- Our whole school phonics scheme is sounds-write phonics. All staff delivering sounds-write phonics must have attended the 4-day training. Nursery staff must attend 2 days of the 4-day training.
- Nursery will have daily phase 1 phonics lessons lasting 15 minutes, Reception- Year 2 will have daily sounds-write phonics lessons lasting 30 minutes, Year 3-Year 6 will have sounds-write phonics lessons as required in small groups or intervention groups.
- Children will be grouped by ability for phonics within their key stage. All classes in the same key stage will teach phonics at the same time each day so children can be grouped by ability.
- The sounds-write diagnostic test and phonics screening test will be used to assess children’s attainment and progress in phonics at each assessment point (September, Christmas, February, Easter, June).
- Ability groupings will be reviewed at each assessment point (September, Christmas, February, Easter, June).
Sounds-write is a linguistic phonics program which is genuinely based on the sounds in speech.
Sounds-write phonics teaches children:
- Letters are symbols (spellings) that represent sounds
- Each sound may be represented (spelled) by a 1,2,3, or 4-letter spelling
- The same sound can be spelled in more than one way
- Many spellings represent more than one sound
The following skills are taught through-out the sounds-write program
- Blending – the ability to push sounds together to build words /k/ /a/ /t/ = cat
- Segmenting- the ability to pull apart the individual sounds in words pig = /p/ /i/ /g/
- Phoneme manipulation- the ability to insert sounds into and delete sounds out of words. This skill is necessary to test out alternatives for spellings that represent more than one sound.
It is important to note that speed and accuracy need to be achieved for all three of the above skills for them to become automatic
- Letter names will not be taught until pupils have developed their reading to the point at which they are secure in the knowledge that the English alphabet code is truly phonic (at the end of the initial code). This is to avoid the sound-symbol relationship being lost or confused.
- Teachers will insist on and model precise sound pronunciation at all times. Avoiding adding an extra vowel ‘buh’ ‘duh’
- We will avoid using Jolly phonics and other schemes which add extra information for children to remember including ‘curly c’ ‘kicking k’. These nonsense strings, taught in good faith in infant classes as supposed methods of helping the children remember their letters, have become, for some children, millstones around their necks, reinforcing their misunderstanding of the actual nature of the English alphabet code.
- Letters will always be introduced in the context of a real word, this makes teaching more meaningful and stimulates curiosity to learn.
- We will not teach children ‘chunking’ methods to treat endings like –ing as though it is one sound. This increases the number of pieces of factual information relating to ‘sounds’ children are expected to remember and can quickly multiple up to over a thousand ‘rimes’ in English. These are likely to be stored in visual memory as abstract symbols, filling up the limited space available. Training children to listen carefully to speech and always blending from individual sounds, results in pupils becoming totally competent at this process.
- Sounds-write peer observations will take place once every term where all staff teaching sounds-write phonics will get the chance to observe and be observed by another member of the team. This is to ensure the quality of sounds-write phonics teaching is consistently high and to learn from and support each other.
- The sounds-write phonics approach will be introduced briefly at the Reception New starters meeting. Parents will be invited to a sounds-write phonics workshop in October to learn more about the sounds-write phonics teaching approach and how they can support this at home. Parents will be invited to complete the sounds-write online parents course. Parents will be invited in small groups to watch a phonics session during the Autumn term.
How you can help?
We encourage all parents to complete the sounds-write parents training to further your understanding of the sounds-write program and teaching. Please follow the link below.
Help your child to read and write’ is a free, online course. It’s aimed specifically at parents and carers who are interested in putting their children on the first steps to literacy and it covers the first seven units of the Initial Code.
The follow-up course, covering the rest of the Initial Code, will be published on Udemy later in the year.
You can find the course by going to: https://www.udemy.com/help-your-child-to-read-and-write/learn/v4/overview
When you have completed the parent course, please let Mrs Brodrick know so we can included you in our phonics prize draw to win a £50 shopping voucher.