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Phonics - Read Write Inc.

At Newtown Primary we are committed to ensuring every child leaves school with the ability to read fluently and confidently. We are also passionate about instilling a love of reading among our pupils. This is because we know reading allows students to access all areas of the curriculum, as well as feeding imagination, building self- esteem and improving vocabulary. Its benefits are endless!

Read Write Inc Phonics (RWI) was first created by Ruth Miskin in 2002 and is the UK’s leading synthetic phonics program. It is a complete literacy programme which helps all children learn to read automatically, accurately and quickly, so they can focus on developing their comprehension skills, vocabulary and spelling.

  • It encourages children to develop a love of books by reading to them daily, at home and at school.

  • It gives children access to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books at school and at home.

  • The teaching of reading and writing is rigorous, consistent and of the highest quality so that 100% of Year 1 children can reach the expected standard of the Phonics screening check.

  • Lesson pace ensures every minute of learning is maximised. Lessons are fun and engaging, and excellent behaviour for learning is achieved through praise, teacher passion and an emphasis on participation.

  • Teachers know how to teach even the most struggling reader – including older children.

  • Regular half termly assessments ensure children are grouped effectively, so that every child learns at their specific ‘challenge’ level for a full hour every day.

Sound knowledge

The children are taught Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3 sounds in order. Each sound is taught with a corresponding rhyme to help them form the letters correctly and recognise sounds to blend them into words.

Words are read using the steps ‘Special Friends, Fred Talk, Read the Word’. Children identify the special friends and then Fred Talk the word, before blending the sounds to read the word.


Children read their phonics book three times in school before taking it home. They become confident at decoding, comprehending, and then reading the text with expression, before showing off their reading skills to their families at home. Children also take home a book bag book, which is matched to the sounds they already have a secure knowledge of.

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In weekly Dojo messages, we also send home ‘virtual classroom’ video links which support daily phonics teaching at home. Children watch, repeat and join in as they would usually with their teacher in school.


Meet Fred frog
Fred supports our children to read. He can only speak in sounds. The children help him to read words by orally blending the sounds to make a word. 
f-r-e-d "fred"

As your child is starting their journey, they will receive a sound blending book when they are ready. This book helps them to decode and read words. 

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Introduction to Phonics and RWI

What is Read Write Inc phonics?

Understanding phonics

Oxford Owl RWI guide for parents

Understanding the sounds

How to say the sounds

Reading bouncy sounds

Reading stretchy sounds

Special Friends: 2 or more letters making one sound

Sound Blending

Blending Sounds books

Fred Talk


Green words: words which can be sounded out and blended

Red words: words which have a tricky sound within them (a word may only be a red word until the specific sound is taught)

My child struggles with reading – what additional support is provided?

  • All children working below age related expectations are tutored daily by trained phonics teachers. This tutoring identifies gaps in sound knowledge and reteaches Special Friends to ensure gaps are addressed as quickly as possible. Children who have a comprehensive knowledge of Set 1 Set 2 and Set 3 sounds, but struggle with fluency, are tutored for fluency.

  • Weekly ‘conferencing’ slots are also provided for students who struggle with either reading comprehension, handwriting, grammar or sentence formation. These are delivered by class teachers.

  • Whole class speed sound lessons are taught each afternoon to provide an additional opportunity for children to practice sounds each day.

  • Students in KS2 who need continued support to address gaps in sound knowledge or build fluency are provided with daily phonics lessons.

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