RWI Phonics

Read Write Inc. Phonics is a DfE validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme with a whole school approach to teaching early reading and writing, designed to ensure progress for every child. Integrated comprehension, writing, grammar, spelling, vocabulary and handwriting means that Read Write Inc. is more than just a phonics programme and helps develop key literacy skills for every child.

As a school, we have adopted Read Write Inc. as our validated phonics programme.  Staff have undertaken training and are delivering daily sessions in Early Years and Key Stage One.


Read Write Inc. (RWI) is an inclusive Literacy programme for all children learning to read. Children learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend them to read and spell.

Reading is the key that unlocks the whole curriculum so the ability to efficiently decode is essential. The RWI sessions take place every day for 30-40 minutes, as the continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development.

At Greenacres, we strive to teach children to read effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics programme (RWI) which includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation.

Using the RWI Scheme we aim to teach children learning to read to:

  • apply their phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words
  • respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes
  • read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing the Grapheme Phoneme Correspondences (GPCs) that they have been taught
  • read and spell common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound
  • read words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs
  • read books aloud, accurately, that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words
  • reread these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading
  • read most words quickly and accurately, without overt sounding and blending, when they have been frequently encountered
  • spell words containing each of the 40+ phonemes already taught by segmenting the sounds in words
  • spell effortlessly so that all their focus when writing can be directed towards composition


At Greenacres, these skills are embedded within daily RWI lessons. By focussing on the teaching of skilled word reading, using a synthetic phonics scheme, children learn to pronounce unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and speedily recognise familiar printed words. We want all children to enjoy and experience early success in learning to read. We are committed to developing children’s love of reading and to help them to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.



Foundation Stage 1 (FS1) – Nursery

At this stage, the learning intentions come from Development Matters. Children develop a love of language and enjoy listening to stories and songs. They develop speaking and listening skills and get ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills. Children will explore environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body percussion and rhyme. Initial letter sounds are introduced informally. EYFS staff use ‘Fred Talk’ and Fred Games daily (saying words using pure sounds) with the children, with the expectation that the children will begin to encode the words.


Foundation Stage 2 (FS2) – Reception

RWI is started in Reception on day one. Children are taught the set 1 sounds in the first 4 weeks and then an assessment is completed to determine groupings. The children are then grouped with the KS1 children. Simple mnemonics help children to quickly grasp this phoneme-grapheme relationship. This is especially useful for pupils at risk of making slower progress. This learning is consolidated daily.



In Key Stage 1 pupils work within homogenous groups, across both year groups (Year 1 and Year 2 children), which reflect their performance in RWI phonic assessments. Occasionally Year 3 and Year 4 children who still require phonic support will work within these groups. The Reception children will join these groups once they have completed their assessment after the first 4 weeks teaching within their class. We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky words’; so they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers. Pupils are re-assessed every six weeks and the RWI groups are reorganised accordingly. Once year two children finish the RWI Phonics Programme, they move onto the 14 week RWI Comprehension Programme.



Children in Y3 and Y4 who are still learning to read are assessed using a RWI assessment. They will take part in sessions either alongside the KS1 children or as an intervention. They will be assessed every 6 weeks and regrouped accordingly.


Struggling readers in Y5 and Y6 will follow 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. These sessions will take place at least 3 times a week and the children will be assessed every 6 weeks.


Planning and Resources

Planning is based on the RWI Handbooks and plans. This ensures consistency across the program, as well as freeing up time for teachers to source additional resources etc. to make the lesson come alive to the class. Planning details the focus of each part of the RWI lesson and explains the purpose of the activity to both the teacher and the pupil. Planning also explains the resources needed for each day. Every RWI teacher has their own box of RWI Resources. RWI storybooks and linked texts and props are all stored centrally.



Teachers follow the RWI lesson plans and ensure that the lessons are taught at a good pace to ensure that all children are engaged and involved in the lesson. Children are praised for their contribution to lessons, reading and effort so that a very positive and respectful teaching environment is maintained. Every part of the lesson is explicitly referred to so that the teachers, and the children, know the purpose of the task. Use of effective partner work, turn-taking and children taking on the ‘teacher role’, means that children have an active role in all parts of the lesson. We teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning. This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to pick up on difficulties, such as pupils’ poor articulation, or problems with blending or alphabetic code knowledge. Teachers demonstrate their enthusiasm and passion in the program and this has a very positive affect on the teaching and learning environment.


Home Reading

All children on the RWI programme will take home one or two books or texts that are phonetically decodable at their specific level. These books will be changed on a weekly basis. Children are also encouraged to take a ‘share with me’ book home to share with their adults, this book can be read by the child, the adult or both. It is an opportunity for parents and child to enjoy reading together.

It is important that when reading with your child at home, you use the correct phonemes for each sound.  All reading books sent home are fully decodable and will link very closely to what your child has been learning in school during their daily phonics sessions.

Below you will find a variety of resources which will help support you to read with your child, including a link to a video which will help you to say the sounds accurately.




The programme’s cycle means that, after direct instruction and guided practice, the pupils teach their partner. In this way, they all rehearse and consolidate what they have been learning. This helps the pupils to make their understanding clear to themselves and helps the teacher deal with any misconceptions. ‘Partner teaching’ is a key assessment tool.

Assessment is a critical element of our programme.

The teachers’ assess:

  • pupils’ phonic knowledge
  • the speed at which pupils are able to read the text
  • their understanding of the stories they read


Formative Assessment:

Daily formative assessment opportunities are built into every RWI lesson. Choral response, group work, partner work, the small class size all allow teachers to evaluate pupils’ phonic knowledge and hence modify the pace and focus of their lessons. Formative assessment opportunities provide teachers with knowledge of which children are making slow, steady or speedy progress and hence they can liaise with the Early Reading Leader to provide additional support (for children making slower progress) or an immediate assessment (for pupils making speedy progress) to allow such pupils to change group.


Summative Assessment:

All pupils are assessed every 6 weeks, or more frequently for those making speedier progress, using RWI Assessment materials. The assessment is conducted by the Early Reading Leader or Class Teacher and the materials assess a pupils’ sound to grapheme correspondence and ability to apply phonic knowledge to decode regular words. Pupils reading fluency is also evaluated. Pupils’ progress is tracked, to record their phonic knowledge and decoding skills, and this information is used to reorganise groups, RWI Storybook level and the focus of the phonics input of the lesson.


Lowest 20%

The children identified as the lowest 20% from Reception to Year 2 are targeted daily with a short 1-1 session as well as the daily RWI session. This short session will involve reading sounds and/or words and aims to accelerate individual reading progress.

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