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RWI parent support. (phonics)

At Sacred Heart, we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers by teaching our children the core skills of segmenting and blending and to start them on their ‘reading journey’. We believe that Read, Write, Inc (RWI) phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier.


RWI was developed by Ruth Miskin and more information on this can be found at:


What is Phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. Children are taught how to:

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes.
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘oo’.
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

The aim of this page is to give you a clear picture of how we approach the teaching of phonics and word recognition and how, as a parent or carer, you can support and encourage your child at home. 


Here's some of the technical vocabulary explained.

Blend(ing) - to draw individual sounds together to pronounce a word, e.g. s-n-a-p

Grapheme - Written representation of the sounds

Phoneme - Smallest unit of speech sounds sh/i/p 

Segment(ing) - to split up a word into its individual phonemes in order to spell it.

Suffix(es) - a unit of letters such as 'ed' 'ing' that are added to a word to change its meaning e.g. play'ed'


Read Write Inc. Glossary

Fred Talk - sounding out the word before reading (blending)

Sound blending – putting sounds together to make a word, e.g. c–a–t cat

Special friends – sounds written with more than one letter, e.g. sh, ng, qu, ch

Speed Sounds – the individual sounds that make up words


What are Speed Sounds, Set 1, Set 2 and Set 3?

Set 1 Speed Sounds: these are sounds written with one letter: 
m a  s  d  t  i  n  p  g  o  c  k  u  b  f  e  l  h  r  j  v  y  w  z  x and sounds written with two letters: sh  th ch
qu  ng  nk ck (special friends)
• Words containing these sounds, by sound-blending,
e.g. m–a–t mat, c–a–t cat, g–o–t got, f–i–sh fish, s–p–o–t  spot, b–e–s–t  best, s–p–l–a–sh splash
• Blending Books and Red, Green and Purple Storybooks.


Set 2 Speed Sounds: ay ee igh ow oo oo ar or air ir ou oy

• Words containing these sounds

• Pink, Orange and Yellow Storybooks.


Set 3 Speed Sounds: ea oi a-e i-e o-e u-e aw are ur er ow ai oa ew ire ear ure

• Words containing these sounds

• Blue and Grey Storybooks.