Reading for ages 4 to 5

Beginning Reading Instruction

BRI consists of exceptional value, easy-to-use books that can teach virtually any child to read. A complete programme in its own right, BRI is also highly recommended by leading Synthetic Phonics trainers for children who require additional support. The earlier this support is established, the easier it is for children to avoid the stress caused by falling behind. (See Closing the Reading Gap). Research has found that an early start with BRI reaps long-term beneficial results. Only five sounds are introduced in the first three stories. These gradually increase at child-pace, with frequent repetitions.

How it works

  • Intensive decoding practice
  • Reading progress through real stories
  • Abundant overlearning for struggling readers
  • Supporting children with speech, language and communication difficulties

The 16 volumes of BRI contain 88 little stories, providing abundant exposure to a controlled selection of letters-sound correspondences, enabling decoding to become automatic, and fluent, confident readers to flourish.

"The best way to help the brain to 'remember' the code's patterns with minimum effort is through 'controlled’ exposure and varied repetition. Very little active memorization is necessary when learning is based on exposure to predictable patterns... our brains do the work for us."Diane McGuiness, Early Reading Instruction

The combination of systematic introduction of new sound-letter(s), rigorous decoding practice, and an emphasis on the enjoyment of reading and encouragement of expression, offers a complete reading experience for young children. BRI not only shows children ‘how reading works’, it also introduces them to the excitement and rewards of reading ‘real books’.

Why BRI?


Vital reading skills are treated with rigour within the stories. The books provide an abundance of practice.


BRI juxtaposes words that look alike, encouraging the reader to read through the word: ideal preparation for the UK Year 1 Phonics Check.


Meticulously constructed incremental approach to the complexities of the Alphabetic Code.


In learning to decode and to read with BRI, children involve themselves with all aspects of storytelling. They learn to read fluently and expressively right from the start as they engage with narrative and feelings – via the anthropomorphic animals, their personalities, friendships, kindness, vanities, jealousies, mini power struggles and little shifts in behaviour.


BRI introduces grammar, punctuation, and interrogatory words from the very first books, encouraging children to further engage with narrative. An instructional focus on decoding is at all times combined with the wider skills needed to become a rounded reader.

BRI has been widely trialled in over 2,000 schools. The team carrying out research and development into early reading instruction included linguists and educational psychologists and systematic feedback was provided by classroom teachers.

To find out more about BRI and its successor programme, ARI (Advanced Reading Instruction), visit 'Buy Books'. Over two hundred stories are complemented by brief, straightforward Getting Started with BRI and Spelling with BRI guides.

The Resources page offers extras including a notched card, assessment graphs, certificates and colouring sheets.

Buy BRI Books
Learning to read

A comprehensive decodable reading system widely used in conjunction with mainstream Synthetic Phonics programmes.

“BRI forces children to read the code and confront it over and over in real text, forcing the strategies of context and comprehension to come into play.” Literacy Tutor