Leigh Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School

‘Live And Learn With Jesus’

Windermere Road, Leigh, Lancashire WN7 1UX


01942 674226

Phonics Policy



Phonics Policy

Adopted November 2020



At Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School we believe that the teaching of Phonics plays a vital role in teaching children to read, write and spell. We follow the ‘Sounds-Write’ Phonics Scheme which is a high-quality program that is endorsed by the Department for Education.

Our aim is for the vast majority of children to be confident readers by the end of Key Stage 1. High quality Phonics teaching enables children to decode new words confidently and independently and leads to improved understanding. This will enable the children to read for pleasure and develop their comprehension skills. Sounds-Write phonics also teaches children how to spell words and help them to become confident writers.


The main objective of the teaching and learning of Phonics is to enable all children to access reading and writing at an age-appropriate level. This is best achieved when there is:

  • A consistent whole school approach to the teaching of Phonics throughout Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2.
  • Rigorous planning, assessment, and tracking.
  • Sufficient training provided to enable the implementation of Sounds-Write based teaching of Phonics by all teaching staff involved in the teaching of Phonics.

Sounds-Write has four key concepts that must be followed. They are:

  1. Letters are symbols or spellings that represent sounds from left to right, across the page
  2. A sound can be spelt with 1, 2, 3 or 4 letters
  3. The same sound can be spellled in more than one way
  4. Many spellings can represent more than one sound

Sounds-Write is a quality first Phonics Programme that offers the classroom teacher an instructional method that works because it is a structured, multi-sensory, progressive and co-ordinated approach to teaching children to read and spell. The principal attainment targets are:

  • The majority of children to have completed the Initial code by the end of Foundation Stage.
  • Higher achieving children (in Foundation stage and KS1) to be identified and moved through the planning progression at a more rapid pace.
  • The majority of Year 1 children to pass the Year 1 Phonics Screening test.
  • The majority of children to have completed the Extended code by the end of KS1.
  • All children who did not meet these targets in KS1 to continue to follow the Sounds-Write programme in KS2.

Children failing to meet the principal attainment targets will receive targeted intervention which will be tracked and monitored.

Phonics planning

The teaching of Phonics in Foundation Stage, KS1 and KS2 (for those who did not meet the attainment targets by the end of KS1) will be planned in accordance with our Phonics Policy and will include:

  • Daily instruction in dedicated phonic lessons.
  • Lessons planned by the class teacher using the Sounds-Write programme.
  • Intervention groups which target the needs and ability of the children and make effective use of support staff.
  • Appropriately-paced lessons that provide children with suitable tasks to demonstrate their learning using the Sounds-Write support materials.
  • A separate weekly plan which will document the sounds that should be revised and those which should be introduced, according to needs of the different groups of children.
  • Planning should include high frequency words that children will be introduced to alongside phonics teaching.
  • Planning should include nonsense words to determine how well children can blend and segment phonetically.

Planning should reflect and build upon children’s prior learning. Staff must ensure that all children are given sufficient exposure to the letter sound correspondences that will be presented to them in the Year 1 phonics screening assessment, where children must use their phonic knowledge to correctly read 40 words; both real and nonsense words. If the children do not achieve the allotted pass rate, they will receive targeted intervention before re-taking the test in Year 2. Children will be matched to an appropriate book level that matches their phonic knowledge. For children learning the Initial code, Sounds-Write and Dandelion reading books will be used alongside other appropriate phonic based reading schemes. For children learning the Extended code and other phonics-based reading schemes will be used to help children practise and consolidate their phonics skills.

Teaching and learning

  • The approach to the teaching of phonics across EYFS & KS1 will be consistent; and show progression of skills and knowledge.
  • When teaching a new sound spelling, ensure children are seeing how the sounds are represented in written form through adult modelling and through opportunities to practice writing in the air and on whiteboards. In addition, phonics based written work should to be recorded in books on a regular basis.
  • Ensure every lesson gives children opportunities to see, say, blend and segment sounds spellings to make words and also to practise writing words.
  • Use fingers to segment sounds and make sure you show the blend.
  • Children to be taught as a whole class with Teaching Assistants used to support children.
  • Interventions will be delivered by trained staff to consolidate learning and challenge misconceptions.


  • Copy of the Sounds-Write manual and supplementary materials booklet for trained members of staff to deliver the programme using a systematic approach.
  • Initial Code and Extended Code interactive whiteboard presentations available from the T Drive.
  • Flashcards, magnetic letters, post-its and whiteboards (Sounds-Write kits for each child)
  • Dandelion and Sounds-Write reading scheme which matches the units.
  • Supplementary materials available as PDF downloads from Sounds-Write website.

Assessment, Recording and Reporting

On-going formative assessment will be used by the class teacher and teaching assistants to determine how successful the children have been in the three key skills of Sounds-Write which are:

  1. Blending
  2. Segmenting
  3. Phoneme manipulation

Progress will be monitored using the individual Sounds-Write assessment sheet and whole class Tracking (available on T-Drive). All children will be assessed at least once per half-term and this data will be analysed and used to determine which children need to join a Phonics intervention group, by the class teacher. Children in Year 1 (and those in Year 2 who didn’t pass the Year Phonics Screen) will take practise Phonics Screen tests once a term to monitor their progress. Assessment results will be shared with the Phonics Leader.


The Phonics Leader will monitor and evaluate the planning and teaching of Phonics within the school thorough observations, learning walks, scrutiny of work, displays and on-going discussions with class teachers. All teachers and Teaching Assistants will receive Sounds-Write training to ensure that lesson delivery is a high quality and consistent with the School Phonics Policy.


Appendix 1: Sounds-Write Progression Plan

Appendix 2: Initial Code Assessment sheet

Appendix 3: Individual Initial Code Tracking

Appendix 4: Sounds-Write Intervention sheet

Appendix 5: Diagnostics Test

Appendix 6: Weekly Planning Sheet

Appendix 7: Phonics Screening and Sounds-Write Links 

Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School Sounds-Write Progression

From this point, Sounds-Write to be used as the basis for all phonics planning. Government advice is not to mix and match phonics schemes. Word lists and to aid teaching can be found in the Sounds Write file and games and other teaching aids can be found in the Sounds-Write folder on the T Drive.

Initial Code (Reception)

Children to be secure at all of the above by the end of Foundation stage and higher achievers to start working on the extended code.

Extended Code (Year 1)

Teach polysyllabic words alongside the Extended code. Priority has been given to the sounds required for the Year 1 phonics screen. Older children can be taught a wider selection of sounds (as laid out in the Sounds-Write folder), if desired.

These are the spellings required for the KS1 curriculum. Further alternative spellings and alternative pronunciations can be found in the Sounds-Write folder on the T Drive. Children will also need to be taught to spell using the guidance in Appendix 1 from the National Curriculum. This will include how to spell various suffixes and prefixes, past tense, plurals etc. 

Sounds – Write Tracking: INITIAL CODE

Sounds Write INTERVENTION Planning


Sounds-Write Weekly Planning Sheet