At Strawberry Fields, we teach phonics using a multi-sensory, linguistic phonics programme called Sounds-Write.
Sounds-Write is a highly structured, incremental and code-orientated, instructional approach to teaching children to read and spell. Its structure and simplicity makes it a programme accessible to all learners and helps them to make excellent progress with their reading and spelling.
The four key concepts children are taught are:
1. Letters are symbols that represent sounds
2. Sounds can be spelling using 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters
3. The same sound can be spelled in different ways
4. The same spelling can represent different sounds
The three key skills children need to master are:
3. Phoneme Manipulation
Children in Foundation Stage begin with the Initial Code in the first few weeks of September where they practise all three key skills whilst learning the 1:1 sound-spelling correspondences and securing their understanding of key concept 1 - Blending.
At first, children learn to read and write one syllable words with a CVC structure. Complexity of word structure systematically builds up so that children apply their code knowledge to monosyllabic words with up to 6 sounds.
Once the Inital Code has been mastered, children continue to practice all three key skills whilst learning the Extended Code which explores key concepts 2, 3 and 4. The learning of the Extended Code is a lifelong process - we all continue to develop our understanding of this code whenever we encounter new words. This is why we are currently taking Sounds-Write through into Year 3 and 4.
Whilst learning the Extended Code, children read and write monosyllabic and polysyllabic words at an age-appropriate level.
Children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One have a 30 minute Sounds-Write session every day at 9am. This is in addition to their English lessons. Children in Year 3/4 have a 20 minute Sounds-Write lesson three times a week focussing on polysyllabic words and etymology.
We encourage all of our parents to access the free Sounds-Write online courses for parents so that they are well-informed about how best to support their children with their reading.