Read Write Inc Phonics

Please click on the buttons below, to watch videos on how to best support your child in phonics.

What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read.

Here at Bentley West we use Read, Write, Inc. to teach children the skills they need in order to become fluent and confident readers.

Read, Write, Inc. is a synthetic and systematic phonics scheme which means that we teach the sounds (phonemes) in relation to the letter (grapheme) and then focus on applying that knowledge to blend them together in order to read words. It also means that we teach the sounds in a particular order and build on knowledge of the sounds to develop reading.

How is Read, Write Inc. taught?

At Bentley West we begin Read, Write Inc. in Nursery and continue until Year Two. If children require access to phonics after this, they will continue to do so and possibly will receive targeted phonics interventions.

Children are assessed each half term and are grouped accordingly. Groups are fluid, enabling the children to move groups if needed. RWI is taught daily by trained teachers and Learning Support Assistants.

Who is ‘Fred’?

Fred is well known at Bentley West, he helps the children to blend sounds to say and read words.

Fred can only talk in sounds. E.g. m-a-t mat d-o-g dog.

We encourage the children to use Fred talk to help them decode words.

Once the children can decode confidently, we wncourage them to 'Fred in their head' (silent Fred talk). This will help your child become a fluent reader.

Step 1 - Set 1 Sounds

  • Children are taught to recognise Set 1 sounds.

  • They are taught to use 'pure' sounds - 'mmmmm' not 'muh'

  • They learn that sounds can be made up of more than one letter. We call these, 'special friends' (sh, th, ch, ng, nk, qu).

Set 1 Sounds

Step 2 - Word Time

  • Once your child can recognise the first group of sounds (m,a,d,s,t) they are then taught to blend these sounds to read words (word time words).

  • Children are asked to:

  1. identify any 'special friends'

  2. Fred talk the word

  3. Read the word.

  • Once the children are familiar with these words, they become 'speedy words'. We want the children to read them fluently.

Step 3 - Ditties and Storybooks

  • When your child can read Word Time 1-7 words, they will then move on to reading ditties (short sentences).

  • The next step is to move onto the storybook lessons (both fiction and non-fiction), which includes the news sound(s) that they have been taught.

  • Storybook lessons focus on developing your child's fluency and comprehension skills.

  • Your child will bring home the books they read in school to celebrate their success with you.

  • As your child moves through the book bands they will learn to read Set 2 and Set 3 sounds.

What else will your child learn to read?

Your child will learn to read 'Alien words' (non-words). The purpose of this, is to assess your child's phonic capability. Children are taught to use the 3 steps as stated above (special friends, Fred talk, read the word).

In Year 1, your child will take the Phonics Screening Check. The Phonics Screening Check demonstrates how well your child can use the phonics skills they've learned up to the end of Year 1, and to identify students who need extra phonics help.

They will be asked to read 20 real words and 20 non-words words.

Please click on the link below for more information.

Red Words

  • Red words are words that cannot be decoded by using Fred talk. They are common exception words. E.g. the, was, what, some.

  • We teach the children, 'You can't Fred a red!'.

  • Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have a list of red words that children must be able to read by the end of each year. Please see the lists below.

Reception Red Words

Year 1 Red Words

Year 2 Red Words

For more information about the RWI programme, click here

Other useful links:

Phonics Play has lots of fun games where the children have to distinguish between real and nonsense words.

BBC Bitesize has lots of phonics games and videos to support with reading.

There are some example phonics lessons on the Ruth Miskin Training YouTube page.

There are some guidance documents to support home reading on the Ruth Miskin Training website.

There are lots of fun online reading games on the Top Marks website.

Phonics Bloom has lots of interactive online phonics games.