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Guide to Read Write Ink

What is RWI?

At Pollington -Balne we teach our children early reading through a consistent and systematic phonics programme -  Read, Write, Inc (RWI). RWI is a fast-paced, rigorous and structured phonics programme developed by Ruth Miskin. The RWI programme is fully matched to the aims of new National Curriculum Programme of Study and RWI is designed to help get every child reading fast.


Why are we teaching RWI at Pollington-Balne?

RWI phonics teaches children to read accurately and fluently with good comprehension. They also learn to form each letter, and spell with more accuracy as they apply phonic knowledge.


What does RWI look like at Pollington-Balne?

At Pollington-Balne we have tailored the RWI programme to meet the needs our children and school environment. Our RWI programme consists of 45 minute daily phonic sessions each morning taught by RWI trained teachers and TA’s. Children are currently taught in small groups of up to 15 who have been grouped according to ability in light of phonic assessments. 


What does a typical RWI session look like at Pollington-Balne?

Each RWI session across school school will look similar in structure. Every RWI session begins with a pacey Speed Sound session before moving onto a Story Time Session however Set 1 Speed Sound sessions differ very slighty to Set 2 and Set 3 Speed Sound sessions. The difference is that in a Set 1 Speed Sound session children are taught how to write the letters and will subsequently practise writing the letter. 


Set 1 Speed Sound Session

  • Introduce the focus sound - s
  • Say the sound - sssss -  'slither down the snake'
  • Picture association - sssssnake, ssssnail etc.
  • Read the sound - teacher models writing S
  • Review sounds - review previously taught sounds and spot the new sound
  • Write the letter  - s  - chn practise 'slither down the snake'
  • Speed write - children say and write 3 previously taught sounds 
  • Fred Talk - oral 3/4 words with S - sit/sat/Sam


Learning to blend

  • Blending orally with speed sound cards - s-a-t- sat
  • Blend with speed sound cards - s-a-t  sat


Blending Independently

  • Read phonic green words
  • Read alien words 



  • Spell green words using Fred Talk 


Set 2 & Set 3 Speed Sound Session

  • Say the sound - ay  - Special Friend
  • Read the sound & picture/phrase association - ay - may I play?
  • Review 4/5 previously taught sounds - Can the children spot todays sound in the pack?
  • Read phonics green words  using Fred Talk moving to Fred in your head - 6 words containing the new sound 
  • Read alien words using Fred Talk - 3/4 words containing new sound (assessment for learning)
  • Spelling using Fred Fingers - 2 words with new sound and 2 words with previously taught sounds 


Story Time

Teacher led: 

  • Speed sounds in story book
  • Story Green Words
  • Speedy Green Words
  • Red Words

Partner practice all of above 


All the Read Write Inc. programmes have partner work at their heart allowing children work in pairs and talk together at every stage of the lesson to enhance their spoken language and embed their understanding. When the children are working in pairs they work as Partner 1 and Partner 2. During this time the children take it in turns to read. Partner 1 may be given the role of pointer, in which Partner 1 points under each word with a lollypop stick and Partner 2 reads. Once Partner 2 has read to the end of a page the children will swap roles. This is repeated until the children reach the end of the book. A simple place holder both instructs and reminds the children whether they are Partner 1 or Partner 2 and teachers ensure that partners are changed frequently, this may be daily or weekly. 


Every child reads the text for meaning with three readings of each story to ensure that the story is understood and read with both fluency and expression. This means that the children will read each storybook three times in school before the Storybook comes home. When a child takes home a new storybook they are encouraged to read this daily until their next storybook comes home. Re-reading storybooks enables children to build fluency. By the third read we hope that children will be beginning to use a 'stroytellers' voice (reading with expression). This is explicitly modelled during teacher read alouds. 


  • Day 1: Story introduction, childrens first read and read aloud teacher
  • Day 2: Jump in with teacher, childrens second read
  • Day 3: Think about the story, third read children and questions to talk about


During partner practice sessions RWI teachers 'shark' children listening into paired reading and supporting where appropriate. When sharking teachers may target  'spotlight' children who have been identified as requiring extra support or similarly those who are excelling and need stretching further. This may be through personalised questioning linked to the text. 


What do children read in RWI sessions?

In a RWI session children will read decodable storybooks that are closely matched to their increased phonic ability. Storybooks are colour coded to reflect progression through the programme. Storybooks are therefore determined by how the children perform in their termly phonic assessments. RWI storybooks include texts in a range of engaging genres such as fairy tales, myths and legends, rhyming stories and familiar settings. There's also a small selection NON-Fiction books  available to ensure breadth across text types and genres. 


How are children assessed?

In September children are assessed using a basline phonics assessment, the children are then placed into small groups according to their phonic ability. We currently have 5 groups of children with the largest group consisting of 15 children. The children are then taught following the RWI programme and are assessed at the end of every term. Termly assessments allow teachers to measure progress and identify 'spotlight children' - those who may require further intervention and support. Allowing us to support the children in keeping up with their peers. Keep up not catch up. 


Please use the glossary in files for words in bold.

You can contact us at Pollington-Balne CE Primary School, Balne Moor Road, Pollington, Goole DN14 0DZ / / Tel: 01405 861916. Please look at our 'News and Events' menu for our latest information.