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Read Write Inc

At Buckstone we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) as an intervention programme. Here is some information about how you can help with your child’s reading development at home.
RWI is a phonic based approach to teaching reading. It involves children learning to read
sounds and how to blend them together to read words. RWI is a successful reading programme that enables every child to become a confident and fluent reader at the first attempt. It aims to teach all children to read at a pace that they are comfortable with.
The children learn 44 sounds (speed sounds). These are the letter sounds and not letter
names. The speed sounds are divided into small groups. Once your child has learnt all of
the sounds in one group, they can move on to sound blending the letters in that group to
read words.
The speed sound groups:

  1. m a s d t
  2. i n p g o
  3. c k u b
  4. f e l h sh
  5. r j v y w
  6. th z ch qu x ng nk v y w

For example, once your child has learnt to read the first 5 sounds: m a s d t they can then start to read words that include these sounds such as mat, sat, sad, mad, at etc.
Your child will then learn the next five sounds and be able to read words with a combination
of the ten sounds.

Types of Sounds
Pure sounds

When teaching the speed sounds it is very important that you do no add an intrusive
‘uh’ to the end of the consonant sound. Try to pronounce them as pure sounds:
‘mmmm’ not ‘muh’, ‘ffffff’ not ‘fuh’ and ‘lllll ‘not ‘luh’.
This can be quite difficult to begin with but by ensuring only the pure sounds are pronounced, your child will find it much easier to blend the sounds to make words. There is a video that demonstrates this on Youtube: search for Read Write Inc Pronunciation.

Bouncy and stretchy sounds
To help your child remember his or her sounds we say that some make a stretchy sound and some make a bouncy sound.
Stretchy sounds are said in one continuous sound, e.g. mmmmmmmmm as in mountain.
Bouncy sounds are said with a short sharp gap in between, e.g. d-d-d as in d-dd dinosaur.
Sound blends
Your child is ready to sound blend once they have learnt the first set of sounds and can say these in and out of order. In school we call this Fred Talk.

How can I use RWI at home?
Help your child to learn the speed sounds. (Please avoid using letter names with early readers)

  1. Help your child learn to read words by sound blending (We call this Fred Talk in school)
  2. Help your child read short sentences (Ditties)
  3. Read their RWI storybook with them regularly
    Consonant: stretch
    f l m n r s v z sh th ng
    Consonants: bouncy
    b ck d g h j p qu t w x y ch
    Vowels: bouncy
    a e i o u ay ee igh ow
    Vowels: stretchy
    oo oo ar or air ir ou oy

Red & Green Words
Green words
Green words are words that your child will be able to sound out and then sound blend together, using the speed sounds they have learnt. Your child will be able to read a book
more easily if they practice reading these words first.
Red words
Red words are those words which contain spelling patterns that cannot be sounded out. Some of the most frequently used words in the English language have an uncommon spelling
pattern and don’t sound like they look, for example, said sounds like ‘sed’. Red words have to be learnt by sight. These words are printed in red in the story books. Learning to read the red
words is a very important part of reading and one which you can help with at home.
There is a list of red words for you to practise with your child. A good way to do this is to put them onto small pieces of paper and use them as flash cards. When you hold up the word
your child should be able to say the word. Please remember you cannot sound out all the sounds in these words as some sounds are ‘grotty’!

Red Words
Remember these words cannot be completely sounded out – they must be learnt by sight! If you have any questions about this leaflet, please contact your class teacher.

Parent presentation


Supporting your Child with Writing at Home

Early writing activities

  1. Encourage children to look for print in their environment –road signs, food packets, shops, catalogues etc.
  2. Try activities to develop fine motor skills e.g. cutting, using playdough, using tweezers, using clothes pegs, tracing.
  3. Use a chalkboard to write family messages on.
  4. Make labels for things around the house.
  5. Write a shopping list – real or imaginary! Or any other sort of list.
  6. Letter formation – practise forming letters using paint, in sand, using playdough or pastry.
  7. Let your child write their own Christmas cards or birthday cards to people.
  8. Use magnetic letters – your child can leave a message on the fridge.
  9. Encourage and praise early squiggles and marks which show your child is beginning to understand writing.

Improving Writers

  1. Write party invitations.
  2. Encourage children to write thank you letters after birthdays and Christmas.
  3. Write postcards when on holiday.
  4. Write menu for a family meal or party.
  5. Email a family member or friend.
  6. Make a scrap book with labels and captions – maybe after a holiday or special event.
  7. Write short stories involving the adventures of their favourite toys.
  8. Write an information leaflet about something they find interesting eg. dinosaurs, sports etc.
  9. Write a letter to a favourite author.
  10. Invent and write rules for the house, bedroom etc. and put on a poster
  11. Draw, label and explain their own inventions. Make up silly sentences and tongue twisters.

More confident writers

  1. Write a secret diary.
  2. Make up song lyrics.
  3. Plan their own party.
  4. Write a story for a younger family member, in the style of their favourite book.
  5. Write a holiday journal.
  6. Write instructions for an X-box game, Minecraft or similar.
  7. Write a recipe.
  8. Write instructions for a more mature member of the family (eg . grandparent) for a piece of modern technology they can’t get to grips with!
  9. Produce their own comic (
  10. Channel their passions – RSPCA, WWF, ActionAid etc. all have ideas for getting children involved in raising awareness of campaigns.
  11. Write to the local newspaper about a local issue they feel strongly about or even to the local MP.
  12. Talk to different generations of family about their life and compile a family history.
  13. Make up jokes.
  14. Look out for writing competitions eg. Radio 2’s annual 500 Word Competition. (A prize is always an incentive to write!)

It’s also an incentive to write if there is a range of exciting writing materials available – pencils, crayons, felt tips, sparkly pens , writing icings, writing soaps for bathtime, coloured papers, different shape and sizes of paper etc. Most of these things are available quite cheaply these days in places like Poundland.

Try to remember to focus on and praise the content of any writing your child shares with you, rather than dwelling on any mistakes they may have made. Hopefully the variety of activities listed here have provided you with plenty of ideas to help and encourage your child to have a go at doing some writing at home.

How does the school support emotional and social needs?

Children may experience a wide range of social and emotional difficulties which manifest themselves in many ways. These may include becoming withdrawn or isolated, as well as displaying challenging behaviour or showing signs of anxiousness.

We have clear processes to support children with social and emotional needs. This includes the effective management of behaviour (as in behaviour policy).

Staff undergo training where necessary in order to support children with particular needs. Pupil Support Assistants deliver pastoral support in the form of one to one provision as well as group provision that develops social skills.

We also have access to a number of agencies, whom we can approach when we require more specialist support for our children.

Getting Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)

GIRFEC national practice model diagram

Getting it right for every child (GIRFEC) supports families by making sure children and young people can receive the right help, at the right time, from the right people. The aim is to help them to grow up feeling loved, safe and respected so that they can realise their full potential.

Most children and young people get all the help and support they need from their parent(s), wider family and community but sometimes, perhaps unexpectedly, they may need a bit of extra help.

GIRFEC is a way for families to work in partnership with people who can support them, such as teachers, doctors and nurses. 

Child Plan

A personalised child’s plan will be available when a child needs a range of extra support planned, delivered and co-ordinated.

This will explain what should improve for the child, the actions to be taken and why the plan has been created.

The child’s plan is managed by a ‘lead professional’: someone with the right skills and experience to make sure the plan is managed properly. Depending on the situation and the child’s needs, the lead professional may also be their named person.

The child and parent(s) will know what information is being shared, with whom and for what purpose, and their views will be taken into account. This may not happen in exceptional cases, such as where there is a concern for the safety of a child or someone else


Open the links below to help support your child with spelling.

Dyslexic Spelling Activities

A few spelling activities and games to help support your child.

How do I help my child with Numeracy and Math?

  • Be positive about maths. Try not to say things like “I can’t do maths” or “I hated maths at school” – your child may start to think like that themselves.
  • Point out the maths in everyday life. Include your child in activities involving numbers and measuring, such as shopping, cooking and travelling.
  • Praise your child for effort rather than for being “clever”. This shows them that by working hard they can always improve.

Mental agility or mental math is the process of doing mathematical calculations in your head, without the use of a calculator, abacus or even pen and paper. This is used in many walks of life outside of the classroom. For example:

  • Working out the cost of sale goods when shopping. For example, if there’s a 20% off sale, you’ll know exactly how much you expect to pay. In America, mental maths also comes in useful in everyday shopping, to add things like tax which aren’t included in the tag price before you head to the till.
  • Calculating a tip. If you dine out and receive a good service, chances are you’ll leave a tip. Mental maths allows you to calculate how much a 10%, 20% or more tip would be.
  • Metric conversions. You don’t have to travel far to see measurement units change. In the UK we go by miles per hour, whereas in European countries it’s kilometres per hour when driving. Similarly it allows you to easily work out the difference between inches and centimetres, pounds and kilos and much more.
  • Working out exchange rate. If you enjoy a summer holiday abroad, you’ll no doubt need to exchange currency to spend while you’re there. Mental maths makes it easy to work out how much value for money you’re getting, and how much currency you can expect to receive for your sterling.

There are many other places mental maths is used, probably without even thinking about it, in everyday life, such as cooking recipes, comparing values of products/services when shopping, working out a score/grade and even calculating interest due.

Helpful Links

Information for Parents

What is Dyslexia?

The formal definition of dyslexia is:

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede the growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.

But what does that mean exactly?

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. Students with dyslexia usually experience difficulties with other language skills, such as spelling, writing, and pronouncing words. Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person’s life. It is referred to as a learning disability because dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to succeed academically in the typical instructional environment, and in its more severe forms, will qualify a student for special education, special accommodations, and/ or extra support services.

What causes dyslexia?

The exact causes of dyslexia are still not completely clear, but anatomical and brain imagery studies show differences in the way the brain of a person with dyslexia develops and functions. Moreover, most people with dyslexia have been found to have problems with identifying the separate speech sounds within a word and/or learning how letters represent those sounds, a key factor in their reading difficulties. Dyslexia is not due to either lack of intelligence or desire to learn; with appropriate teaching methods, students with dyslexia can learn successfully. Dyslexia occurs in people of all backgrounds and intellectual levels. People with dyslexia can be very bright. They are often capable or even gifted in areas such as art, computer science, design, drama, electronics, math, mechanics, music, physics, sales, and sports. In addition, dyslexia runs in families; having a parent or sibling with dyslexia increases the probability that you will also have dyslexia. For some people, their dyslexia is identified early in their lives, but for others, their dyslexia goes unidentified until they get older.

What are the effects of dyslexia?

The impact that dyslexia has is different for each person and depends on the severity of the condition and the timeliness and effectiveness of instruction or remediation. The core difficulty involves word recognition and reading fluency, spelling, and writing. Some individuals with dyslexia manage to learn early reading and spelling tasks, especially with excellent instruction, but later experience their most debilitating problems when more complex language skills are required, such as grammar, understanding textbook material, and writing essays. People with dyslexia can also have problems with spoken language, even after they have been exposed to excellent language models in their homes and high quality language instruction in school. They may find it difficult to express themselves clearly, or to fully comprehend what others mean when they speak. Such language problems are often difficult to recognise, but they can lead to major problems in school, in the workplace, and in relating to other people. The effects of dyslexia reach well beyond the classroom.

What misconceptions exist regarding dyslexia?

It is equally important to understand what dyslexia isn’t. There are great misconceptions and myths about dyslexia which make it that much more difficult for someone with dyslexia to receive help and generally be understood. It is a myth that individuals with dyslexia “read backwards.” Their spelling can look quite jumbled at times not because they read or see words backwards, but because students have trouble remembering letter symbols for sounds and letter patterns in words. Dyslexia is not a disease and, therefore, there is no cure. With proper diagnosis, appropriate and timely instruction, hard work, and support from family, teachers, friends, and others, individuals who have dyslexia can succeed in school and later as adults. Individuals with dyslexia do not have a lower level of intelligence. In fact, more often than not, the complete opposite is true.