login continuous email location logo-black arrow-point-to-right phone calendar translate search

Welcome To

St Matthew's CofE Primary School

"Go, shine in the world and live as Jesus lived." (Matthew 5: 14-16)

'Work together, Aim High, Shine Bright'

Call Us Email Us Find Us

RWI Phonics

Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy 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. ​​​​​​

Read more about RWI Phonics here:

At St Matthew's, pupils learn to read through a synthetic phonics programme called Read Write Inc (RWI). Children start phonics sessions in Reception where they are introduced to simple sounds and the basics of blending - combining sounds to make words. By the time pupils complete Year 1 they are able to blend all the simple and complex sounds in the English language, preparing them for the Phonics Screening Check and giving them the skills to read and understand more and more complex texts fluently. 


This approach:

  • Gets children decoding and comprehending quickly. The special ‘three reads’ approach ensures that all children gain accuracy, fluency and a good understanding of the text.
  • Ensures children read storybooks and non-fiction books matched to their growing phonic knowledge.
  • Leaves no child behind. Initial and on-going assessment to track every child’s progress.
  • Prevents downtime. Direct teaching followed by partner practice means that every child participates in the whole lesson.

Pupils are supported to progress rapidly through daily phonics teaching and 1:1 tutoring (pupils Y1-Y6) using both RWI and the RWI Fresh Start programme (for older pupils)

What is Read Write Inc?


Read Write Inc (RWI) is a phonics complete literacy 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 St Matthew's we will continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.

Five key principles underpin the teaching in all Read Write Inc. sessions:  

1. Purpose – know the purpose of every activity and share it with the children, so they know the one thing they should be thinking about

2. Participation – ensure every child participates throughout the lesson. Partnership work is fundamental to learning

3. Praise – ensure children are praised for effort and learning, not ability

4. Pace – teach at an effective pace and devote every moment to teaching and learning

5. Passion – be passionate about teaching so children can be engaged emotionally.


During their phonics lessons, as well as revising and learning new phonic sounds, the children will apply and develop their phonic and reading skills whilst reading a range of phonic books, both fiction and non-fiction. The children are encouraged to develop the ability to read at speed, with fluency and expression, and to read like a ‘storyteller’. They also discuss many aspects of the book in order to answer comprehension questions verbally. The content of these books becomes gradually more complex. 


All children are assessed regularly.  From these assessments children are grouped into stages, where they work with peers on the same stage. 


Fred Talk


Children learn to read words by sound-blending using a frog called Fred. Fred says the sounds and children help him blend the sounds to read each word. Then we teach children the different spellings of the same sounds, for example, they learn that the sound ‘ay’ is written ay, a-e and ai; the sound ‘ee’ is written ee, e and ea. We use phrases to help them remember each sound for example, ay, may I play, a-e – make a cake?


We use pure sounds (‘m’ not’ muh’,’s’ not ‘suh’, etc.) so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily. At school we use a puppet called Fred who is an expert on sounding out words! we call it, ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. m-o-p, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, b-l-a-ck.


Parent Video: Ruth Miskin on how to teach blending to children

How do we ensure children can read every book?


The first thing we do is to give children books we know they can read. (We read lots of other stories to them, but do not expect them to read these yet.) Before they read the story, they sound out the names of characters and new words, practise reading any of the ‘tricky red’ words, and tell them a thought-provoking introduction to get them excited about the story. Then, over three days, children read the story three times: first to focus on reading the words carefully; the second to help them read the story fluently; and on the third, we talk about the story together for example, how characters might be feeling and why. By the time your child reads the story to you at home, they will be able to read it confidently with expression.

What is the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check?


The phonics screening check is taken individually by all children in Year 1 in England. It is designed to give teachers and parents information on how your child is progressing in phonics. It will help to identify whether your child needs additional support at this stage so that they do not fall behind in this vital early reading skill. The Phonics Screening Check will take place during the week commencing Monday 10th June 2024.

Fresh Start


On some occasions, children who move to KS2 need to continue to learn their sounds in RWI lessons. Arrangements are made for children to still attend these groups or to receive a separate intervention called ‘Fresh Start’. Fresh Start teaches older struggling readers to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. It is rooted in phonics and uses age-appropriate decodable texts.