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Phonics, reading and writing


At Studley Green we teach phonics using the Sounds Write (SW) linguistic phonics programme.  High quality training has been delivered to all teaching staff and the programme is used across our school to support the development of early reading and spelling. 

Sounds Write begins by teaching the sounds in the English language and moves from the sounds to the written word.  Focused teaching enables children to see the relationships between 'sounds' and 'spellings' and develops the skills of blending, segmenting and phoneme manipulation in every session. 

Knowledge is developed systematically through three stages: 'The Initial Code', 'The Extended Code' and 'Polysyllabic words'. 

During 'The Initial Code', children :

  • learn 1:1 sound correspondence, 
  • are introduced to the concept of two letters one sound, 
  • begin to apply their knowledge to build, read and spell increasingly complex words. 

When secure, children move on to the second stage: 'The Extended Code'.  During this stage, teaching focuses on two concepts: 

  • some sounds can be represented in more than one way e.g. - Sound /ae/ - Spelling <ai, ay, ea, a-e> 
  • some spellings represent more than one sound e.g. Spelling <ea> - Sound /ae/ or /ee/ (great or team)

This stage includes 49 units, which build progressively on the children's knowledge, allowing them to explore the first spellings of sounds before providing repeated exposure through more spelling as they advance through the units.

The final stage of the Sounds Write programme explores 'Polysyllabic Words' and lessons run in parallel with 'The Extended Code'.  During this part of the programme, children are taught to:

  • separate words into syllables,
  • take each syllable and segment it into sounds,
  • blend sounds into syllables,
  • blend syllables into words.

At this point, children begin to take greater responsibility for how to separate words into syllables based on natural pauses when speaking and explore stressed syllables and 'schwas', which often occur in weak syllables. 

If you would like to know more about our Sounds Write programme, please get in touch with the school office.


As part of our commitment to raising standards in reading, we have adopted a consistent whole class reading model in order to teach reading.  We plan our teaching in two week blocks as shown below:

Day 1 Fiction A block begins with a focus on introducing and exploring vocabulary and activating children's background knowledge prior to reading.  The children will make predictions to encourage them to make connections between themselves, the wider world and other texts read. The vocabulary focus continues throughout the block.

Day 2-3


These sessions focus on modelling and developing the skills of fluent reading – expression, intonation, phrasing, automaticity and accuracy.  They explore texts in more detail, developing the skills of skimming and scanning and text marking in order to answer questions orally before developing written responses.

Day 4-5


During these sessions, the children are given opportunities to re-read or read through the text to develop greater fluency when reading independently.  They explore answering questions in detail and in greater depth, using the skills of inference in order to explain and summarise ideas.  

Day 6


In these sessions, the children widen their understanding of fiction by exploring texts with a similar theme or by the same author.   They explore narrative elements and techniques, make comparisons and identify similarities and differences between, within and across texts.
Day 7-8 Non -Fiction Focus shifts to non-fiction texts at this point in the block and provides opportunities for children to develop skills in reading for information and exploring texts related to other curriculum areas.  Texts can be interrogated, analysed and discussed.

Day 9


This session explores poetry and exposes the children to a variety of poetic forms.  Opportunities are planned for children to investigate how vocabulary is used and develop performance skills.

Day 10

Reading for Pleasure

In the final session of the block, time is allocated for the children to select books of their choice from the wide range available in classrooms.

This approach means children can read with the teacher more often, move faster through longer and more challenging texts, make greater connections between class texts, topic related reading and reading as a writer.  Whole class reading sessions will last for 30 minutes and occur daily as part of each class's timetable.


At our school, writing is planned using a mastery approach that focuses on 4 key purposes for writing: writing to entertain, inform, persuade or discuss.

In our Key Stage 1 classes, the planned teaching and learning will focus solely on writing to entertain and inform; in lower Key Stage 2 the children are also introduced to writing to persuade and in upper Key Stage 2 writing to discuss is also included.  

Our curriculum plans identify which writing purpose will be the focus for each term, as well as the core text that will be used to support teaching and learning.  Through careful planning, links are made between reading and writing, which encourages children to see the connections between 'reading as a writer' and 'writing as a reader'.  Medium term plans show the key text features and skills focus for each unit; identifying the specific grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and spelling knowledge required for each writing purpose, as well as opportunities to challenge for greater depth.  Regular exposure to these skills is then incorporated into our weekly plans, which provide a range of opportunities for children to be introduced to, practice and consolidate the skills needed to develop greater fluency in writing for different purposes.