Intent, Implementation and Impact
At Eastgate Academy, we believe that Sounds Write provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. We value reading as a key life skill and make phonics a high priority. We want every child to learn to decode quickly and accurately so that reading becomes effortless. This enables children to develop their skills in comprehension, vocabulary and spelling. All reading books progress cumulatively, matched to the sounds children are learning and already know.
Sounds Write is a linguistic phonics programme that teaches children 175 sound-spelling correspondences over YR to Y2 and beyond. Rather than moving on to spelling rules, which have many exceptions and contradictions, children learn and apply more sound-spelling correspondences (the extended code) in their reading and writing. The linguistic phonics approach looks at the relationship between the spoken language and the written word. Children will study three main skills to enable them to learn to read: blending, the skills of blending letters together; segmenting, separating sounds for spelling; and manipulating, swapping sounds to develop reading accuracy. The programme takes the children step-by-step through phonics, introducing them to the 44 different sounds in the English language and their different spellings gradually and systematically. The programme is highly specified, carefully sequenced and code knowledge is revisited so that it is taught to be remembered.
Phonics is taught whole-class and any children who did not fully grasp the learning repeat the lesson / part of the lesson. Children working below age-related expectations still join in with the whole-class phonics lesson and then receive additional phonics teaching focused on their stage of code knowledge. This approach ensures children catch up quickly and keep up.
Through the teaching of Sounds Write phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. The children read books in line with their phonics knowledge. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. Embedding the alphabetic code early on means that children quickly learn to write simple words and sentences. Attainment in phonics is measured by the phonics screening test at the end of Year 1 and ongoing assessment through the Sounds Write programme.