St Mary's Church of England Academy

'We promise to shine together.'

Let the light of your face shine upon us - Psalm 4:6


 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.