Fair Oak Infant School

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Further information on Read Write Inc

Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn. It is a fundamental skill that children need to be successful at in order to access the curriculum as they get older. We want children to love reading and want them to read for themselves.  


What is Read Write Inc? 

Read Write Inc is a complete synthetic phonics and literacy programme which helps all children to learn to read fluently, so they can focus on developing their skills in comprehension and vocabulary.  


Synthetic Phonics 

Synthetic phonics is the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word. To teach children to do this, at Fair Oak Infant School we use Read Write Inc. Read Write Inc is a programme that teaches children to read. Alongside this, we also help children develop a love for and enjoyment of reading through other activities and events we hold throughout the school year. 


Read Write Inc teaches children the 44 phonemes (sounds) and matching letters. Children learn to blend phonemes to read words. Alongside this, children are taught storybook words, green words (words they can blend) and red words (words that they cannot blend and need to learn from sight). Children then read story books that only have the sounds, storybook words, green words, and red words that they have are familiar with ensuring they read with confidence and independence. 


The teaching of reading normally takes place at the beginning of each day, across the whole school. Children are split into developmentally appropriate phonic groups. Their phonic group will be made up of other children from across the school and their reading teacher is likely to be a different adult, rather than their own teacher or teaching assistant. Children are taught within this group for half a term. Each half term, children are assessed by our Reading Leader, following which their reading group could change. Every half term, groups are reviewed, with children being allocated a different group and a different reading teacher. The reading groups are very fluid. 


Children work within their reading group daily, for 45 minutes each day. This happens across the school, even for those children who have completed the Read Write Inc programme. 



The children: 

  • Learn letter sounds and the corresponding letters using simple picture prompts 
  • Learn to read words using Fred talk and sound blending 
  • Read from a range of storybooks matched to their phonic knowledge 
  • Develop comprehension skills in stories by answering 'Find It' and 'Prove It' discussion questions 



The children: 

  • Learn to write and form the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds with the help of fun phrases 
  • Learn to write words by using Fred Talk and Fred Fingers 



The children: 

  • Answer every question 
  • Practise every activity with their partner 
  • Take turns in talking and reading to each other 
  • Develop ambitious vocabulary 


What happens in a Read Write Inc lesson? 

Teaching of speed sounds. The sounds that are taught or revised will be based on the stage children are at.  


When children have learnt all the single letter sounds and are able to blend and segment words, they will start to bring home books. Their first book is a Wordless Book, to engage and encourage early readers to tell a story through pictures. When they start, reading books, children will move onto Red Ditty Books.  They will bring home a black and white copy of the book which they read within school and an additional Book Bag Book. The expectation is that children should be able to read the black and white book, as they have been reading this for three days within school before bringing it home. Your child may need support to read the Book Bag Book as it will contain some words that they are less familiar with. Books are changed weekly. Please keep these books in their reading folder and bring them to school every day, a charge is made for books that are lost or damaged. 

RWInc Terminology used within School 


Fred Talk

Fred is a toy frog to help children sound out phonemes within words. Saying each sound in a word out loud using pure sounds and blending them together to make the word.


Fred in your head

Once children are secure sounding out loud, we encourage them to try sounding quietly in their head to aid fluency and speed.


Speedy Read

Familiar words that children instantly recognise – read by recognition.


Special Friends

When two or three letters make one sound, we call them special friends. This helps children to recognise that the letters are often grouped together in words. As part of a phonic session, children are training to spot special friends within a word to support with sounding out. E.g. blow, light, play.


Fred Fingers

Counting the number of sounds in a word and pinching the sounds on our fingers to help with the spelling process.


Green Words
Green words are linked to the sounds children have been learning and are easily decodable when sounding out.


Red Words
Red words are words that are not easily decodable, they can’t be sounded out. They were previously referred to as ‘tricky’ words.


Nonsense Words

Decodable nonsense words that can be read using knowledge of phonics. These words will feature heavily in the Year One Phonic Screening Check. E.g.  ‘g..l..oa..m’, ‘j..igh..t’. 


Read Write Inc Links 

A Guide for Parents


Supporting your child at home 

Children will start bringing books home when they are confident at reading, applying the sounds they know. Please find time to listen to them read, have patience, and give lots of praise! When supporting your child at home it is important that you pronounce each phoneme correctly. This video below will help you.


Click here to read Read Write Inc Booklet 1


Click here to read Read Write Inc Booklet 2


When supporting your child have home please… 


  1. Use pure sounds, not letter names. 
  1. Use Fred Talk to read and spell words. 
  1. Listen to your child read their storybook every day. 
  1. Support your child to read their Book Bag Book. 
  1. Read additional stories to your child every day. 

Sounds taught in school



Pure Sounds

Pronouncing the sounds of letters and combination of letters correctly. Avoid the ‘uh’ at the end of the sound. ‘mmmm’ rather than ‘muh’.


Oral Blending

Your child hears a series of sounds, and they are able to blend these sounds together to make a whole word. Eg children will say ‘c..a..t’ and then blend them to make ‘cat’.



Your child sees a word, says the individual sounds and then merges those sounds together to make a whole word. Eg ‘b..u..s’ and blend to make ‘bus’.



This is the opposite to blending. Children break up the word into its component sounds. Children might use ‘robot arms’ or ‘Fred fingers’ to count the number of sounds within a word.



The smallest unit of sound within a word. So, the word ‘sun’ has three phonemes, ‘chair’ has two phonemes and ‘sport’ has four. There are approximately 99 in the English language to learn.



The written form of the phoneme. It is what we write on the paper or see on resources. The number of graphemes corresponds to the number of phonemes. A grapheme can be made up of different numbers of letters. Eg ‘ai’ has two graphemes and ‘ear’ has three.



A digraph is two letters that make one sound. Eg ‘ck’, ‘ee’ and ‘ar’.



Three letters together that make one sound. Eg ‘igh’, ‘ear’ and ‘ure’.


Split Diagraph

This is when a digraph like ‘ie’ has been split and a consonant has been placed in the middle. It still makes the ‘ie’ phoneme. There are five to learn: ‘a_i’, ‘i_e’, ‘o_e’, and ‘u_e’.


If you have any questions about reading within school, please contact Mrs Francis, our Reading Leader.