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 We use the Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics programme developed by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press. RWI is a proven systematic and structured approach centred around letter sounds and phonics and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader who will be able to read challenging material. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.

Using RWI, the children learn to read fluently so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so they can put all their creative ability into composing what they write.

RWI meets the demands of the new national curriculum, giving children at St Joseph’s the best chance of success in the national tests. There is one-to one tutoring ensuring that no child is left behind. The mantra of a RWI school is “Keep up not catch up”.


When using RWI to read the children will:

Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts.

Learn to read words using Fred Talk.

Read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out.

Show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.





When using RWI to write the children will:

Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.

Learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred talk.

Write simple sentences. 



Fred talk




Children are introduced to Fred Talk in Reception. Teachers use a Fred frog soft toy to encourage children to talk in sounds. Fred says “c-a-t” not cat. You can have fun with Fred Talk at home

“what a tidy r-oom!”

“Where’s your c-oa-t?”

“Time for b-e-d!”


Children use their Fred fingers to pinch the sounds as they say them. Children use Fred Talk in the outside area during a game to match sounds to pictures.



Speed sounds charts

Children are introduced to a simple speed sounds chart with stretchy and bouncy consonants and vowels. These include speed set 1 and 2 sounds.






When children progress to speed set 2 and 3 sounds they see these on a complex speed sounds chart.



This chart shows the complexity of the English language. Words with the same sounds are spelt differently.

















Story books

Once children are confident with Speed sounds 1 and 2 we introduce a Storybook which is aligned with the sounds learnt in class. These books are books they can read immediately. They are read three times so that they gain fluency. By the third time they are using the story tellers voice and using intonation. Children are guided in discussion about the stories and they work out and rehearse ideas with a partner before they feed back to the class.

Children write every day rehearsing ideas out loud with a teacher and their partner. The children can articulate what they want to write and are encouraged to hold their ideas in their minds as they write. Children then re read their work to ensure the meaning is clear.


Get writing books

Children then progress to a Get writing book where handwriting and spelling is practised everyday. Children have to ‘hold’ a whole sentence in their heads before writing it with correct spelling and punctuation. These sentences include words that children have already been taught how to spell. Children also learn to ‘build a sentence’ out loud before writing in down. Build a sentence starts with a short sentence and questions to add information step by step. At each stage children are asked to TTYP (turn to your partner) and take feedback. The teacher adds ideas if they are struggling. Children are encouraged to sit at tables in the correct writing position to aid letter formation. At St Joseph’s we want children to be able to write their ideas and not be held back by poor pencil control and spelling.

The aim of RWI is to practise over and over again to ensure learning is embedded and that no child is left behind.





On going assessment by your child’s class teacher takes place every 6 weeks. This ensures that every child is taught at exactly the right level to make confident progress.


How to help your child at home

You can read stories with your child over and over again. Reading some stories at a higher level than they can read themselves encourages them to develop vocabulary and ignites their imagination. For how to do all these things and more look at: