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Read Write Inc. Phonics

It is our intention at Prince Bishops Community Primary School for all children to become enthusiastic and motivated readers. We highly value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is the bedrock of success in education.

As a school, we teach synthetic phonics as the initial, and most important, approach to the teaching of reading. Our pupils learn to read and write effectively using the Read Write Inc. (RWI) Phonics Programme, which is a systematic programme for the teaching of phonics, reading, spelling and writing. We teach with fidelity to this programme and no other phonics programmes are used so children have a consistent and familiar approach and learn to read with confidence, develop a love of reading and apply their skills competently to writing.


The programme is for:

• Pupils in Reception to Year 2 who are learning to read and write

• Any pupils in Years 2 - 6 who need phonic intervention


In Read, Write Inc. Phonics pupils:

• Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills

• Read common exception words on sight

• Understand what they read

• Read aloud with fluency and expression

• Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar

• Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words

• Acquire good handwriting.


We teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to notice difficulties, such as pupils’ poor articulation, or problems with blending or alphabetic code knowledge.


We group pupils homogeneously, according to their progress in reading rather than their writing. This is because it is known that pupils’ progress in writing will lag behind progress in reading, especially for those whose motor skills are less well developed.


In Reception, we emphasise the alphabetic code. The pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them. Simple mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly. This is especially useful for pupils at risk of making slower progress. This learning is consolidated daily. Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings (red words).


We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluent decoding. Alongside this, teachers regularly read a wide range of stories, poetry and non-fiction to pupils.


Embedding the alphabetic code early on, means that pupils quickly learn to write simple words and sentences. We encourage them to compose each sentence aloud until they are confident to write independently. We make sure they write every day. Pupils write at the level of their spelling knowledge. The quality of the vocabulary they use in their writing reflects the language they have heard in the books the teacher has read to them; they have also discussed what the words mean.


Our aim is for pupils to complete the phonics programme as quickly as possible. The sooner they complete it, the sooner they will be able to choose books to read at their own interest and comprehension level.


Early Years Foundation Stage



During the autumn and spring term, children in nursery spend their RWI time listening to, learning and joining in with carefully chosen stories, rhymes, poems and songs. They then use this to role-play together, develop vocabulary and build sentences orally and make up stories through planned talk experiences. In the summer term, the focus of learning at this stage is to learn the initial letter sounds and introduce oral blending through ‘Fred Talk’ throughout the day. This will progress to letter sound blending and segmenting for writing. Children are taught the correct letter formation using the RWI mnemonics and we ensure that children achieve the correct pencil grip. It is our aim that all children leave nursery being able to orally blend and know all initial letter sounds in Set 1.



Children in Reception are taught daily phonics lessons. In the first four weeks, the initial sounds (Set 1 Speed Sounds) are taught in class. After this period, children are individually assessed and grouped homogeneously according to their stage. Children receive daily phonics teaching in these groups using the structured speed sounds lesson plan.

It is our aim that all children leave Reception at green RWI band to be on track to achieve the expected standard for the Year 1 phonics screening check.


Key Stage 1

Children in KS1 continue to be taught phonics in small homogeneous groups, depending on their stage not age. They have daily RWI lessons lasting an hour. This lesson starts with a 10-minute speed sounds lesson which teaches oral blending, new speed sounds and revision of previous speed sounds, decoding words, reading common exception words, decoding ‘alien’ (pseudo) words, and spelling. Children then read and comprehend a book, which is carefully matched to their phonetical knowledge following a 3 day or 5 day plan (depending on the stage). The learning in the remaining part of the session includes spelling, grammar, and other writing activities.


Children are assessed at least half-termly. Those who are at risk of falling behind the programme’s pace and expectations are identified early and additional 1:1 Fast Track Tutoring is planned daily to ensure that these children keep up and do not have to catch up. The Reader Leader regularly evaluates the effectiveness of these sessions and the impact on progress.

Children in Year 1 complete the phonics screening check at the end of the year.

It is our aim that children in Year 2 complete the RWI programme by end of the autumn term in Year 2.

All classrooms and teaching spaces across the school display the RWI Speed Sounds chart to support children with their reading and spelling.


Key Stage 2

By the time children complete the transition from KS1 to KS2, we intend that they will have completed the RWI phonics programme. Their phonic development will continue to be explicitly taught through the school’s spelling programme.

Those children who have not reached the expected level by the time they leave KS1 will continue to access RWI intervention.



In addition to constant formative assessment, we assess all pupils following Read Write Inc. Phonics using the Entry and Assessment 1. At least half-termly groups are rearranged accordingly (although changing groups is not dependant on this and it can happen sooner). Regular assessments ensure that children receive targeted teaching quickly according to their needs. Children, who are progressing through the programme quicker than their peers, are moved into a different group and those who are at risk of falling behind the programme’s pace and expectations are given additional support and same day intervention.


Whole School Approach

A key element of the Read Write Inc. Programme is consistent whole-school approach. This is underpinned by continued professional development. The school ensures that all teachers and teaching assistants are trained in this approach to teach reading. All staff receive regular Development Days throughout the school year supported by a consultant from the Ruth Miskin training team. We plan regular phonic CPD sessions where an element of the RWI programme is discussed, taught and practiced. Staff also have access to training videos and additional support materials via the Ruth Miskin school portal. The English Leader ensures that the RWI phonics programme is taught with consistency and fidelity.

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