Reading and Phonics

At St Nicholas’ Primary and Nursery School we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) Phonics and Spelling programme to begin to teach children to read and write. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing.

Using RWI, the children learn to decode 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.

We carry out regular simple assessments and children are placed in a group that matches the stage that they need to be working at in order to make the most progress. All the adults delivering the RWI programme at St Nicks have been trained specifically for that role and are given regular support and top-up training.

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 (sounding out each part of a word)
  • 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
  • compose stories based on picture strips
  • compose a range of stories based on writing frames.

Once the children have completed the RWI Phonics programme they will follow a spelling based programme in order to continue their learning journey.  This programme extends all the way to the end of KS2. Grammar and vocabulary development are an integral part of our teaching in English and are built into our daily teaching sequences.


About Read Write Inc

Read Write Inc., developed by Ruth Miskin, provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy. It is used by more than a quarter of the UK’s primary schools and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers.

Each Read Write Inc. programme meets the higher expectations of the National Curriculum and uses effective assessment to accelerate every child’s progress.




In addition to the reading that takes place during Read Write Inc. the pupils in Year 2 onwards take part in daily whole class reading where each child has a copy of the class story or text and tracks or follows the words on the page as the teacher reads aloud; modelling expression, intonation, explaining new vocabulary, etc.  This means that all children are getting the opportunity to share a text that they may not have chosen themselves or may not be able to fully decode independently.  The guided reading sessions also include opportunities to talk about the text and answer comprehension-based questions to further deepen their understanding of it. It is expected that our pupils read at home on a daily basis, or as often as possible, in order to build up their skills, confidence and exposure to a range of genres. Prior to Year 2 the children share stories on a daily basis either as a class, in small groups or with their peers.