Governors' Area


Phonics - Read Write Inc

At Thurlby, we use a phonics scheme called Read Write Inc. Children in Reception and Year 1 bring home a Read Write Inc phonics reading book that the children have read in school to practise the sounds they have been taught. They will also bring home a ‘Thurlby Scheme’ reading book that allows further practice the sounds they have been taught (usually from Bug Club, Songbirds or Alien Adventures schemes).

There is a lot of information on the Oxford Owl website including videos to explain how to pronounce the sounds.

Due to COVID-19, children will ONLY bring home a ‘Thurlby scheme’ book and not a Read Write Inc. book until circumstances change.

What is Read Write Inc. Phonics?

Read Write Inc. Phonics is a programme developed by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press. It is taught in over 5000 schools in the United Kingdom, making it the country’s most popular way for children to learn to read using phonics.

In the programme, children learn sounds and the letters that represent them, and how to form the letters. Then, they read books written using only the letters they have learnt (and a small number of separately taught ‘tricky words’). This gives the children plenty of early success and builds up their reading confidence.

Read Write Inc. Phonics includes lots of useful kits for parents as well as classroom resources. Their reading and writing kits have been developed for parents who want to support their child’s phonics learning at home. You can use them to systematically teach all of the common sounds in the English language, helping your child to recognise the sounds and then to ‘sound-blend’ them into words for reading. Children become fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.

How will my child learn to read?

The Read Write Inc. Phonics approach teaches children to read sets of sounds and then blend them to read words. The books that they read at school will only contain the sounds they’ve already learned, so children learn quickly and confidently.

First your child will learn to read:

  • Set 1 Speed Sounds (sounds written with one letter): m a s d t i n p g o c k u b f e l h r j v y w z x and sounds written with two letters (your child will call these ‘special friends’): sh th ch qu ng nk ck
  • Words containing these sounds, by sound-blending, e.g. m–a–t mat, c–a–t cat, g–o–t got, f–i–sh fish, s–p–o–t spot, b–e–s–t best, s–p–l–a–sh splash
  • At school, they will read Read Write Inc. Phonics Sound Blending Books and Red, Green and Purple Storybooks.

Whilst they are practising reading stories with words made up of Set 1 Speed Sounds, your child will also learn to read:

  • Set 2 Speed Sounds: ay ee igh ow oo oo ar or air ir ou oy
  • Words containing these sounds
  • At school, they will read Read Write Inc. Phonics Pink, Orange and Yellow Storybooks.

Whilst they are practising reading stories with words made up of Set 1 and Set 2 Speed Sounds, your child will also learn to read:

  • Set 3 Speed Sounds: ea oi a–e i–e o–e u–e aw are ur er ow ai oa er ire ear ure
  • Words containing these sounds
  • At school, they will read Read Write Inc. Phonics Blue and Grey Storybooks.

You will find a useful phonics audio guide to all these sounds on our Phonics made easy page. It is really important to say the sounds clearly to help your child learn them. We say ‘mmmm‘ not ‘muh’ and ‘lllll‘ not ‘luh’ when teaching the sounds. This really helps children when they learn to blend sounds together to read words.

What is Fred Talk?

Adults will introduce your child to a toy frog called Fred once he or she is ready to start reading words. Fred can only say the sounds in a word and needs your child to help him read the word. Fred will say the sounds and children will work out the word. For example, Fred will say the sounds c–a–t, and children will say the word cat. This is Fred Talk: sounding out the word.

How can I help at home?

In the early stages of learning to read, help your child to learn the sounds represented by the letters (e.g. mmmm), rather than the letter names (e.g. em). This will help them when they start blending sounds together to read words.

There are lots of ways you can help your child learn with Read Write Inc. Phonics at home.

Read Oxford Owl free Read Write Inc. Phonics eBooks, watch Oxford Owl Read Write Inc. Phonics videos, or browse Oxford Owl selection of Read Write Inc. Phonics kits for parents to find inspiration on the website link above.