Chaloner Primary School

  1. Curriculum
  2. Reading and Phonics

Our Phonics Scheme is Sounds-Write  At Chaloner, we are passionate in our belief that no child should leave school unable to read and write.

The most crucial aspect of Sounds-Write is that it is a speech-to-print approach:  it starts with what all children learn naturally, the sounds of their language, and teaches them how to represent those sounds in writing. This is fundamental to everything we do because it provides a conceptual framework that helps teachers and students make sense of the relationship between the sounds of the English language and our writing system, that is, the alphabetic code.

 Through a carefully crafted sequence, Sounds-Write starts by introducing children to one-to-one sound-letter correspondences through the Initial Code. It then moves on to teach the complexities of the English alphabetic code through the Extended Code and, at the same time, students are taught how to read polysyllabic words.

New learning is introduced within each unit but the programme is cumulative, so all of the previously taught content continues to be practised as the Child progresses. Throughout this, children are trained to be proficient in the skills needed to read and spell effectively (namely, segmenting, blending and phoneme manipulation), and are also taught explicitly the conceptual knowledge that is essential to make sense of the English alphabetic code:

● Letters are symbols (spellings) that represent sounds.
● A sound may be spelled by 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters.
● The same sound can be spelled in more than one way.
● Many spellings can represent more than one sound

The Initial Code

Whilst working on the Initial Code, children will develop these key skills:
● Segmenting -– the ability to pull apart the individual sounds in words.
● Blending – the ability to push sounds together to build words.
● Phoneme manipulation – the ability to insert sounds into and delete sounds out of words.

They will be able to perform these skills proficiently in simple 2- 3-, 4- and 5-sound words
with the structures VC, CV, CVC, VCC, CVCC, CCVC, CCCVC and CCVCC.

They will learn that:
● We spell sounds one at a time from left to right across the page.
● Letters are symbols (spellings) that represent sounds.
● A sound may be spelled by 1, 2 or 3 letters.

And they will begin to have an understanding that:
● The same sound can be spelled in more than one way.
● Many spellings can represent more than one sound.

The Extended Code

The Extended Code follows on from the Initial Code.

Whilst working on the Extended Code, children are explicitly taught that:
● A sound may be spelled by 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters.
● The same sound can be spelled in more than one way.
● Many spellings can represent more than one sound.

The sounds and spellings are presented in the order which allows children to read the greatest number of words as early as possible. Once they have started the Extended Code, students are also taught to read and spell polysyllabic words. 80% of the words in the English language are polysyllabic, hence the need to introduce working with polysyllabic words as soon as possible. 

How you can help your child to read and write.

Sounds-Write have a free course for parents and carers that will help you to get your child off to a good start!

The course will show you how to:

  • help your child take their first steps in reading and spelling;
  • understand how to help your child build, write and read simple cvc (consonant, vowel, consonant) words;
  • understand how to correct your child when they make a mistake in their reading or writing simple words;
  • have a basic understanding of how phonics works.

If you would like to access this course please click on the link here.

We love Reading!

Our aim is to develop a love of reading in all our children and we encourage reading to be an integral element of our whole curriculum and learning environment. Children are given the opportunity to read on a daily basis, sometimes with an adult and other times on their own. We have a rich variety of books for children to read in school which are carefully matched to children's reading ability and interests. Alongside our reading scheme all children can choose books from the class library or our school library.

Each term the children, with support from their teacher, select 10 new books to add to their class library. All teachers share a story with the children every day.

Children also need to be taught how to read in order to become fluent readers. There are two parts to teaching reading; Word Reading and Comprehension.

Word Reading

The children progress through a scheme of phonic based books. Each book a child reads is matched to their phonic learning in class and their independent decoding level. Children are heard read regularly to ensure the book is the right level for the child. Children do not just move through the scheme, the books are chosen for the right level of reinforcement and challenge needed. 

Children should be fluent readers by Y3 and, by then, have moved away from a phonics scheme to age appropriate texts (there is some transition during the Autumn term where KS1 phonic learning is secured). For some children who still require decodable books we use Project Code X as an intervention scheme. The books have an age appropriate content with decodable words. It is a structured scheme with activities to secure their phonic understanding. 

Reading Comprehension

Important comprehension skills are taught through shared and independent reading and class lessons. The focus of Reading is not only the ability to decode text, but also to show a clear understanding of what is happening in the book, through deep questioning and thoughtful prompting. In the Early Years and KS1, this is taught through class and group shared texts, the specific skills are also taught in reading comprehension lessons in KS1.  

Through KS2 it is the main focus of the children's independent reading and class reading lessons. We use book bands to organise our scheme books into age appropriate text and children can choose from the class and school libraries. 

Reading Dogs help children identify the type of comprehension skill needed to answer the question:

  • Rex Retriever
  • Inference Iggy
  • Vocabulary Victor
  • Cassie Commentator
  • Summarising Sheba
  • Predicting Pip
  • Arlo Author