Subject leaders: Miss Hodges and Miss Grainger

At Trinity Academy Richmond, we understand the importance of confident speaking, listening, reading and writing. Our aim is to encourage children to communicate effectively with others through speaking and writing and to learn and develop the skills they need for this. We want them to be passionate about reading, being able to read for enjoyment and to use the skills to help them learn.

To support these aims, we provide a rich language environment and teach English through a programme which is well planned to meet the needs of all the children. We aim to make the teaching and learning of English exciting and purposeful.

Phonics/Early Reading

At Trinity Academy Richmond 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 teaches them how each of the 44 or so sounds in the English language can be spelt.

Our approach teaches the conceptual understanding needed to become an effective reader:

· that letters are spellings of sounds: visual language is a representation of spoken language

· that 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

· that 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

· that many spellings can represent more than one sound: can be the sound ‘e’ in ‘head’, ‘a-e’ in ‘break’, or ‘ee’ in ‘seat’


Reading and spelling also requires expertise in the skills necessary to make use of the alphabet code and 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.

Phonic sessions are taught everyday with the whole class, starting from the first day in September.

Our books are closely matched to the children’s phonics knowledge using books from ‘Dandelion Readers’ and ‘Sounds Write.’ It is intended that these books will be read and re-read to build fluency, understanding and expression.

Ways to help at home

Your child will bring home books carefully matched to their phonic understanding. They will be changed up to twice a week in order to encourage accelerated progression whilst giving pupils the opportunity to read, and reread, for fluency and understanding. Our aim is for children to read the same book 3 times at home following the same procedures as in school.

If you have any questions at all about your child’s reading, do not hesitate to ask your class teacher.

Trinity Academy Richmond Phonics Glossary

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