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Handy Hints for Parents



How to support your child with their Read Write Inc Story Book and Book Bag Books



  • Encourage your child to read the speed sounds at the front of the book in and out of order.
  • Ask your child to read the 'Story Green Words' through decoding (breaking them up in to the individual sounds/phonemes)  The children know this as 'Fred Talk, Read the Word' or when they have started to learn 'Special Friends' (two or more letters that make one sound/phoneme e.g sh, ck, oo) 'Special Friends, Fred Talk, Read the Word'.
  • Ask your child to read the 'Red words' listed in the grid in and out or order.  These words are not fully decodable and have tricky letters in them.
  • Ask your child to read the 'Speedy Green Words' listed in the grid in and out of order speedily.  These words are not new to your child and they should be able to read them at a very quick pace.  If there are any that your child is less confident with, keep going back to practise then until they become embedded.



  • Your child reads the story to you.
  • If they come to a word they are not sure of they need to decode the word (break the word up in to individual sounds/phonemes). Prompt them if necessary with 'Fred Talk, Read the Word' or  'Special Friends, Fred Talk, Read the Word'.
  • If your child struggles on a 'Red word' in the book (as listed in the red word grid), you can prompt them as the red words are not fully decodable.
  • As your child will read the story many times they will become more confident and fluent.  When this happens encourage them to read using a story teller's voice and take account of punctuation.



  • Ask your child the questions at the end of the book to develop their understanding.
  • Encourage them to refer back to the relevant page to find the answer.
  • Use lots of praise to encourage and support your child.



  • It is important that you record down when you’ve listened to your child read at home.  These should be brief comments to let the staff in school know how your child is getting on with their reading at home. These comments are crucial in enabling us to put support in place to help those children that need it.    

Helpful comments could be around the following points:

  • How accurate was your child’s reading?
  • Have they used their phonic knowledge accurately to tackle unfamiliar words?
  • Do they have a good understanding of what they have read? Are they able to answer the questions accurately?
  • Have they read fluently?
  • Have they tried to use a story teller’s voice?