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NB. Further explanatory content on the subject of English is being finalised and is expected to be added in January 2022. 

Phonics & Early Reading

At The Coppice, we deeply understand that teaching children to read is one of the most important duties of our school — one that necessitates a foundation of knowledge on which learning can be based and one which allows children to access the joy and fulfilment that the written word has to offer.

We also know that every person who has become a fluent reader in English has grasped the links between the sounds of spoken English and the graphemes that represent them. We teach these sound-spelling correspondences explicitly through our phonics lessons. We teach phonics using a linguistic phonics programme called Sounds-Write Phonics.

Why Sounds-Write? 

Sounds-Write is a carefully structured, cumulative, sequential, explicit and code-oriented instructional programme for teaching all children to read and spell.

Sounds-Write is a linguistic phonics (sound to spelling) programme that teaches in simple steps how the sounds of the language are represented by the writing system. This programme is successful in teaching children to read and spell because it starts with what all children know from a very young age – the sounds of our spoken language. Then, using a very systematic approach, it teaches them how these sounds are coded with letters or letter combinations within our writing system.

The Sounds-Write certificated training course that our phonics teachers have passed provides the classroom practitioner with rigorous training in how to teach reading and spelling from the moment children begin their schooling in the Foundation Stage, throughout Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2. In addition, the programme also provides a highly successful intervention for children who need support to ‘keep up’ or ‘catch up’ with the level of their peers.

How is Sounds-Write taught?

The Sounds-Write sequence teaches children the code knowledge, conceptual knowledge and key skills that they need to be effective readers and spellers.

The four key concepts children are taught are:

  • letters are symbols that represent sounds
  • sounds can be spelled using 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters
  • the same sound can be spelled in different ways
  • the same spelling can represent different sounds

Sounds-Write teaches the three essential skills — segmenting, blending and phoneme manipulation — that are necessary for reading and spelling throughout the programme on a daily basis until all pupils achieve the automaticity that underlies the fluency of every successful reader.

The Sounds-Write progression of sound-spelling correspondences teaches all of the common representations of the 44 sounds of our language in the context of real and recognisable words.

Sounds-Write is a multisensory programme, with children seeing, saying and handling the materials throughout their practice. In addition, the Sounds-Write programme is pacy and utilises an array of stimulating lessons and resources. It also enables teachers to differentiate the challenges placed before the learner in order to meet their individual needs. Sounds-Write lessons place a big emphasis on the use of gestural language in order to focus children’s attention on the sounds, their spellings and the key skills.

Reading Books

Children who are still developing their phonics knowledge and skills take home a ‘code-controlled’ book (based on assessment of their knowledge) every night. It is one of our school priorities to ensure that all children develop confidence in phonics to enable them to become confident readers and writers.

We greatly appreciate parental support in this area and encourage parents to read the phonically decodable books with their child regularly. We strongly encourage parents to complete the free Sounds-Write course for parents of children aged 4 to 6 years. This will help to ensure the way that parents support their children at home matches the methods we use in school. This will help to ensure that children quickly become confident readers and writers. The one hour course can be accessed here.

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