Quick Links

Quick Links

Back to top

Eastbury Community School


How Phonics is taught at ECS.

Early reading in Early Years and KS1- Phonics

Sounds Write is the phonics programme we use to teach our children to read, spell and write. It is effective in teaching the pupils because it starts from what all children know from a very early age – the sounds of their own language. From there, it takes them though the steps of how each of the 44 or so sounds in the English language can be spelt.

At the start of the programme, simple words (one sound, one spelling) CVC words (consonant, vowel, consonant) are only introduced. Pupils quickly learn to spell words such as ‘mum’, ‘dog’, ‘jam’ and ‘sit’. When all the single-letter sound-spelling correspondence have been established, Sounds Write moves onto words spelt with two letter spellings.

What we believe is needed to become an effective reader based on the Sounds Write model:

  • letters are spellings of sounds: visual language is a representation of spoken language
  • a spelling can contain one, two, three, or four letters - examples are: s a t, f i sh, n igh t and w eigh t
  • there is more than one way of spelling most sounds: the sound 'ae', spelt as in 'name', can be represented as in 'table', in 'rain', in 'eight', in 'play', and so on
  • many spellings can represent more than one sound: can be the sound 'e' in 'head', 'a-e' in 'break', or 'ee' in 'seat'

Within this framework, we teach the factual knowledge required to become an effective reader and speller: the approximately 176 spellings that represent the 44 or so sounds in English, starting with the most simple one-to-one correspondences.

In order to success in reading and spelling, pupils need to be able to:

  • segment, or separate sounds in words
  • blend, or push sounds together to form words
  • manipulate sounds: take sounds out and put sounds into words

Sounds-Write provides opportunities for practising these skills on an everyday basis until pupils achieve the automaticity required for fluent reading and spelling.