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Early Reading & Phonics

Phonics at Rockbeare


At Rockbeare we teach Phonics through a scheme called Sounds Write. For these sessions children are split into small groups to be taught by a trained adult. All staff who teach phonics have attended the official Sounds Write training. Each session lasts for around 30 minutes. The sessions provide time for children to deepen their understanding of the sound knowledge needed for early reading and writing. 


We chose Sounds~Write because of its rigorous approach. It also adheres to DFE and OFSTED guidance that states: 


Schools should be determined that every pupil will learn to read, prioritising reading as a foundation for future learning, and enabling children to access the rest of the curriculum and avoid falling behind. 

A sequential approach to the reading curriculum is expected; the sequence of reading books should demonstrate a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge, matched closely to your school’s phonics programme, followed by ongoing reading progress throughout KS2.


Reading books: 

We have purchased the Sounds Write reading for this academic year. It runs alongside our Phonics programme. 

These books will enable children to take their first steps into reading and have great success. The simple, decodable texts enable them to practise the skills and code knowledge they are learning ion school. Children really enjoy these quirky stories about children and their unusual pets. We supplement our reading scheme with Dandelion Readers, a set of books which follow the Sounds Write script. 


Parental Support:

Reading at home, every day, has the biggest impact on your child’s learning and progress.  Please find below some suggestions that will support you to supporting your child.

  • Use letter sounds rather than letter names with their children at home. This will avoid confusion for the children and will reinforce the learning being done at school.
  • Avoid adding an extra vowel when pronouncing letter sounds eg ‘buh’ ‘duh’
  • When listening to your child read encourage them to have-a-go at unfamiliar words by encouraging them to: “Say the sounds and read the word”.
  • Visit the Sounds-Write website for further information, support and resources:
  • Attend the Sounds~Write Parent Workshop
  • Learn more about how we teach phonics and how you can support your child at home using the online course by going to:



Assessment is something that takes place as a continuous process within our phonics lessons. In Sounds-Write, the main form of assessment is formative. This formative assessment incorporates a number of different aspects of teaching and learning. Firstly, teacher knowledge is of a high standard, teachers regularly communicate the learning intentions to their students throughout a phonics session. Teachers are aware of each child's 'next step' enabling them to provide constant verbal feedback to all pupils. In addition, formative assessment uses students as learning resources for one another, which should lead to learners becoming owners of their own learning.

SEND and children with additional needs:

There will always be a range of ability in classes, this doesn’t mean we need to 'set' children in groups. We believe it is perfectly possible for the us as knowledgeable teachers to have a very good sense of what each student can do in terms of their code knowledge and conceptual understanding, and their skills of segmenting, blending and phoneme manipulation. Using this knowledge will enable the teacher to provide the appropriate challenges at every step.


some of the ways we differentiate are as follows:


• The structure of the word: CVC, CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC, CCCVCC.

• Using lines or no lines.

• Leaving the word on the board for the students to write, or take the word away. Or you can leave part of the word [the < sh > in ‘fish’, for      example] on the board and taking the rest of the spellings away.

• Gestures: gestures are used as a type of scaffolding and are incorporated into teaching.

• Using continuants.

• Pace. In this case, pace does not mean conducting lessons at break-neck speed; it means being well prepared enough to move smoothly from one lesson to another within the Sounds-Write session.

• Amount of practice – some students need more practice than others.