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Heartwood CE VC Primary and Nursery School
Learn to Love – Love to Learn!


We are increasing the number of sessions that Phonics is taught in KS1 and KS2 daily to accelerate reading skills due to the potential impact of COVID-19 school closure. 

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At Heartwood CE VC Primary & Nursery School we use Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) to give your child the best possible start with their literacy. We have put together a guide to how the RWI programme works together with some useful links. Miss Wellings is our Read Write Inc lead teacher, so if you have questions about RWI, please speak to your child’s class teacher who will work with her to answer your questions. Please take the time to read the information as it will provide invaluable information as to how you can help and support your child in reading.


What is Read Write Inc?

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.  The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at Swaffham Infant & Nursery School we begin to develop the skills needed to kick start the programme in our Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading when we become a primary school.


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


How will RWI be taught?

All children are assessed regularly by our RWI trained teachers, so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.



When appropriate, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short five minutes sessions. 

In nursery, children are introduced to Phase 1 of the Letters and Sounds programme. Phase 1 supports the development of speaking and listening and awareness of sounds. Children working within Phase 1 will;

  • Explore and experiment with sounds and words.

  • Distinguish between sounds in the environment and phonemes.

  • Show awareness of rhyme and alliteration.

They will play a variety of games and activities with the children and music has a key part in developing children’s language. Adult led activities involve modelling speaking and listening, ‘Fred talk’ to model how to blend (Can you get your c-oa-t?), interact and talk with the children is critical to the success of Phase 1 activities and to promoting the children’s speaking and listening skills.




In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.



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

  • They 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 


Read Write Inc. Phonics through the day: Fred Talk and pinny time

The teaching of sounds is kept to the phonics lessons to let children enjoy the integrity of each experience. However, there are two important things to do throughout the day to help teach all children to read sounds and learn to blend quickly:

1. Use Fred Talk and play Fred Talk games

2. Pinny time.


Fred Talk + Speedy Sounds = reading


Use Fred Talk and play Fred Talk games

Speaking like Fred helps children to understand that words are made up of sounds. Teachers and teaching assistants will use Fred Talk throughout the day to help children practise blending sounds together. Fred Talk follows a consistent routine:

1. Say the word in sounds as Fred, e.g. c-a-t. Ask children to repeat. Pause to allow children to ‘jump-in’ with the whole word.

2. Say the word in sounds followed by the whole word, e.g. c-a-t, cat. Ask children to repeat.



• Use Fred Talk for single-syllable words at the end of sentences throughout the day e.g. it is time for     l-u-n-ch…lunch, come and sit on the f-l-oor…floor.

• Fred Talk words at the end of the sentence and keep the words short and simple.

• Organise 5-minute Fred Talk game group sessions with those children learning to blend.


Pinny time

Pinny time helps children practise reading the sounds taught so far speedily. It is quick and easy to get going, to make sure children ‘keep up, not catch up’.

• Each teacher/TA should have their own apron or ‘pinny’ with pockets containing a set of Speed Sounds Cards.

• Timetable 5-minute pinny time sessions throughout the day. Target the children who need to increase their speed.

• • See how many sounds the group of children can read in one minute.

• Play ‘Partner practice’ – give the children a set of Speed Sounds cards to practise reading together quickly.

• Have set times every day for pinny time.



Year One & Year Two

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 half an hour.  Once children become fluent speedy readers they will move on to literacy.


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.


Children will be taught how to read as follows:

Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below. These are the sounds we use to speak in English.


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.

At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.


The following video is an example of blending sounds with Fred.


The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.



Step 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.


Set 1




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


Please do not use letter names at this early stage. to hear how to pronounce sounds correctly.


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



Step 2:

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.


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?



During the RWI session children will read the book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills. You may have heard your child talking about ‘hold, edit or build a sentence’.

Hold a sentence is an activity that encourages children to remember a whole sentence while focusing on spelling and punctuation.

Build a sentence is to give children the opportunity to create their own sentence to that shows the meaning of a word and edit a sentence allows the children to critique a sentence using their knowledge of spelling punctuation and grammar. Children complete a longer piece of independent writing, which gives them the opportunity to show off their creativity and to practice their spelling, grammar and punctuation.



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 then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences.

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.

Once your child has been introduced and taught these words in school we will send them home for you to continue practising with your child.

During the RWI session children will read the book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills.


The Phonics Screening Check will take place during the week commencing Monday 8th June 2020. Year 1 children will take part in a National Phonic Screening Test where they are asked to sound out and blend 40 words. Some of these words are real words and some are alien words. The Government sets a pass mark each year after the children have all completed the tests. If your child doesn't read the recommended number of words in the test in Year 1 they will resit a new test the following year in Year 2. You will receive information on how many words your child read in their end of year report in July.

Reception and Year 1 Phonics Planning



Click on the links below for more information about how you can help your child with phonics at home.

Reading Leader: Miss Wellings (Class teacher, Phonics & Reading Lead)

Reading Link Governor: Sarah Anderson