Wickersley Northfield Primary School

Wickersley Northfield Primary School

Part of White Woods Primary Academy Trust

Northfield Lane, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, S66 2HL


01709 543704

Read Write Inc. at Wickersley Northfield

Click here to find out about our Early Reading Offer at Wickersley Northfield. 

The school's vision is that every pupil learns to read quickly and continues to read - widely and often. 

Our pupils learn to read and write effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonics Programme. 

The Read Write Inc. Phonics programme

The programme is for:

  • Pupils in Foundation 2 to Year 2 who are learning to read and write. 
  • Any pupils in Years 2, 3, and 4 who need to catch up rapidly. 

Struggling readers in Year 5 and 6 follow Read Write Inc. Fresh Start programme. 

We teach pupils to:

  • Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
  • Read 'tricky' words on sight
  • Understand what they read
  • Read aloud with fluency and expression
  • Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar
  • Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words 
  • Acquire good handwriting 

In addition, we teach pupils to work effectively with a partner to explain and consolidate what they are learning.  This provides the teacher with opportunities to assess learning and to pick up on difficulties, such as pupils' poor articulation, or problems with blending or alphabetic code knowledge. 

In Foundation 2 we emphasise the alphabetic code.  The pupils rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them. Simple mnemonics help them to grasp this quickly.  This is is especially useful for pupils at risk of making slower progress.  This learning is consolidated daily.  Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings - 'tricky words' (common exception words).  

We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and common exception words.  This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers.  Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher support their increasingly fluent decoding. 

Embedding the alphabetic code early on means that pupils quickly learn to write simple words and sentences.  We encourage them to compose each sentence aloud until they are confident to write independently.  We make sure they write every day. 

Pupils write at the level of their spelling knowledge, that is, they use their knowledge of the alphabetic code and the tricky words they have learned.  They can soon spell more complex words confidently and accurately.  The quality of the vocabulary they use in their writing reflects the language they have heard in the books the teacher has read them; they also discussed what the words mean.  

Set 1 sounds

Set 2 and Set 3 sounds 

Read Write Inc. Handwriting Phrases 

Saying the handwriting phrase will help your child to form the letter correctly.  Children are taught the handwriting phrases along side each of the Set 1 sounds so they are learning to read and transcribe at the same time.   

See below. 


Special Friends 

Special friends are a combination of two or three letters representing one sound, e.g. ck, ay, high, oa.

Fred Talk 

Fred the Frog helps children read and spell.  He can say the sounds in words, but he can't say the whole word, so children have to help him.

To help children read, Fred (the teacher) says the sounds and then children say the word. For example, Fred says c-a-t, children say cat, Fred says l-igh-t, children say light. 

Teachers are encouraged to use Fred Talk throughout the day, so children learn to blend sounds. For example:

Play Simon Says: Put your hands on your h-ea-d/f-oo-t/kn-ee.

Put on your c-oa-t/h-a-t/s-c-ar-f.

Set the table with a b-ow-l/f-or-k/s-p-oo-n.

Fred in your Head

Once children can sound out a word, we teach them to say the sounds silently in their heads.

We show them how to do this by:

  1. Whispering the sounds and then saying the whole word
  2. Mouthing the sounds and then saying the whole word
  3. Saying the whole word straight away 

Perfect Pencil Grip

Children sit at a table to write.

They hold up a pencil in a tripod pencil grip with the non-writing hand flat holding their paper. 

Read Write Inc. Phonics Policy

How to say the sounds

It is important that you teach your child the pure sounds and not the letter names. 

Watch the video below. 

How you can support your child's reading and writing at home

  1. Read through the story green words and red word before your child reads their Read Write Inc storybook
  2. Go through the vocabulary check
  3. Listen to your child read their Read Write Inc. Storybook every day
  4. Ask you child the questions at the end of their Read Write Inc storybook
  5. Read stories to your child every day using our books to share

How to listen to your child read

Your child has a Storybook matched to the sounds and words they know - a decodable book - so they should be able to read all the words.

Please avoid saying, 'This book is too easy!' but instead say 'I love how well you can read this book!'

'Special Friends', 'Fred Talk', read the word

Remind your child to read words using 'Special Friends, Fred Talk, read the word (see glossary).

For example 'ship': spot the 'sh', then Fred Talk and blend to read the word e.g. sh, sh-i-p, ship.

Red Words

Red Words are also known as common exception or tricky words.  They occur in stories regularly (said, what, where) but have unusual letter combinations ('ai' in the word 'said' makes the sound 'e').

Remind your child not to use Fred Talk to read Red Words but instead to 'stop and think'. Tell them the word if you need to. 

Read the same book again and again

Children love reading the same book again and again.  Their reading becomes speedier and they understand what they are reading. 

  • Encourage your child to read words using 'Fred in your head'
  • Show your child how to read the story in a storyteller voice
  • Share your enjoyment of the story when they read it again and again

What to do with picture books?

One of the most important things you can do as a parent at home is read to your child. Loving stories is important because children who love stories want to read stories for themselves.  Children who read a lot become better readers. 

Top Tips for Storytime:

  1.  Make it a treat - introduce each new book with excitement
  2. Make it a special quiet time - cuddle up!
  3. Show curiosity in what you are going to read
  4. Read the story one without stopping sp they can enjoy the whole story.  If you think your child might not understand something say something like 'Oh I think what's happening here is that . . . '
  5. Chat about the story e.g. I wonder why he did that? Oh no, I hope she's not going to . . . 
  6. Avoid asking questions to check what they remember 
  7. Link to other stories and experiences you have shared e.g. this reminds me of . . . 
  8. Read favourite stories over and over again - encourage your child to join in with the bits they know.  Avoid saying 'not that story again!'
  9. Use different voices - be enthusiastic!
  10. Love the book - read with enjoyment 

How to help your child to spell words

  • Encourage your child to use Fred Fingers to spell words
  • Ask your child to say the sounds in the word as they press the sounds onto their fingers
  • Ask your child to then write the letters - if they get stuck, say the sounds again
  • Praise your child for spelling using the sounds they know, even if their handwriting is not perfect

How to further develop your child's language

Children will have a large vocabulary if they are part of a 'talk-a-lot' family:

  • Use every opportunity to talk with your child throughout the day - mealtimes, playing together, bath time
  • Use new and ambitious vocabulary e.g. miserable instead of sad, stroll instead of walk
  • Speak to your child in complete sentences
  • Makeup stories together - there is no need to write it down