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Read Write Inc.


'Read Write Inc' is a synthetic phonics programme 'that ensures reading, writing and spelling success'  developed by Ruth Miskin and published by Oxford University Press.  It provides a step by step programme for teaching the 44 common sounds in the English language; supporting pupils in blending sounds for reading (decoding) and at the same time developing handwriting and spelling (encoding) skills. The purpose of the programme is for children to complete is as quickly as possible in order to develop fluency and their ability to access a wide range of books when reading. In addition to this, exposure to rich and varied texts, through guided reading and children being read to in class, will support overall vocabulary growth. 


The Read Write Inc. Programme is split into 3 sets of speed sounds


Set 1: There is a focus on blending and segmenting through the teaching of letter-sound correspondence using a mnemonic to support the writing of the grapheme. 

Set 1 speed sounds with one letter include: 

  •   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

Set 1 speed sounds with two letters include:

  • sh, th, ch, qu, ng, nk, ck


Once the Speed sounds in Set 1 are known at speed and the children can blend these together to read simple words they will move onto reading the Ditties (an important bridge between reading single words and stories)

Words to blend may include:

m-a-t  mat

c-a-t  cat

f-i-sh  fish

s-p-l-a-sh  splash


Set 2: Once children are able to sound-blend and can read the Ditties they move onto learning the speed sounds in Set 2.  They will move onto reading books at the Green and Purple levels. 

The speed sounds in Set 2 include:

  • ay, ee, igh, ow (as in blow) oo (as in moon), oo (as in book)
  • ar, or, air, ir, ou (as in out), oy


Set 3: Children are taught to read Speed sounds Set 3 first.  They are then retaught set 3 with a focus on spelling. Children will read books at Yellow, Blue and Grey levels. 

The Speed Sounds in Set 3 include:

  • ea (as in tea)
  • oi (as in spoil)
  • a-e (as in cake)
  • i-e (as in smile)
  • o-e (as in home)
  • u-e (as in huge)
  • aw (as in yawn)
  • are (as in care)
  • ur (as in nurse)
  • er (as is letter)
  • ow (as in brown)
  • ai (as in snail)
  • oa (as in goat)
  • ew (as in chew)
  • ire (as in fire)
  • ear (as in hear)
  • ure (as in pure)




The following information will support your understanding 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.

Decoding - To translate printed words to sounds or words for reading

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

CVC - Consonant - Vowel - Consonant (cat)

CCVC - Consonant - Consonant - Vowel - Consonant (pram)

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.

Encoding - Using individual sounds to build words for spelling. 

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

Writing the letters

Read Write Inc. teaches the letter-sound correspondence with the help of a mnemonic and an explanation of how to write the grapheme. 

The children will continue to revisit and practise the letters once they have been introduced to support automaticity when writing. Copies of the letter formation sheets are available on the Oxford Owl Website

Oxford Owl parent guide to Read Write inc.

There is further information about Read write inc. including a video introduction to the programme on the Oxford Owl Website.  Please click on the link below


In addition to this there is an overview of the sounds included in each set as well as letter formation sheets that can be downloaded to use at home. 



The children must use 'pure' sounds when blending for reading.  This means that they should avoid adding the (uh) sound to the end such as buh. In Read Write Inc.  sounds are referred to as stretchy or bouncy. The stretchy sounds can be held on for longer such as m, s, f and the bouncy sounds cannot be held on and are shorter in sound such as b, d, p etc.. Please watch the video in the link below if you would like more information about how to pronounce the sounds so that they are 'pure' sounds. Please encourage you child to use 'pure' sounds when decoding and blending at home.

Reading at home

When they are confident blending, the children will initially start on red Ditties before moving onto Green Level and Purple Level books when they progress onto Set 2 sounds. Once the children are accessing Set 3 sounds, then they will be applying their phonic knowledge to reading books at Yellow, Blue and Grey levels.  We have recently signed up to the Oxford Owl ebook Read Write Inc library so books will be assigned to your child by their class teacher. Your child will be given their own individual login so that you can access the assigned books and activities related to it. You can also access free books on Oxford Owl by clicking the link below and using the class login that your class teacher has provided.

There are a range of Read Write Inc. books available as well as a library of other books that can supplement your child's reading such as Oxford Reading Tree books.