word. In the Summer term, children due to move up to Reception, will be introduced to the initial sounds. The children will take part in daily five minute sessions.

Click here to see snippets of Fred Talk!



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 and write simple words within books and begin to take books home, linked to their reading level ability. Children will take part in fun RWI lessons between 30-40 minutes a day. This lesson involves the teaching of a new sound, decoding, blending and writing words and eventually moving on to reading short story books.


The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below
  • learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks and non-fictions books matched to their phonic knowledge
  • work well with partners
  • develop comprehension skills in stories by answering ‘Find It’ and ‘Prove It’ discussion questions


The children:

  • learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases
  • learn to write words by using Fred Talk
  • learn to build sentences by practising sentences out loud before they write


The children work in pairs so that they:

  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • develop ambitious vocabulary

Year 1 and above

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for 40 minutes. We want children to become confident and fluent readers, so accuracy in reading is vital.

What are the five key principles that 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.


What does a Read Write Inc lesson look like?

Each lesson has the same structure, so that children focus on the new learning, rather than worrying about what is going to happen next. Children are grouped according to their ability, so that they only tackle work that is achievable, making it more enjoyable and allowing learning and confidence to flourish side by side.


Speed Sounds and Read Write Inc. Stages

If your child is learning to read at school with Read Write Inc. Phonics, they will be at one of the following stages:


Learning Set 1 Speed Sounds:

Check if your children can read these sounds. Make sure they say sounds like ‘sss’, NOT letter names like ‘es’. Watch the Phonics Pure Sounds video to help you.


Learning to Blend with Set 1 Speed Sounds:


Watch this Sound Blending Phonics video to help you teach sound blending at home.

"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."

Set 1 Sounds




Down Maisie then over the two mountains. Maisie, mountain, mountain.


Round the apple, down the leaf.


Slide around the snake


Round the dinosaur's back, up his neck and down to his feet.


Down the tower, across the tower,


Down the insects body, dot for the head.


Down Nobby and over the net.


Down the plait, up and over the pirates face.


Round the girls face, down her hair and give her a curl


All around the orange


Curl around the caterpillar


Down the kangaroos body, tail and leg


Down and under the umbrella, up to the top and down to the puddle


Down the laces, over the toe and touch the heel


Down the stem and draw the leaves


Slice into the egg, go over the top, then under the egg


Down the long leg


Down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Slither down the snake, then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Down the robot's back, then up and curl


Down his body, curl and dot


Down a wing, up a wing


Down a horn, up a horn and under the yak's head.


Down, up, down, up the worm.


Down the tower, across the tower, then down the horse’s head to the hooves and over his back


Zig-zag-zig, down the zip.


Curl around the caterpillar, , then down the horse's head to the hooves and over his back


Round the queen’s head, up to her crown, down her hair and curl


Cross down the arm and leg and cross the other way


A thing on a string


I think I stink


Learning Set 2 Speed Sounds:


Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels. When children are very confident with both set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.


Set 2 Sounds

Set 3 Sounds

Long  vowel sound

Set 2 Speed Sound cards

Teach these first

Set 3 Speed Sound cards


ay: may I play

a-e: make a cake

ai: snail in the rain


ee: what can you see

ea: cup of tea

e: he me we she be


igh: fly high

i-e: nice smile


ow: blow the snow

o-e: phone home

ao: goat in a boat


oo: poo at the zoo

u-e: huge brute

ew: chew the stew


oo: look at a book



ar: start the car



or: shut the door

aw: yawn at dawn



air: that’s not fair

are: share and care



ir: whirl and twirl

ur: nurse for a purse

er: a better letter


ou: shout it out

ow: brown cow



oy: toy for a boy

oi: spoil the boy




ire: fire fire!




ear: hear with your ear




ure: sure it’s pure?



Nonsense Words (Alien Words)

As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These are made up of the sounds the children are learning e.g. d-u-t (dut), d-oi-n (doin), h-e-sh (hesh).


Learning Set 3 Speed Sounds:


Reading the Storybooks

Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:

Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties. They will bring these home once they have read and discussed the book in class. Children will be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge, to write and spell vocabulary from the books.

Within all the books, children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

During the RWI sessions, children will read the book three times, this is to ensure that children become overly familiar with the text and become fluent and speedy readers- this is all part of the reading process! At each new reading stage, they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills. You may have heard your child talking about ‘hold a sentence’. This is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.




Spelling will only start in Reception when children are ready to write and form their letters. Children will use ‘Fred Fingers’ to sound out a word first, before they write it down. Children learn how to spell rather than just get tested. Furthermore, this way of teaching spellings allows children to use ‘Fred Fingers’ whenever they get stuck with spelling a word. Children pinch each sound on fingers before writing the word. Watch this video clip of how we teach using ‘Fred Fingers’


Order of Story books.



Green Words in Books

Progression of Red Words in Books

Red Ditty 1 - 10

Click here for Green Words

Click here for Red Words

Green 1 - 10

Click here for Green Words

Click here for Red Words

Purple 1 - 10

Click here for Green Words

Click here for Red Words

Pink 1 - 10

Click here for Green Words

Click here for Red Words

Orange 1 - 12

Click here for Green Words

Click here for Red Words

Yellow 1 - 12

Click here for Green Words

Click here for Red Words

Blue 1 - 10

Click here for Green Words

Click here for Red Words

Grey 1 - 13

Click here for Green Words

Click here for Red Words

Children should follow the order listed below. The expectation is that all children will leave Year One as confident speedy readers, ready to take on the challenges of Year Two. However, some children may need extra support and your teacher will talk to you about this.


How to help your child with Phonics!

  • Read a variety of books (fiction, non-fiction, rhymes etc).
  • Discuss the different features of various books.
  • Talk about the books and other reading materials that you have shared.
  • Explain the meaning of new words.

Don't forget you don't have to read just books - subtitles alongside TV programmes, shopping lists, road signs, web pages, magazines, newspapers etc. are useful ways to practise reading.

Find out how children learn to read with phonics, and how you can help your child's reading at home.

Getting ready for reading (Ages 3-4)

Ten Top Reading Tips!

Click here for some Fred Games you can play with your child!

Starting to read (Ages 4-5)

Building on reading skills (Ages 5-6)

Developing confidence as a reader (Ages 6-7)

Building independence (Ages 7-9)

Encouraging reading (Ages 9-11)

Read Write Inc English National Curriculum Coverage

How does Read Write Inc. meet the aims of the new National Curriculum?

Year 1 National Curriculum Link

Year 2 National Curriculum Link


These short video clips are featured throughout the whole of this website and some BONUS video clips have been added too!! Enjoy!


Quick Links


Useful Resources:

RWI Sound Mats, Rhymes and Red Words

Simple & Complex Speed Sound Chart


Finally Do Not Worry


If your child is struggling at first with their sounds and words, do not worry they will get there in their own time.  If you have time (and we all know time is precious!), 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 but it will also encourage them to enjoy a good story.


Please find at table below which highlights some of the keys phrases school uses when teaching RWI.





Fred is a frog puppet we use in sessions. He can only speak in sounds. 

Fred talk 

Sounding out a word, saying each of the sounds before blending

Fred fingers

‘Pinching’ each sound from a word on your fingers to help spell a word

Green words

Decodable words

Red words

Irregular words that cannot be sounded out

Story Green words

Decodable words that will be included in the storybook 

Speedy green words

Decodable words in the storybook that children should be able to read at speed rather than Fred talking first. 

Fred in your Head

Still sounding out a word but doing so in your head rather than out loud, helps build fluency. 

Special friends

Two or three letters working together to make one sound e.g. sh, ch, igh, air, a-e, i-e. 

RWI New Curriculum Grid


Phonics Screening

Year 1 children take the Phonics Screening Check in June every year. This year it will take place in the week beginning Monday 12 June. Schools and parents use our free online Phonics Screening Check. It’s easy to complete and will calculate and email scores to help track progress.

Phonics Screening Test | Monster Phonics

Phonics Sounds

Here are some QR codes that link to videos of the sounds your child needs to know.


































Reading Longer Words 


Abbeywood First School operated by Central Region Schools Trust, a charitable company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales Company number: 08166526. Registered Office: Suite B06, Assay Offices, 141 Newhall Street, Birmingham B3 1SF  

Contact Us

Abbeywood First School,
Wood Piece Ln,
Church Hill Way,
Redditch B98 9LR

01527 962794