St Mary's Church of England Academy

Here at St. Mary's we provide the highest possible quality of education, underpinned by our Christian ethos and values however we pride ourselves in the fact that we are mixed faith with a rising number of multi faiths through our school



 A Multi-Sensory Approach


At St. Mary’s C of E Academy, we teach phonics using a linguistic phonics programme called Sounds-Write. Sounds-Write is a very highly structured, multi-sensory 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 spelled 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:

  • 1. Blending
  • 2. Segmenting
  • 3. Phoneme manipulation


Building Confidence

Key Concepts

Children in Reception begin with the initial code where they practice all three key skills whilst learning the 1:1 sound-spelling correspondences and securing their understanding of key concept 1.

This builds up confidence and phonic knowledge in a truly reversible system, enabling them to decode and encode a wide range of words and sentences. At first, children learn to read and write simple 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 six sounds.


Lifelong Learning

Sounds~Write Across the School

Once the initial 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. 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 Sounds~Write can be applied right up to the end of KS2. Whilst learning the extended code, children read and write monosyllabic and polysyllabic words at an age-appropriate level.

Children in Reception and KS1 have a 30 minute phonics lesson every day, in addition to their reading and writing lessons. Children in KS2 have a 15 minute phonics lesson every day focussing on polysyllabic words and etymology.

We encourage all of our parents to access the free Sounds-Write online course for parents so that they are well-informed about how best to support their children with their reading.