Read Write Inc Phonics & Early Reading

“Teach a child to read and keep that child reading and we will change everything.”

Jeanette Winterson

Introduction to Phonics

At Curdworth Primary School, reading is at the heart of our curriculum. Our aim is for all children to love reading. We provide excellent teaching and learning opportunities so that every pupil will learn to read fluently and confidently, regardless of their background, needs or abilities. In order to achieve this we follow Read Write Inc which is a systematic phonics programme to ensure all children become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. This phonics programme is for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, who are learning to read. It is also for children in Year 3 and Year 4 who may need extra practise. Within the programme every child learns to:

  • Read every word accurately
  • Read stories more quickly
  • Develop comprehension skills so they are able to understand and enjoy their books

Children are regularly assessed and children are grouped according to their current reading ability and not their year group. This ensures all children are reading at the appropriate challenge level daily. 

Each day children:

  • Are taught new sounds
  • Practise reading and spelling words containing these sounds
  • Read decodable books containing sounds and words they can read 
  • Learn to spell the words they have been reading

Children read each storybook three times in class with their partner. Re-reading the same book helps children to become confident and fluent readers. Each read in school has a different focus.

  • The first read focuses on reading every word accurately 
  • The second on reading the story more quickly (fluency)
  • The third read on comprehension (understanding what they read)
  • Then your child brings the same book home to read and enjoy with you again and again to showcase their reading skills. 

We do not send stories home the children cannot read because we always want them to be set up to succeed in their reading.

RWI Glossary



Watch the parent tutorials to learn all about how to support your child as they learn with Read Write Inc. Phonics, with detailed ideas and advice on pronouncing pure sounds, blending, and digraphs.

How we teach reading – answers for parents

We start by teaching phonics to the children in Reception. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters.

The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. These are also known as ‘red words’ and will appear in red coloured font in their phonic books.

The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.

The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.

We will always let you know how well your child is doing.

We use various ways to find out how the children are getting on in reading. We use the information to decide what reading group they should be in. Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her. The children’s phonics knowledge is assessed every six weeks to ensure they are in a phonics group suited to their reading level. Your child will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up. 

We also use a reading tests throughout the year so that we can identify how the children are doing in reading outside of their phonics lessons.

In the summer term, children in Year 1 complete a phonics screening check. That gives us extra information about their progress. We will talk to you about how well your child has done, and especially if we have any worries at all.

By the end of Year 2, your child should be able to read aloud books that are at the right level for his or her age. In Year 3 we concentrate more on helping children to understand what they are reading, although this work begins very early on. This happens when the teacher reads to the children and also when the children read their own story book.

All the staff have been trained to teach reading in the way we do it in this school. We believe that it is very important that all the teachers and teaching assistants work in the same way. Senior teachers watch other teachers teaching to make sure that the children are learning in the way we want them to learn.

If you are worried about the teaching or you have any questions, please come to school and talk to us.

You will be invited to a meeting so that we can explain how we teach reading. Please come and support your child. We would very much like you to know how to help.

Your child will bring different sorts of books home from school. It helps if you know whether this is a book that your child can read on their own or whether this is a book that you should read to them. The teacher will have explained which is which. Please trust your child’s teacher to choose the book(s) that will help your child the most.

Help your child to sound out the letters in words and then to ‘push’ the sounds together to make a whole word. Try not to refer to the letters by their names. Help your child to focus on the sounds. You can hear how to say the sounds correctly at this link:

Sometimes your child might bring home a picture book that they know well. Please don’t say, ‘This is too easy.’ Instead, encourage your child to tell you the story out loud; ask them questions about things that happen or what they think about some of the characters in the story.

We know parents and carers are very busy people. But if you can find time to read to your child as much as possible, it helps him or her to learn about books and stories. They also learn new words and what they mean. Show that you are interested in reading yourself and talk about reading as a family. You can find out about good stories to read to your child here:

It matters a lot if your child misses school. The way we teach children to read is very well organised, so even one missed lesson means that your child has not learnt something that they need to know to be a good reader.

We want children to learn to read, however long it takes us to teach them. We will find out very quickly if your child is finding reading difficult. First, we move children to a different group, so that we can make sure that they have learnt what they need to know. If they still struggle, we give them extra time with an adult, on their own. These adults are specially trained to support these children. Your child will still be in the same group with the other children and won’t miss out on any of the class lessons.

If we have any serious worries about your child’s reading, we will talk to you about this.

Some children take a bit longer to learn to put sounds together to read a word, e.g. c-a-t to make the word ‘cat’. At our meeting, we will explain how you can help your child to do this.

This isn’t a problem for learning to read as long as we know what sound the child is trying to say. This is not something to worry about. Many children have a few sounds that they can hear clearly but find it difficult to say, particularly the l-sound, r-sound, w-sound, th-sound, s-sound, sh-sound and j-sound. Often they say a t-sound for the c-sound; “tttssh” for the s-sound; “w” for the r-sound and “r” for the l-sound. You can help your child by encouraging him or her to look at your mouth when you say the sound. Whatever you do, do not make your child feel a failure. They can easily learn to read, even if they find one or two sounds difficult to say.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns. We are here to help.