Advice for parents
Ideally, the school your child attends should be able to give you specific advice on how to support his/her learning throughout the year. If in doubt, we’d suggest asking the teacher what s/he is going to be doing and ask how you can help.
We make a file available to all Sounds-Write trained teachers to pass on to parents. It will tell you the order of sounds to be taught and give a little basic advice such as, ‘don’t use letter names’ and ‘try to say sounds precisely’. It could also be appropriate for you to get hold of one or both of our workbooks to use with your child at home, but please ask your child’s teacher about this directly. We also have an app for the Initial Code, and this can be a great help in coaching your child through the earlier part of our programme. You will find the app at the iTunes app store.
What books should my child read?
We recommend our own books, which are designed to instil the principles of the Sounds-Write programme in young readers, and to grip their attention through colourful illustrations and gripping stories. See our Story and knowledge books page for more details.
Apart from our own books, we recommend the following series:
Once children are through the first half of our Extended Code, they should be able to read all sorts of books that are age-appropriate (Barrington Stoke’s books for example). We also recommend informational texts, such as simple encyclopedias that contain short, bite-sized texts, but give practice in reading - the Kingfisher First Encyclopedia is a good example.
We don’t find the term ‘dyslexia’ very helpful, as it can easily obscure the individual difficulties any particular child may have.
For instance the term doesn’t differentiate between children with speech and language difficulties and those who have just been badly taught. Our experience is that the great majority of children who have literacy problems fall into the latter category. In every case, Sounds-Write is perfect for teaching children who have fallen significantly behind in their reading and spelling – whether or not that has resulted in them being labelled ‘dyslexic’. This is because it is so explicit and well structured, taking the pupil from simple to more complex. For further insight into the whole subject of dyslexia, we recommend the following page (and indeed the entire website): www.dyslexics.org.uk/dyslexia_myths.htm
Help your child to read and write: an online course
'Help your child to read and write' is an online course in two parts - and the first part is free! It's aimed specifically at parents and carers who are interested in putting their children on the first steps to literacy. Part 1 covers the first seven units of the Initial Code, and Part 2 covers units 8 to 11 inclusive.
At St George’s we have used Sounds-Write for over five years and I cannot recommend it highly enough. We are a National Support School and have visitors from all over the UK and abroad visit the school each year. To a person, they are always astounded by the phonics and spelling they see.
Sarah Collymore, Headteacher, St. George’s CE Primary School
I recommend Sounds-Write to every teacher and school leader I meet. At Floreat we teach Sounds-Write in structured lessons in Nursery and Reception as well as Year 1. We achieve consistently outstanding results and our parents are amazed at how well their children can read and spell.
Janet Hilary, National Leader of Education and Chief Executive Officer, Floreat Education
Sounds-Write has had a significant impact at Princecroft School and is transforming the life chances of our children. From very low starting points the children now make rapid progress in their phonics and by the end of Years 1 and 2 are decoding and reading at standards above their peers nationally.
Michael Park, Headteacher, Princecroft School
Sounds-Write is more than just a scheme for phonics. For Selby Community Primary School it has improved pupils’ self-esteem around reading and writing. Sounds-Write has developed stronger spellers and pupils who transfer their phonics knowledge straight into their written work.
Ian Clennan, Headteacher, Selby Community Primary School
Teachers’ subject knowledge and therefore their confidence with teaching phonics has vastly improved since the implementation of Sounds-Write. The skills taught through the programme are transferable throughout the curriculum with improved reading, writing and spelling from our children.
Lindsay Vollans, Headteacher, St. Michael’s C of E Primary School