The Sounds-Write Practitioners’ Online Training has been designed by John Walker, the author of the Sounds-Write programme, together with experts in online learning. It is made up of presentations, lesson demonstrations and a range of other activities and content. There are quizzes and online assignments that you must complete to gain a Course Certificate.
There will be a cohort of trainees doing the course with you. The course will be led by one or more Sounds-Write trainers who will be there to answer your questions, give feedback on the assignments when required and organise synchronous sessions on Zoom to support you during the course (see below).
The course lasts 6 weeks.
Each course is closed two weeks before its start date, to allow time for a hard copy of the Sounds-Write manual, which we will send out, to reach you.
The next available start dates for the online course are:
18th September 2021
30th October 2021
8th January 2022
26th February 2022
23rd April 2022
4th June 2022
17th July 2021
9th October 2021
12th February 2022
7th May 2022
23rd July 2022
Please note that, due to the level of demand, we recommend booking at least six weeks before the starting date of a course. Booking for each course is closed two weeks before its start date, to allow time for a hard copy of the Sounds-Write manual, which we will send out, to reach you.
Week 0: approximately 2 hours of work: this is mainly to enable you to find your way around the platform, introduce yourself and meet your trainer and other trainees. The course includes a discussion forum where you will be able to ask questions, and where you will contribute to some course discussions.
Weeks 1-4: approximately 8 hours of work per week. Each week will be made available on consecutive Saturdays. You will have to cover the content of that week during that week, and you will also need to complete all the assessment tasks for each week by the end of that week. Three of the compulsory assignments involve you videoing yourself demonstrating some of the Sounds-Write activities and sharing these on the course for peer feedback.
Week 5: approximately 2 hours of work: this week has no formal new content, but you will be able to revisit anything in the course before the course closes. At the end of week 5, the course website will close and you will no longer have access to the online course.
The course is asynchronous, but there are 4 synchronous sessions online during the course, using the Zoom platform. These sessions will be organised by the trainers on the course. These will take the form of a live Q&A, and also provide the opportunity to consolidate your understanding. For those who cannot attend the live sessions, these will be recorded and made available to all during the course.
It is important that you discuss with your line manager the time commitment for the course and agree how and when you will have time to do the course. We strongly discourage you from trying to fit the course around your other duties during a busy school or workday, such as in your lunchtime, or to do this in your own time after work. It is important that you plan ahead so that you will have quality time to concentrate on the course, as it is demanding and will require active engagement on your part. You should also check with your line manager that, if your school is operating under social distancing rules, you will be able to have the time to study the course every week.
To access the course and do the course activities, you will need access to a PC or laptop (including Mac). You should not do the course on your phone or on a tablet, as some of the quiz activities will not work well. Your computer should have Chrome or Firefox as the preferred browsers (please note that the course will not be fully functional with Microsoft Edge, and that you might not be able to complete parts of the course if this is your only available browser)
You will need a connection speed good enough and stable enough to watch the course videos.
If you are accessing the course website from work, it is your responsibility to check with your IT manager that the firewall at your school/workplace will enable you to access external content, i.e. the content from our course platform.
You will need a notebook to write in, and it is important you take notes on the course as you go along.
For some activities, you will need to video yourself. You can use the camera on your laptop or a mobile phone. The format you will need to submit your videos in is: .mov .avi or .mp4 format.
In order to do the course, you will need to have basic ICT skills. You will need to be able to do the following:
If you are not sure the course is right for you, or that you have the time, equipment or computing skills to do the job, please do this quiz now and check our advice:
The cost of the online course is £440 (plus VAT) in the UK and $880AUD in Australia. This includes a hard copy of the Sounds-Write manual with lessons, word lists, resources and everything needed to start teaching Sounds-Write upon completion of the course. You don’t have to buy anything else and trainees have access to a downloads page on our website where we share additional resources and updates. You can also join our thriving Sounds-Write private group, which is a dedicated group for those who have trained in Sounds-Write to ask for and give support about implementing the programme in the classroom or one-to-one.
We aim, as far as possible, to organise our online trainings by geographical location. This means that you can work throughout with a trainer who runs courses (both online and face-to-face) in your area, and deal with them in the future when you want to discuss training for colleagues, etc. It also of course means that you get to know colleagues in your area via the course.
To register your expression of interest in our online course, please fill in your details in this short survey (On the right hand side button "Come in!") and a Sounds-Write trainer will get back to you.
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