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Who is Read Write Inc. for?

The Read Write Inc. programme is for primary school children learning to read.

It enables every child to become a confident and fluent reader at the first attempt.


Using this method:

  • Children in the early years learn to read confidently and fluently.
  • Older children with reading difficulties make fast progress.
  • Children with specific learning difficulties learn to read.
    The Read Write Inc. programme is also used with great success to support children of all ages who have been designated as dyslexic.
  • The reading teacher is guided from the very beginning to help the children become confident and fluent readers (the first time they learn).


Why does it work?

  • The systematic and lively programme is organised by an in-school team
  • All staff (teachers and assistants) are trained
  • The children read and write each day, grouped according to their reading level.
  • Children do not struggle because the work is too difficult or get bored because the work is too easy.


How and what do the children learn?



The children:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn to read words using sound blending
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out



The children:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes
  • write simple sentences



Children are assessed so they work with children at the same level. This allows them to take a full part in all lessons.

They work in pairs so that they:

  • answer every question
  • practise every activity with their partner
  • take turns in talking to each other


How can I help my child learn to read?

Read as many stories to your child as you can. Talk about the stories.

Explain the meaning of new words. Most importantly though, show the fun that can be gained by listening to stories.

What you read to your child today, he will be able to read for himself very soon.


Step 1: Help your child to learn Speed Sounds Set 1

Before you start to teach your child, practise saying the sounds below. These are the sounds we use to speak in English.

We use pure sounds so that your child will be able to blend the sounds into words more easily. At school we use a puppet called Fred who can do this beautifully! When we say words in sounds we call it ‘Fred Talk’. E.g. d-o-g, c-a-t, m-a-n, sh-o-p, c-l-a-p.

Your child’s class teacher has been trained in the programme and can show you how to pronounce these sounds if needed.

Please do not use letter names at this early stage.

These first sounds should all be stretched slightly. Try to avoid saying uh after each one.:

e.g. /mm/ not muh, /ss/ not suh, /ff/ not fuh.

m – mmmmmmountain (keep lips pressed together hard)

s – sssssnake  (keep teeth together and hiss – unvoiced)

n – nnnnnnet (keep tongue behind teeth)

f – ffffflower (keep teeth on bottom lip and force air out sharply – unvoiced)

l – llllleg (keep pointed curled tongue behind teeth).

r – rrrrrrobot (say rrr as if you are growling)

v – vvvvvvulture (keep teeth on bottom lip and force air out gently)

z – zzzzzzig zzzzzag (keep teeth together and make a buzzing sound)

th – thhhhank you ( stick out tongue and breathe out sharply)

sh – shhhh (make a shhh noise as though you are telling somebody to be quiet!)

ng – thinnnnngg on a strinnnngg (curl your tongue at the back of your throat)

nk – I think I stink (make a piggy oink noise without the oi! nk nk nk)


These next sounds cannot be stretched. Make the sound as short as possible avoiding uh at the end of the sound:


t – (tick tongue behind the teeth – unvoiced)

p - (make distinctive p with lips – unvoiced)

k – (make sharp click at back of throat)

c -  as above

h – (say h as you breathe sharply out – unvoiced)

ch- (make a short sneezing sound)

x – (say a sharp c and add s – unvoiced)


You will find it harder to avoid saying uh at the end of these sounds:


d – (tap tongue behind the teeth).

g – (make soft sound in throat).

b –(make a short, strong b with lips).

j – (push lips forward).

y – (keep edges of tongue against teeth).

w – (keep lips tightly pursed).

qu – (keep lips pursed as you say cw – unvoiced).


The short vowels should be kept short and sharp:


a:  a-a-a (open mouth wide as if to take a bite of an apple).

e:  e-e-e (release mouth slightly from a position).

i:  i-i-i (make a sharp sound at the back of the throat – smile).

o: o–o-o (push out lips, make the mouth into o shape).

u: u-u-u  (make a sound in the throat).


The Long vowel sounds are all stretchy sounds:

ay: ay may I play

ee: ee what do you see?

igh: fly high

ow: blow the snow

oo: poo at the zoo

oo: look at a book

ar: start the car

or: shut the door

air: that’s not fair

ir: whirl and twirl

ou: shout it out

oy: toy for a boy



Use these activities to teach your child

You will need a pack of Set 1Speed Sound cards


Before children read the Storybooks, they are taught to read Set 1 Speed Sound Cards.

Letter-sound pictures are used to help children learn these sounds quickly.



ssssnake is morphed into s

d-d-d-dinosaur is morphed into d


The children are taught the Set 1 Speed Sound cards in the following order:

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


Please remember that children learn more rapidly if they are constantly praised.

Activity 1: Speed Sound cards – picture side

Spread 5 - 10 cards out, picture side up. Say the name of each picture together.

Ask your child to touch each card repeating the above.

Increase the speed.


Activity 2: Speed Sound cards – picture side

Spread the same 5 –10 cards out, picture side up.

Say the name of each picture together, but this time bounce or stretch the beginning sound. (Look on the card to check which to do.)

Ask your child to touch each card repeating the above.  Increase the speed.


Activity 3: Speed Sound cards – letter side

Spread out the same 5 - 10 cards, letter side up.

Say a sound, either stretching or bouncing it.

See how quickly your child can point to the corresponding card.


Activity 4: Speed Sound cards – letter side

Spread out the same 5 - 10 cards, letter side up.

Say a sound – no bouncing or stretching.

See how quickly your child can point to the card.

Now point to the card and ask your child to say the sound.


Activity 5: Speed Sound pack

Ask your child to decide the cards he wants to put in a ‘Speed Sound’ pack (the sounds that are known really well).

Encourage your child to read these at speed, getting quicker and quicker.

Try to increase the number of cards in the ‘Speed Sound’ pack until your child can read all 31 sounds quickly.


Activity 6: Word clue

Spread out the same 5 - 10 cards, letter side up.

Say, for example, ‘monster, mirror, mouth’. (Emphasise the first sound.)

See how quickly your child can say the first sound and then find the card.


Step 2: Help your child learn to read words by sound-blending

Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sound pack.

Help children to say the pure sounds, as quickly as they can, and then to blend the sounds together to say the whole word.

We call this Fred Talk e.g. l-e-g, b-a-ck, h-ea-d, p-e-n, c-u-p, g-r-ee-n

Make sure that children can read the Speed sound cards before you attempt to sound-blend a word.


Choose 3 cards from the Speed Sound pack that will make up a 3-sound word.

Muddle the cards and point to these sounds in and out of order to check these can be read at speed.

Put the cards in order and practise reading the sounds quickly until your child can work out the word.

This is difficult for many children so be lavish in your praise!

Speed Sounds Sets 2 and 3: The long vowels

You will need a pack of Set 2 and 3 Speed Sound cards


Most vowel sounds have more than one spelling.

Teach Set 2 speed sounds thoroughly before starting Set 3 (The cards are numbered 2/3)

Vowel card: ay

Example lesson

Introduce the picture side of the card e.g. may I play?


This is a picture of children playing. They are saying ay, may I play?

Say the words listed on the back.

Ask your child to repeat the word and say ‘ay’ after each word.


Show the other side of the card. Say the sound ‘ay’.

Keep turning the card over saying ‘ay, may I play ‘ on the picture side and ‘ay’ on the other side.

As you teach more sounds, put the sounds you have taught in a Speed Sound pack, along with others from Speed Sounds Set 1.

See how quickly your child can read the cards. Get quicker and quicker.


Write some of the words from the back of the card onto paper.

Ask your child to read each word in Fred Talk and then read the whole word.





Set 2 Speed Sound cards

Teach these first

Set 3 Speed Sound cards


ay: may I play

a-e: make a cake

ai: snail in the rain


ee: what can you see

ea: cup of tea

e: he me we she be


igh: fly high

i-e: nice smile



ow: blow the snow

o-e: phone home

ao: goat in a boat


oo: poo at the zoo

u-e: huge brute

ew: chew the stew


oo: look at a book




ar: start the car




or: shut the door

aw: yawn at dawn



air: that’s not fair

are: share and care



ir: whirl and twirl

ur: nurse for a purse

er: a better letter


ou: shout it out

ow: brown cow



oy: toy for a boy

oi: spoil the boy




ire: fire fire!




ear: hear with your ear




ure: sure it’s pure?