Phonics (Read Write Inc.)

At Hayward’s, we believe that reading (alongside speaking, listening and writing) is a fundamental life skill, which enables children to communicate effectively in all areas and equips them for the challenges they will face in the wider world.

Our aim is for all children in Key Stage 1 to leave as confident readers through our rigorous approach, but we also aim to develop children as life-long readers. 

In 2020, we introduced a new Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme (SSPP) called 'Read Write Inc.' or 'RWI', which has been produced by Ruth Miskin.

RWI is an approach to learning centred around letter sounds and phonics; blending sounds together to read and write words, and using these learnt sounds to support with reading, spelling and writing.

We are receiving support from the Ilsham Hub, under the Partner School Support program, which includes support from a Literacy Specialist across the academic year. This ensures RWI is implemented and embedded fully at Hayward's.


We ensure that:

  • Every pupil will learn to read, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.
  • All pupils, including the weakest readers, make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age-related expectations.
  • Children are able to develop vocabulary, language comprehension, and a love of reading through stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction 
  • Children are familiar with, and enjoy listening to a wide range of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction.  
  • Children in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 follow the Read Write Inc. programme at Hayward's.
  • All staff have clear expectations of pupils’ phonics progress term by term, from Reception to  Year 2. 
  • There is a catch-up programme for children in Year 3 and Year 4 following Read, Write Inc. 
  • The sequence of reading books shows cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that is matched closely to the school’s phonics programme.
  • Teachers will give pupils sufficient practice in reading and re-reading books that match the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they know, both in school and at home (each book must be read at least 3 times). 
  • Reading, including the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics, is taught from the beginning of EYFS
  • Ongoing assessment of pupils’ phonics progress is sufficiently frequent (every half term, and 'as and when' children are ready to be assessed) and detailed to identify any pupil who is falling behind the programme’s pace. If they do fall behind, targeted support is given immediately. 
  • All children, who require it, benefit from 1:1 tutoring at least three times a week in EYFS (starting in November) and in Year 1. One-to-one tutoring is also provided in Year 2.
  • Children in Key Stage Two who are not at the expected standard in reading benefit from extra 1:1 reading/tutoring on a daily basis.


Through the RWI program, all children in EYFS and Key Stage One are assessed half-termly, to ensure they are reading books at an appropriate level.  Children are also assessed in-between the half-termly assessment points, as and when their RWI teachers feel they are ready to move on.

The children's ongoing progress is carefully monitored to support staff in quickly identifying children who need additional reading and phonics support.

Phonics Screening Check

In the summer term of Year 1, the children sit a Phonics Screening Check. The check is done on a 1:1 basis with the child's class teacher. The children have 20 real words and 20 pseudo (nonsense) words to read. The way that the children learn to read in RWI (spotting any special friends, Fred Talk, say the word) means that they are well-prepared.

Any children who do not pass the phonic's screening check in Year 1 continue to be monitored closely and are supported with regular one-to-one tutoring, helping to ensure the vast majority of children leave Key Stage One having achieved a phonic screening pass.

Phonically-decodable RWI books

Fred Talk helps children read unfamiliar words by pronouncing each sound in the word one at a time. They do lots of practice of this in their daily RWI Storybook Lessons.

The children are introduced to phonically-decodable RWI books in their RWI sessions first, before the books go home, so that they are familiar with the text, able to read the words and show an understanding of what they're reading. The books then go home to be celebrated with the children's families: the children are able to confidently read the book and take on the role of a storyteller, by being able to read with increasing intonation.

Reading at Home Expectations:

In Key Stage 1, the expectation for reading at home is between 10 and 20 minutes per evening (reading to an adult). Children need to read their book at home 3 times:

1st read: focus on decoding (sounding out)

2nd read: read with fluency (speed and accuracy)

3rd read: show comprehension (read with expression and an understanding of what is being read)

In addition to their RWI books, children take home library books to share with their families. We want all our children to have a love of reading so we encourage our families to enjoy reading anything and everything at home: recipes, road signs, subtitles on children's films or TV programs, cereal boxes, logos, menus etc.


Support videos


Introduction to Phonics and RWI

What is Read Write Inc phonics?

Understanding phonics

Oxford Owl RWI guide for parents


Understanding the sounds

How to say the sounds

Reading bouncy sounds

Reading stretchy sounds

Special Friends: 2 or more letters making one sound

Sound Blending

Blending Sounds books

Fred Talk

Green words: words which can be sounded out and blended

Red words: words which have a tricky sound within them (a word may only be a red word until the specific sound is taught)


Spelling with RWI

Using Fred Fingers to spell

Spelling lesson example


Reading at home

Why read to your child?

10 things to think about when reading with your child


Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

The Phonics Screening Check