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St Bartholomew's

Catholic Primary School


Our Phonics Journey- Steps in teaching children how to read:


Read Write Inc (R.W.I) is an inclusive literacy programme for all children in Reception and Key Stage One learning to read. Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend them to read and spell. The scheme focuses on teaching early reading. Reading is the key that unlocks the whole curriculum so the ability to efficiently decode is essential. The R.W.I sessions occur each day as the continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development.


Read Write Inc., developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at St Michael and St Martin School we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.

The Government has strongly recommended the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.


At St. Bartholomew’s, we are using the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their English. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading. The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or RWI trained assistant teacher.



When using RWI to read, the children will:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts
  • Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk)
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It'



When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:

  • To answer questions
  • To take turns talking and listening to each other
  • To give positive praise to each other


How is RWI delivered?

We group pupils homogeneously, according to their progress in reading rather than their writing.

Pupils are assessed every half term and the groups are regrouped accordingly.


The five key principles that 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.



In Reception, all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. They will then begin to apply their phonic knowledge to their writing.


Key Stage One:

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 up to one hour.


Key Stage Two:

Throughout Key Stage Two, the children who did not pass their phonics assessment in Year One are closely monitored and receive daily intervention. All children in KS2 have a banded book and are read with frequently.