"The curriculum is interesting and varied and motivates pupils to succeed."
Sounds write at Down Ampney
Sounds-Write is a quality first phonics programme. Its purpose is to provide classroom professionals with a comprehensive system with which to teach reading, spelling and writing. It has been recognised by the DfE as being able to teach the full scope of the National Curriculum. The National Curriculum for England states: phonic knowledge should continue to underpin spelling after key stage 1; teachers should still draw pupils’ attention to grapheme-phoneme correspondences that do and do not fit in with what has been taught so far. Increasingly, however, pupils also need to understand the role of morphology and etymology to help them to better understand where words come from, what words mean and how to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words.
At Down Ampney, we have chosen to become a ‘sounds-write’ school as we feel the quality it brings to teaching will greatly benefit all children across the school through reading, writing and spellings It is designed for the teaching of discrete, daily sessions, progressing from simple to more complex phonic knowledge and skills and covering all the major sound/spelling correspondences. The benefit of the sounds-write approach is that the sounds-write lessons and error corrections can be applied across all subject areas throughout the day on top of discrete phonics lessons – if teachers use Sounds-Write across the curriculum, they are better able to support students’ development of the skills, conceptual understandings and code knowledge require to read and spell.
Teaching the Initial Code:
At the start of the programme, simple, one sound/one spelling, one-syllable, CVC words only are introduced. As the programme progresses, the complexity of one-syllable words is increased to four-, five- and six-sound words of the structure CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC/CCCVCC, before introducing the most common consonant digraphs. As they progress through Key Stage 1, pupils learn systematically how words are spelled in English. This ability to express oneself in writing from the start of school gives children enormous confidence, which naturally feeds back into the other kinds of learning taking place within the school curriculum.
This video clip shows how each sound is pronounced.
The Extended Code and Polysyllabic words:
Thereafter, from Y1 onwards, all the remaining common vowel and consonant sound to spelling correspondences are taught until all the common spellings for the forty-four sounds in English have been covered. In parallel with this, pupils are taught how to read and spell polysyllabic words, progressing from two-syllable to five- and six-syllable words.
Reading to decode:
All children will have regular phonics assessments to ensure that they know the building blocks (phonemes) to learn to decode words. Assessment will be ongoing in Reception but assessments will decrease throughout the school as the children become proficient with their phonics. Assessments are used to fill any gaps and to assist with spellings.
All children will have reading books matched to their phonic ability until they have passed all of their phonic assessments. This will mean that children will be matched to their sounds-write level for these books. Once a child knows 85% of the phonemes within a level, they will move onto that level of books. This means that children should be able to read them confidently and fluently and answer simple questions about their content. In school we will be hearing your child read a book at the phonics level that they are learning in school and these will be ‘sounds-write’ specific books.