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
The speed sound groups:
- m a s d t
- i n p g o
- c k u b
- f e l h sh
- r j v y w
- 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
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.
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)
- Help your child learn to read words by sound blending (We call this Fred Talk in school)
- Help your child read short sentences (Ditties)
- Read their RWI storybook with them regularly
f l m n r s v z sh th ng
b ck d g h j p qu t w x y ch
a e i o u ay ee igh ow
oo oo ar or air ir ou oy
Red & 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 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’!
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.