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Christ the King Catholic Primary School


At Christ The King school we aim for all of our children to become fluent, confident readers who are passionate about reading. We know that reading is the passport to success for all areas of learning, and this is why we put reading at the heart of what we do. We use a teaching programme called Read Write Inc. to teach every child, regardless of their age, background or need, to read and write.


Children who read regularly or are read to regularly 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 your child to 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


What is RWI?

Read Write Inc. (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy 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.  We begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children until they can read fluently.

RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at:


How do we teach RWI?

The children are regularly assessed by the RWI lead teacher and grouped according to their ability, allowing complete participation in lessons. Small group phonics lessons are taught daily for 30 minutes by trained staff and there are consistent expectations across the range of abilities. We re-assess children every half-term so we can place them in the group where they’ll make the most progress. We provide extra daily one-to-one sessions for children who need a bit of a boost to ‘keep up’ rather than ‘catch up.’


What is taught in RWI?


We are determined that every child will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or ability. We want children to learn to blend letter sounds together to read quickly and accurately and to then keep on reading. We want children to develop extraordinary reading habits and to see reading as an activity which provides pleasure and unlocks the world for them.


The children will:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending
  • read from a range of storybooks 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 will:

  • 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 fingers
  • 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


How do we make phonics easy for children to learn?
Read Write Inc. Phonics depends upon children learning to read and write sounds effortlessly, so we make it simple and fun.
Children learn to read words by sound-blending using a frog called Fred. Fred says the sounds and children help him blend the sounds to read each word. Children learn to do this orally first.

We teach them one way to read and write the 40+ sounds in English. We use pictures to help, for example we make ‘a’ into the shape of an apple, ‘f’ into the shape of a flower. These pictures help all children, especially slower-starters, to read the sounds easily.


Here are examples of how we teach children to blend the sounds:

We also 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. Here is an example of how to pronounce pure sounds:


How does RWI look across the school?


When appropriate, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short five minutes sessions. Towards the end of the academic year, the children will begin to blend sounds together to read words, if ready.



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.


Years 1 and 2

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 30 minutes.


Year 1 screening check

In the Summer Term, every Year 1 child will take the National Phonics Screening Check; this is a phonics-based check where children will be expected to read 40 simple, decodable words including nonsense words.

This is a progress check to identify those children who are not yet at the expected level in their reading. The results will be reported to parents.  Children will be rechecked in Year 2 if they do not reach the expected level.

More information about the screening check can be found here:


Key Stage 2

RWI continues for children in Years 3 and 4 if they require it.

Years 5 and 6 follow the ‘Fresh Start’ RWI programme aimed at struggling readers who are not yet reading age appropriately. This runs as an intervention session lasting 25 minutes.  


What order are the sounds taught in?

The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets:


Set 1 

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. Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.

Set 2 & 3

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds. Set 3 teaches children the different spellings of the same sounds, for example, they learn that the sound ‘ay’ is written ay, a-e and ai; the sound ‘ee’ is written ee, e and ea. We use phrases to help them remember each sound for example, ay, may I play, a-e – make a cake?

Alien (nonsense) words    

As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills by reading ‘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. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.  

Red and Green words

Within all of the RWI sessions/books children will be exposed to 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 (please see below).

The dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.


How do we ensure children can read every book?

Once children have learned their Set 1 sounds and know these off by heart, they will begin to apply their phonic knowledge to reading short sentences and stories.

Before they read the story, they sound out the names of characters and new words, practise reading any of the ‘tricky red’ words, and teachers tell them a thought-provoking introduction to get them excited about the story.

Then, over three days, children read the story three times: first to focus on reading the words carefully; the second to help them read the story fluently; and on the third, we talk about the story together for example, how characters might be feeling and why. The children then take this book home. By the time your child reads the story to you at home, they will be able to read it confidently with expression. Our children also take another book home to read, this book is matched phonetically to the book they have read in school.


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.


What about ‘Storytime?’


Storytime is timetabled into every classes day and is arguably the highlight of every day. We have lots of well-known stories that children get to know really well, often chosen from the ‘Windows and Mirrors’ booklist below. Children learn to retell the story, learn the refrains by heart and act out the stories in the role-play area. Children learn poetry too.


How can I support my child’s reading at home?

Children learn sounds in school which help them to read and write. They then practise these skills through reading 'Book Bag Books' at home which are specifically pitched to both consolidate learning and provide challenge in an engaging and fun way!

Other phonetically decodable books will be set via 'Oxford Owl' and are accessible to read at home and in school. Each child will be provided with their individual log-in information for Oxford Owl by their class teacher. You will find it on the inside cover of their home school reading record.

Half-termly parent workshops are also organised to support you with helping your child to read.

Where can I find out more information?


What is Read Write Inc Phonics?


Top tips for reading to your child:


Who can I speak to at school?

Miss Brady is our RWI lead teacher, so if you have any questions about RWI please contact the school office who can refer you to her.