At St Mary’s we use the Sounds-Write programme to teach phonics and spelling.


The Skills below are taught explicitly:

  • Blending
  • Segmenting
  • Phoneme Manipulation (sound swapping)


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 – f, oa, air, eigh.
  • The same sound can be spelt in different ways – bone, coat, toe, window, shoulder.
  • The same spelling can represent different sounds – bread, eat, great.

All adults in school use the same consistent, concise language about sounds and spelling when teaching. We say that the letters spell sounds, they do not say sounds.


We use Phrases such as:

  • In this word…
  • If this was…. this would be a…
  • This can spell …. What else can it spell?
  • Say the sounds and read the word.