Choose a subject


Sounds write phonics logoAt Knollmead, we use the Sounds-Write phonics programme to teach our children to read, spell and write.




Sounds-Write is effective in teaching pupils to read, spell and write because it starts from what all children know from a very early age - the sounds of their own language. From there, it takes them in carefully sequenced, incremental steps and teaches them how each of the 44 or so sounds in the English language can be spelt.

  • We explicitly teach the children the 3 skills of:
    • blending
    • segmenting
    • phoneme manipulation (sound swapping)
  • The children are taught to decode and encode by understanding 4 clear concepts:
    • letters are symbols that represent sounds that they say
    • sounds can be spelt using 1,2,3 or 4 letters: 's a t', 'f i sh', 'n igh t' and 'w eigh t'
    • the same sound can be spelt in different ways: the sound 'ae', spelt as in 'name', can be represented as in 'table', in 'rain', in 'eight', in 'play', and so on
    • the same spelling can represent different sounds: the spelling 'ea' can be the sound 'e' in 'head', 'a-e' in 'break', or 'ee' in 'seat'

In Reception, the children learn the initial code and learn to build CVC words using single letter sounds, for example, 'mum', 'dog', 'jam' and 'sit'. When the children are secure with building and reading at this level, the complexity of one-syllable words is carefully increased through a variety of VCC, CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC and CCCVC words, such as, for example, 'elf', 'hand', 'swim', 'trust' and 'scrub'. Next, the children are taught the concept that one sound can be represented by 2 letters such as /ch/sh/and/ck/.

In Year 1 and 2, two, three and four letter spellings are introduced. The concepts that one spelling can represent different sounds and the same sound can be spelt in different ways are also taught.

Throughout KS1 and KS2 children are taught how to read and spell polysyllabic words, starting with simpler words (such as 'bedbug') and gradually moving to the more complex (such as 'mathematical').

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

If you would like to learn more about our approach to phonics, please register for the online course, free for everyone!

Initial Code - Word List