Miss Roe

is the person in charge of Phonics at Grange Primary Academy.


At Grange Primary Academy, we follow the systematic scheme Sounds-Write to teach phonics. Phonics is a method of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify, and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language. We chose Sounds-Write because of its rigorous approach. It is a highly regarded linguistics programme that begins with sounds in the language and moves from sounds to the written word. 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." Children, in their daily phonics sessions, are taught conceptual knowledge and skills that enable them to say the sounds and read the words. The programme begins by teaching an ‘Initial Code’ in Reception. The Extended Code lasts throughout Year 1 and Year 2, and the skills they learn will continue to be applied in their reading and spelling well beyond this time. Throughout the programme, close links are made between reading and spelling. The Sounds-Write programme teaches the children to understand the way the alphabet (referred to as ‘code’) works. Because of the complex system of the alphabet code in the English language, often, in the early stages of learning to read and spell, pupils will not be able to spell some sounds using the correct spellings. However, pupils taught using Sounds-Write are more likely to be able to write almost anything they want using plausible (phonetic) spellings for sounds. As they progress through Key Stage 1, pupils learn systematically how words are spelled in English. The ability to express themselves in writing from the start of school gives children enormous confidence, which naturally feeds back into the other learning taking place within the school curriculum. Sounds-Write teaches children that:

  • Letters are symbols (spellings) that represent sounds.
  • Each sound may be represented (spelled) by a 1, 2, 3 or 4-letter spelling.
  • The same sound can be spelled in more than one way (goat, slow, note, toe, over).
  • Many spellings represent more than one sound (ea in read and bread).

The following skills are taught throughout the Sounds-Write program:

  • Blending – the ability to push sounds together to build words (c-a-t = cat).
  • Segmenting – the ability to pull apart the individual sounds in words (pig = p-i-g).
  • Phoneme manipulation – the ability to insert sounds into words and delete sounds out of words. This skill is necessary to test out alternatives for spellings that represent more than one sound.

It is important to note that speed and accuracy need to be achieved for all three of the above skills for them to become automatic. There is a short 20-minute, online course that parents can complete that is aimed specifically at parents and carers and will further your understanding of the Sounds-Write program and teaching. You can find the course by going to:

Phonics Screening

At the end of Year 1, all children undertake the Year 1 Phonics Screening. Working 1:1 with their teacher, children will read 40 words, some of which are real and some of which are made up/'alien' words containing the 40+ phonemes they have learned during their first two years in school. The pass mark is usually around 32 and children who do not reach this standard will receive extra phonics support in Year 2 (and into KS2 where necessary) and resit the screening.

This video demonstrates how to say the phonic sounds of English correctly ->

Reading Books

Children from EYFS to Year 2 will take home a variety of reading books to share at home including:

  • A wordless book for some EYFS children - This book will continue to develop confidence and a love of reading as well as support children’s comprehension of what they are seeing in the context of a book.
  • A phonic book matched to the phonic code that they have previously been taught in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2.
  • A book from our accelerated reader library for many of our Year 2 children. This will be a book that the children can read independently using their segmenting and blending skills, and enables them to develop their comprehension. These books will be at the right level for each child as they will be given out based on their star test outcomes (for further information, please see our guide to Accelerated Reader below).
  • A reading for pleasure choice for the children to enjoy sharing with you.

Further information on an easy way of helping your child with their reading can be found using the link below.

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