Riverside Primary School and Nursery

Every child a happy learner

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The government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. In Early Years and

Key Stage 1 we use the Read Write Inc scheme to assist in the teaching of phonics. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.   

Here at Riverside Primary School, we are using the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their literacy. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing. Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who can read more challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out. 

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so they can put all their energy into composing what they write. We group children homogeneously, according to their progress in reading rather than their writing. The children are assessed every half term and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or teaching assistant. In addition to the daily RWI lessons, children will also have an additional speed sound lesson in the afternoon with their own teacher.


The Read Write Inc Lead is Miss Porter. If you have any questions or need any guidance on the programme, please email the school office or give them a call and they will arrange an appointment for you.


When using RWI to read the children will:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts.
  • Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk).
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out.
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It'.

When using RWI to write the children will:

  • Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds.
  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers).
  • Learn to write simple then more complex sentences.
  • Compose stories based on story strips.
  • Compose a range of texts using discussion prompts.

When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:

  • To answer questions.
  • To practise every activity.
  • To take turns talking and listening to each other.
  • To give positive praise to each other.

Help your child learn to read words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set (shown further down the page). Help your child to say the pure sounds ('m' not 'muh', 's' not 'suh' etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word. Reading a variety of books (fiction, non-fiction, rhymes etc.) Discuss the different features of the books. Talk about the books and other reading materials that you have shared. Explain the meaning of new words. See if your child could change a part of the story to make a new version. You could use puppets or soft toys to retell the story. Most importantly though, show that fun can be gained by listening to stories and reading a range of texts, eg. cereal packets, shopping lists, road signs, web pages, magazines, comics, newspapers etc.


Below you will also see links to videos that will help you better understand Read Write Inc., as well as a link to the presentation given to Reception parents at the beginning of the Autumn term.


What is Read Write Inc Phonics? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjlPILhk7bQ

How to say the sounds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkXcabDUg7Q

Set 1 Stretchy Sounds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsrMZZ6lbCI

Set 1 Bouncy Sounds https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui5UXEFD6UQ

Importance of Reading https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjHqJQ8sxs4

Reading 'Special Friends' (digraphs) https://schools.ruthmiskin.com/resources/watch/436/


We make sure that our children read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the common exception words. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluent decoding.

In Early Years and Key Stage 1 we use the RWI ‘bookbag’ books that match the phonics the children are learning in school that week. This book resource provides a varied choice of writing styles, genres and artwork styles at every level, enabling the children to become confident readers.


To further develop a love of reading, teachers read to their classes at the end of the day for 10 minutes. In the document 'The Riverside Reading Spine' below you can see the books that pupils across the school are reading together. Within this document, you will also find suggested books to support at home. 

Phonics Screen Check 2023 Results

Parent meeting 1 - Listening to your child read

Phonics Screening Check Meeting for Parents (April 2024)