Phonics Info & Help at Home
What is Read, Write Inc Phonics?
Phonics teaches children the sounds in English, the letters that represent them, and how to form the letters when writing. Read Write Inc. Phonics includes reading books written using only the phonics they have learnt at each level and a small number of taught red words.
How will my child learn to read?
First, your child will learn to read Set 1 Speed Sounds, these are 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
Each sound has a corresponding word or phrase, and image, to help the children remember them e.g a - apple, t - tower
In Set 1 they also learn sounds written with two letters (your child will call these ‘special friends’):
sh th ch qu ng nk ck
They then learn to 'blend' the sounds into words:
e.g. m–a–t mat, c–a–t cat, g–o–t got, f–i–sh fish, s–p–o–t spot, b–e–s–t best, s–p–l–a–sh splash
They begin practise using purple blending books before moving onto Red, Green and Purple Storybooks.
Next, they will learn to read Set 2 Speed Sounds: these include special friends with 3 letters.
ay ee igh ow oo oo ar or air ir ou oy
• Words containing these sounds
• Pink, Orange and Yellow Storybooks.
Finally they will learn to read Set 3 Speed Sounds: this set includes split digraphs (e at the end of a word)
ea oi a-e i-e o-e u-e aw are ur er ow ai oa ew ire ear ure
• Words containing these sounds
• Blue and Grey Storybooks
How do I pronounce the sounds correctly?
Sounds can be split up into stretchy and bouncy sounds.
When saying the stretchy sounds, we say ‘mmmm’ not ‘muh’ and ‘lllll’ not ‘luh’. This really helps children when they learn to blend sounds together to read words.
When saying the bouncy sounds, we aim to say the short sound, rather than the letter itself. Where possible, try not the use the 'uh' sound.
Fred can only say the sounds in a word and needs your child to help him read the word. Fred will say the sounds and children will work out the word. For example, Fred will say the sounds c–a–t, and children will say the word cat. This is Fred Talk: sounding out the word
We teach the children the following method when reading an unknown word: e.g blow
1.Look for any special friends - child says the sounds the sounds they can see in the word. "ow"
2.Fred Talk - child segments the word into sounds "b - l - ow"
3.Blend the sounds - child puts the sounds together, they may need to repeat this a couple of times "blow"
How quickly should my child progress with their phonics?
The yellow blocks on the grids below show expectations of progress through the Read, Write Inc. programme from Reception to Year 2.
For example at the end of Autumn 2nd Term (Christmas) of year 1 children should be reading RWI Pink Band
Note: this is for guidance only – some children make faster progress or may need additional support
How can I help my child read?
Talk, talk, talk! As a parent, you are the model of good speaking and listening. Regularly introduce new words (vocabulary). For example, for the word big you could also introduce large, huge, or enormous. Encourage them to say the word too. This is not about reading the words but about your child hearing and saying them.
Read to and with your child. We expect parents to read with their child regularly and record this in the child's Reading Record. This models good reading skills and promotes reading enjoyment.
Have a special book box or bag where your child can keep the stories and any other texts, such as comics or non-fiction books, you’ve read together recently. Re-read these so that over time your child builds up their stock of stories and texts they know well.
We will send a Book Bag Book home with your child, which is appropriate to your child's stage of reading development, and you can use to ensure they are reading at their level. Your child may also bring home a library book, which they choose themselves. This may contain words that are too tricky for them to read, so please support them to read these at home and encourage them to try to decode unfamiliar words.
Sing! Teach nursery rhymes and songs and make lots of opportunities to sing and recite them.
Pronounce words and sounds clearly. In all games and activities make sure you pronounce the speech sounds clearly and as short as possible. Refer to the 'How do I pronounce sounds correctly' tab above for extra support with this.
- Practice the sounds. Ask your child's teacher what set they are currently reading and practice these sounds at home by finding the sounds in words, playing phonics games or using speed sound cards.
- There are lots of other activities you can do at home to support your child with their reading. Watch the video below which is full of further tips and guidance for reading at home.