Subject leader: Miss Hair

Contact email: ks1@pennoweth.cornwall.sch.uk


Why do we love RWI at Pennoweth? 

Emillie "I love phonics, it helps me to do lots of writing!"
Harrison "I love learning the sounds because I like doing writing."
Esme "It's really fun and I love learning the sounds."
What Phonics knowledge will my child learn at Pennoweth?
Your child will learn how to segment and blend and begin to read with fluency.
Below you will find the sounds your child will learn during their RWI lessons.
What does RWI look like at Pennoweth? 

How will RWI be taught?

All children are assessed regularly by our RWI teachers so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.


When appropriate, children will be introduced to the initial sounds in short five minutes sessions. 

In nursery, children are introduced to Phase 1 of the Letters and Sounds programme. Phase 1 supports the development of speaking and listening and awareness of sounds. Children working within Phase 1 will;

  •        Explore and experiment with sounds and words.
  •        Distinguish between sounds in the environment and phonemes.
  •        Show awareness of rhyme and alliteration.

They will play a variety of games and activities with the children and music has a key part in developing children’s language. Adult led activities involve modelling speaking and listening, ‘Fred talk’ to model how to blend (Can you get your c-oa-t? Can you get your b-a-g?), interact and talk with the children is critical to the success of Phase 1 activities and to promoting the children’s speaking and listening skills.


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


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 

Daily handwriting practice

Children practise correct letter formation as part of their daily Speed Sounds Lesson. We use the mnemonics to help children visualise the letter before they write it down. In the ‘Write the letters’ activity in the lesson, children practise saying the handwriting phrase and the sound as they form the letter in the air and then write the sound on paper. Children need to practise handwriting under the guidance of a teacher so they do not develop habits that will be difficult to undo later. Please don’t ask children to copy letters or words. We need their attention to be focused on their own formation of letters.


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

Read Write Inc. Phonics through the day: Fred Talk and pinny time

The teaching of sounds is kept to the phonics lessons to let children enjoy the integrity of each experience. However, there are two important things to do throughout the day to help teach all children to read sounds and learn to blend quickly:

1. Use Fred Talk and play Fred Talk games

2. Pinny time.


Fred Talk + Speedy Sounds = reading


Use Fred Talk and play Fred Talk games

Speaking like Fred helps children to understand that words are made up of sounds. Teachers and teaching assistants will use Fred Talk throughout the day to help children practise blending sounds together. Fred Talk follows a consistent routine:

1. Say the word in sounds as Fred, e.g. c-a-t. Ask children to repeat. Pause to allow children to ‘jump-in’ with the whole word.

2. Say the word in sounds followed by the whole word, e.g. c-a-t, cat. Ask children to repeat.


• Use Fred Talk for single-syllable words at the end of sentences throughout the day e.g. it is time for     l-u-n-ch…lunch, come and sit on the f-l-oor…floor.

• Fred Talk words at the end of the sentence and keep the words short and simple.

• Organise 5-minute Fred Talk game group sessions with those children learning to blend.


Pinny time (sparkly bum bag time)

Pinny time helps children practise reading the sounds taught so far speedily. It is quick and easy to get going, to make sure children ‘keep up, not catch up’.

• Each teacher/TA has their own sparkly bum bag with pockets containing a set of Speed Sounds Cards.

• Timetable 5-minute sparkly bum bag time sessions throughout the day. Target the children who need to increase their speed.

• Assign small groups of children for bum bag time to YR/P1 staff.

• Play ‘Partner practice’ – give the children a set of Speed Sounds cards to practise reading together quickly.

• Have set times every day for bum bag time: before break, while waiting for the midday supervisors, waiting to go into assembly, as children go home (so parents can see what you’re doing). Make this a habit. 


Year One & Year Two

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for 45 minutes and is supported by an additional reading session Vipers. 


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

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

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

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

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

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


Children will be taught how to read as follows:

Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below. These are the sounds we use to speak in English.

Fred Talk

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.


The children are taught the sounds in 3 sets.


Step 1:

Set 1 Sounds are taught in the following order together with rhymes to help children form the letters correctly and instantly recognise sounds ready for blending. Please do not use letter names at this early stage. Children will also use pictures for each sound to help recognise the sound and then form the shape of the sound.

Step 2:

The children are then taught Set 2 Sounds - the long vowels. When they are very confident with all of set 1 and 2 they are taught Set 3 Sounds.

Nonsense words (Alien words)          

As well as learning to read and blend real words children will have plenty of opportunities to apply their sound recognition skills on reading ‘Nonsense words’. These words will also feature heavily in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term. Click here for further information on the Screening check.

Step 3:

Children will be introduced to ‘Ditty books’ when they successfully begin to read single words. The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:

Children use sound-blending (Fred Talk) to read short ditties. They will bring these home once they have read and discussed the book in class. Children will then be challenged to use their developing phonic knowledge to write short sentences.

Within all the books children will have red and green words to learn to help them to become speedy readers. Red words are words that are not easily decodable and challenge words to extend children’s vocabulary. Green words are linked to the sounds they have been learning and are easily decodable.

Dots and dashes represent the sound each letter makes.

Once your child has been introduced and taught these words in school we will send them home for you to continue practising with your child.

During the RWI session children will read the book three times and at each new reading they will have plenty of opportunities to practise using their developing comprehension skills.


Progression through the scheme

Reception Minimum Expectations for Expected Progress







Know most Set 1 sounds and begin to blend (Set 1 Sounds Group B)

Know Set 1 Sounds and blending (Set 1 Sounds Group C)

Reading Photocopy Ditties 1–20*

Reading Red Ditty Storybooks

Reading Green Storybooks

Reading Green/Purple Storybooks



Year 1 Minimum Expectations for Expected Progress







Reading Green/Purple Storybooks

Reading Pink Storybooks

Reading Orange Storybooks

Reading Yellow Storybooks

Reading Yellow Storybooks

Reading Blue Storybooks

Useful RWI websites and links

Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child  learn about phonics. Games and fun activity websites are also included.

http://jollylearning.co.uk/ - Games and information for parents

http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/ - many games to play

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/ks1/literacy/phonics/play/ - fun games for the children to play

http://www.ictgames.com/literacy.html  - fun games for the children to play

http://www.kenttrustweb.org.uk/kentict/kentict_home.cfm  - fun games for the children to play and information for parents

http://www.ngfl-cymru.org.uk/  - fun games for the children to play

http://www.starfall.com/  - fun games for the children to play

http://www.firstschoolyears.com/  - fun games for the children to play

BBC Bitesize - many games to play covering all areas of the curriculum