At St Mary’s, we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme which was developed by Ruth Miskin. The programme uses synthetic phonics as a method of teaching reading to children aged 4-7, however we begin the programme in Reception and continue teaching RWI to children beyond the age of 7 if they still need support in their reading.

This approach:

  • Gets children decoding and comprehending quickly. The special ‘three reads’ approach ensures that all children gain accuracy, fluency and a good understanding of the text.
  • Ensures children read storybooks and non-fiction books matched to their growing phonic knowledge.
  • Leaves no child behind. Initial and on-going assessment to track every child’s progress.
  • Prevents downtime. Direct teaching followed by partner practice means that every child participates in the whole lesson.

Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into composing what they write.

When using RWI to read, the children will:

  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • Learn to read words using Fred Talk
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • Show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions

When using RWI to write, the children will:

  • Learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds
  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
  • Write simple sentences

How will RWI be taught?

 All children will be assessed regularly by our RWI lead teacher so they work with children at the same level. This allows complete participation in lessons.


In Reception, all children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words through blending and learn how those sounds can be written down.

Year 1 & 2

Children follow the same format as Reception but will work on more complex sounds and read books appropriate to their reading level. Daily sessions of RWI phonics last for 40 minutes. Once children become fluent, speedy readers they will move on to the comprehension modules. 


On some occasions, children who move to KS2 need to continue to learn their sounds in RWI lessons. Arrangements are made for children to still attend these groups or to receive a separate intervention called ‘Freshstart’.

More information about RWI, including useful pronunciation guides, can be found here:

Ruth Miskin – Find Out More

Please view our RWI Policy below: