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Read, Write Inc

Read, Write Inc

Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at school. Everything else depends on it, so we strive to do all we can to ensure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We want your child to love reading and to want to read for themselves. At John Hunt, we want children to develop a love of books as well as simply learning how to read.


What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc is a comprehensive synthetic phonics programme that teaches reading, writing and spelling. The programme is designed for children aged 4-7 but can be used as an intervention program for children in Key Stage 2. The children start by learning 44 speed sounds and how to sound blend for reading. At the same time, they develop skills for handwriting and spelling. Through lively story books that contain words that the children can decode, the children progress to read and achieve early success.


How is it taught?

Read Write Inc is taught every day, and children are streamed into groups according to ability. Children are assessed every half term and groups are revised accordingly. Where children do not make the expected progress within a group, they receive 1-1 tuition.


RWI terminology

Your child may begin to use terminology that you are unfamiliar with - this glossary of terms may help!


Green words

Green words are words that can be broken down into sounds and blended together to read.


Red words

Red words are words that cannot be broken down. These are taught explicitly, and are words that children need to read by sight.

Fred talk

Your child will be encouraged to sound out words that they cannot read. We call this “Fred Talk”. Fred is a frog that joins the children in every session, and he can only talk in sounds!

c-a-t = cat

sh-o-p= shop 

n-igh-t= night                                                                          


Fred Fingers

Fred Fingers are used for spelling. Children hold up the hand that they do not write with. They sound out the word they are spelling and put up the correct number of fingers for the word.

For example: m-ee-t = 3 sounds = 3 fingers.

  • Ask your child how many sounds they can hear in the word “meet”
  • Ask your child to put up their Fred Fingers (there should be three)
  • Using the hand that your child writes with, they pinch the first finger and say the first sound in the word ‘m’
  • Pinch the middle finger and say ‘ee’
  • Pinch the last finger and say ‘t’
  • Fingers are pinched left to right, as we would read.


Phonic screening check

Children complete a phonic screening check in Year 1. If the children do not achieve the pass mark in Year 1, they will be retested in Year 2. During the test, children are asked to decode both real and nonsense words. Read Write Inc fully prepares children for this test, including the ‘nonsense words’ that we call ‘alien words'. Asking children to read these alien words requires the children to demonstrate their decoding skills.


What can I do to help my child at home?

Reading at home

  • Read anything and everything! Road signs, menus, cereal boxes, logos, food packets, recipes etc
  • Listen to your child read – at least 3 times every week if possible.
  • Read books to your child that they cannot read for themselves
  • Enjoy a bedtime story together every night, no matter how old or capable they are!
  • Enjoy spending time at the library


Questions to ask when reading with your child:

  • What is the character saying?
  • What is the character thinking?
  • What do you think will happen next?
  • Why do you think the character did that?
  • How do you think they feel?
  • What is happening?


For more information, please follow the link to the Ruth Miskin website: