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At Sacred Heart, we use a synthetic phonics program to teach reading called 'Read Write Inc', produced by Ruth Miskin to get children off to a flying start. 

What is Read Write Inc?

Read Write Inc Phonics is a method of teaching reading and writing, which is centered around learning the sounds of the letters (phonics) and then blending them together to read words.  The children also learn to break down words into individual sounds in order to write them.

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a systematic synthetic phonics 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.  The programme is designed for children aged 4-7. However, at Sacred Heart, we begin the programme in Nursery and will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7, as we use a stage not age approach. RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at

How does RWI work at Sacred Heart?

The children in EYFS and KS1 are assessed by the RWI reading leader and grouped according to their ability.

They work in small groups with teachers and teaching assistants every day and they take home books matched to their phonic ability. 

At the end of each half term the children will be assessed again to check they have made progress and will be grouped again.  In addition to the Read Write Inc programme the children will also be working on writing skills and storytelling in their classes with their own class teacher.


Early Years

In Nursery the children begin to recognise the picture cards linked to each sound in set 1. When the children are ready they may begin to learn the sounds.


In Reception, all children will learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down.



The children:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts – see below

  • 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

  • Work well with partners

  • Develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions


Read Write Inc: a teacher's guide



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:

  • Answer every question

  • Practise every activity with their partner

  • Take turns in talking and reading to each other

  • Develop ambitious vocabulary


Progressing through the stages

Children follow the same format as Early Years, but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last 40 minutes. Once children have completed the Language and Literacy section of the programme they then start to choose and read library books as they will be fluent readers.