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At Parkhill Infants’ School, we are thrilled to say that we teach phonics through the Read Write Inc. Programme developed by Ruth Miskin.

What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc. Phonics (RWI) is a systematic 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.


How will RWI be taught?

We give children a hook to learn the sounds by using pictures in the same shape as the letter (‘s’ looks like a snake. ‘m’ looks like a mountain). The children learn to read sounds and blend them into words.

In Read Write Inc. the individual sounds are called ‘speed sounds’ – because we want children to read them effortlessly.  Additionally, the children learn how to apply this knowledge to read story books that are carefully matched to the sounds they learn.

 While your children are learning to read, they will work in progress groups to master each level of phonics and reading. This allows complete participation in lessons and speedy progress in their reading.



All children in the nursery will be exposed to high quality texts to develop their language skills. They will explore how sounds are created and play a range of games. When appropriate, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short sessions.



In Reception all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. They learn Set 1 sounds and set 2 (where appropriate). Those who are ready will begin to read and write simple words within books.


The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • 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
  • learn to work well with partners


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 work in pairs so that they can:

  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking and reading to each other
  • develop ambitious vocabulary


 Key Stage 1 (Year One and Year Two)

Children follow the same format as Reception, but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. The children learn set 2 and 3 sounds, which enable them to read and write a range of words.

In Year 1, children learn different representations of a sound, for example ay, a-e, and ai.

This enables children to become more confident with not only their reading, but also spelling. 

In Year 2, children continue to develop their fluency as a reader and increase their accuracy when spelling. During this phase, children will start to spell more complex words.

They will continue to work on spelling and skills such as using suffixes and prefixes; the rules for adding -ing, -ed, -er, -est, -ful, -ly and -y and plural spelling.


Set 1 Sounds

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.



These are the Set 1 Speed Sounds written with one letter:

m  a  s  d  t  i  n  p  g  o  c  k  u  b  f  e  l  h  r  j  v  y  w  z  x

These are the sounds written with two letters (your child will call these ‘special friends’):

sh  th  ch  qu  ng  nk  ck





Simple Sound Chart - as displayed in Reception Classes

 Set 1 Sounds Parent Meeting Handout



Fred Talk   

Fred is our class puppet who can only speak in sounds, not whole words.  We call this ‘Fred Talk’.

  Fred helps children practise blending sounds together because he needs the children to say the words for him .For example, Fred would say ‘c-a-t’. We would say ‘cat’. 

We pronounce the sounds clearly, using pure sounds (‘m’ not ‘muh’ ‘s’ not ‘suh’ etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds to make the words easily. 


To learn more about how to pronounce the sounds correctly, please watch this video below:


To know more about the rhymes that help the children to form the letters correctly, please click on the following link.

 Handwriting Phrases


Set 2 Sounds


These are the set 2 Speed Sounds- the long vowels. There are 12 Set 2 ‘speed sounds’ that are made up of two or three letters which represent just one sound, e.g. ay as in play, ee as in tree and igh as in high.


Complex Sounds Chart - as displayed in KS1 classrooms 

Set 2 and Set 3 Sounds Parents' Meeting Handout


Set 3 Sounds



 ea (as in tea)             oi (as in spoil)            a–e (as in cake)

i–e (as in smile)         o–e (as in home)      u–e (as in huge) 

aw (as in yawn)         are (as in care)         ur (as in nurse)

er  (as in letter)         ow (as in brown)      ai  (as in snail)

oa (as in goat)           ew (as in chew)         ire (as in fire)

ear (as in hear)          ure (as in pure)


These are the set 3 sounds. When the children are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds. When learning their Set 3 speed sounds they will be taught that there are more ways in which the same sounds are written, e.g. ee as in tree and ea as in tea.  


Reading Books with Set1, Set 2 and Set 3 Speed Sounds



The children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’  when they successfully begin to read single words. 


 The 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.

The sounds within the storybooks will exactly match your child’s phonic knowledge.


Set 1 Speed Sounds has




       Blending (Ditty) Books         







     Green Storybooks 








                   Purple  Storybooks.





Set 2 Speed Sounds has





Pink Storybooks







                   Orange Storybooks








and Yellow Storybooks




While Set 3 Sounds has 





                 Blue Storybooks






        and Grey Storybooks






During the RWI session, the 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. After that, your child will take the book home to read to you!


Green and Red Words

Green and Red words are introduced in the Storybooks.

Green words are called Green because once children have learned the sounds and their corresponding grapheme, they can read and go! Children can read the sounds by sound-blending (via Fred Talk)

Red words are tricky words that cannot be read using Fred Talk, e.g. said, want, rough, through, would. They are called red because children may have to stop and think about these words, because they cannot easily be sounded out.


How to support your child with reading

 Your child will bring home three books. Two of them are Read Write Inc. and Phonics books and your child will be reading these books to you. They have been carefully chosen so that they can read all the words. The other book is from our school library that your child has chosen, to share with you. The library books has words your child may not be able to read yet. It is for you to read to your child and talk about together.

  •  Do not read the book aloud before your child reads it to you.
  • Ask your child to read the sounds and words before he or she reads the story.
  • When your child reads the story, ask him or her to sound out the words that he or she can’t read automatically. Don’t allow your child to struggle too much. Praise your child when he or she succeeds.
  • Read back each sentence or page to keep the plot moving (Your child’s energy is going into reading the words not the story).
  • Do not ask your child to guess the word by using the pictures.
  • Do it all with patience and love!



 Useful Links:

  Ruth Miskin Parents' Page

 Ruth Miskin Facebook Page

 E-Books for Home Reading




Link to the vocabulary of phonics:

 Read-Write Inc Phonics Vocabulary


 Other Terms used in Read-Write Inc:

‘Special Friends’

Special friends are a combination of two or three letters representing one sound, e.g. ck, ay, igh, oa.

Fred Talk

Fred the Frog helps children read and spell. He can say the sounds in words, but he can’t say the whole word, so children have to help him.

To help children read, Fred (the teacher) says the sounds and then children say the word.

For example, Fred says c-a-t, children say cat, Fred says l-igh-t, children say light.

Teachers are encouraged to use Fred Talk through the day, so children learn to blend sounds.

For example:

Play Simon Says: Put your hands on your h-ea-d/ f-oo-t/ kn-ee.

Put on your c-oa-t/ h-a-t/ s-c-ar-f.

Set the table with a b-ow-l/ f-or-k/ s-p-oo-n.


‘Fred in your head’

Once children can sound out a word, we teach them to say the sounds silently in their heads.

We show them how to do this by:

  1. whispering the sounds and then saying the whole word;
  2. mouthing the sounds silently and then saying the whole word;
  3. saying the whole word straight away.


Perfect pencil grip

Children sit at a table to write.

They hold up a pencil in a tripod pencil grip with the non-writing hand flat holding their paper.