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Thrapston Primary School

Literacy and Phonics

At Thrapston Primary School, we use the Read Write Inc. (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their literacy.

Read Write Inc. Phonics is a method of teaching reading and writing, which is centred around learning the sounds of the letters (phonics) and then blending them together to read words. The children also learn to break down words into individual sounds in order to write them.

When using RWI to read the children will:

  • Learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into understanding what they read.
  • Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts.
  • Learn to read words using Fred Talk.
  • Learn to read words by blending the sounds together.
  • Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out.

When using RWI to write the children will:

  • Spell effortlessly so that they can put their energy into working out what they want to write.
  • Learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds (graphemes).
  • Learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk.
  • Learn to write simple and then increasingly complex sentences.
  • Compose a range of texts using discussion prompts.
  • Write simple sentences.

Phonics booklet 1

Phonics booklet 2


RWInc – Read Write Inc is a phonics scheme created by Ruth Miskin and is used to teach reading and writing. 

Fred talk – when we split a word up into its sounds (oral segmenting).

Fred fingers – when we press the sounds in a word onto our fingers to help us spell words.

Phoneme – a sound.

Grapheme – the letters that are used to record a sound.

Digraph – 2 letters that are used to record a sound.

Trigraph – 3 letters that are used to record a sound.

Special friends – 2 or 3 letters which make one sound (digraph or trigraph).

Split digraph (naughty friends) – a sound where the two letters are split up so the ‘e’ sits on the end of the word e.g.’a_e’ in ‘name’.

Green words – words which are decodable or follow the rules we teach children about which letters make sounds.

Sound buttons – the markings we put underneath decodable words to indicate sounds (a dot for a single sound and a line underneath letters which make a sound with 2 or more letters).

Red words – exceptions which don’t follow the rules we have taught children about letters making particular sounds (you can’t Fred a red), sometimes called ‘high frequency words’. Read Write Inc. guide for parents. RWI videos. RWI on Facebook. Free e-books for home reading.