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Harbour Primary



At Harbour Primary, we enable our children to develop and discover a lifelong love for books and reading. We are determined for every child to learn to read regardless of their background, needs or ability. We will respond to any gaps identified in children’s learning.



  • Every child in YR-Y3 have daily phonics sessions, within which they read and write, using their progressively growing knowledge and skills.
  • Some children receive additional support, for example pre-teaching, daily small group work, and additional 1:1 phonics intervention as identified by teaching and support staff.
  • Well-trained teachers and support staff ensure that all vulnerable children are supported at the appropriate time.
  • All children are entitled to focused teaching time with their teacher.

At Harbour Primary School, we use the Sounds-Write Quality First Phonics programme to deliver our phonics teaching in EYFS, Key Stage 1 and eventually into Key Stage 2. Sounds-Write starts with what all children acquire naturally and right from the start, the sounds of their own language and teaches the letters or combinations of letters which represent whose sounds when we write.

Sounds-Write is a Sensory-Motor approach to teaching reading and spelling.

It requires:

  • Visual discrimination of letter shapes;
  • Auditory discrimination of the sounds in speech (we say the sound as we write it).
  • Integration of auditory and visual skills (Sounds match to spellings, spellings match to sounds).

The Sounds-Write approach ensures that:

  • Children develop key concepts about the way English is written.
  • Children practise the skills essential for reading and spelling accurately.
  • Children learn the sounds and the spellings of English.

Through the Sounds-Write programme children will understand that;

  • Letters represent sounds
  • A sound can be spelled with 1,2,3 or 4 letters
  • In English the same sound is often written with different spellings (same sound, different spellings)
  • In English, the same spelling can spell different sounds.

The children are taught the skills of Blending, Segmenting and Phoneme Manipulation

  • Blending - in order to read we need to be able to blend sounds together and at the end ‘hear’ a meaningful word. Daily practise in the Sounds-Write lessons will develop good blending.
  • Segmenting - the English written language is a sound > spelling code. It is important that children are taught to segment the sounds in words so they can read and spell with ease. Through segmenting children have the opportunity to notice the ways in which the individual sounds are spelled.
  • Phoneme Manipulation - skilled readers are able to add, change or omit sounds in words and understand how this manipulation of sounds makes new words. This skill of phoneme manipulation is essential so that a new reader can swap sounds around to deal with same spelling-different sound.

Code Knowledge

For skilled fluent reading it is vital that children have a thorough knowledge of the spelling code of the 44 sounds of English. The code is taught through multi-sensory activities and lessons where the children are building whole words sound by sound, reading words and writing words. Children need to be taught explicitly and extensively how the sounds of English are written. This teaching and learning should be repeatedly revised and reinforced during daily reading and spelling activities. The code should not be allowed to remain a mystery to pupils.

The Sounds-Write (linguistic phonics) programme is based on extensive research which has isolated and examined the processes involved in learning to read and spell. Each component of the programme is carefully designed so that the developing reader/writer can be guided by explicit instruction at every critical point.

Phonics is taught daily for 30 minutes across EYFS and Key Stage One through whole class instruction progressing through the 3 main parts of the Sounds-Write programme; The Initial Code, The Extended Code and the teaching of Polysyllabic Words. Whole class instructions are supplemented through small group practice, one to one support and extension activities to enable all children in our school to be equipped with the necessary concepts, skills and knowledge to become independent in reading, writing and spelling.

Foundation Stage

Once initial baseline assessments have been carried out in Foundation Stage the children begin formal phonics sessions. In Foundation Stage the children are taught the Initial Code. Phonics is taught in progression of units, with a unit lasting approximately two weeks. Within each phonics session, children are taught a mixture of 3 lessons from a set of 5 lessons.

Each lesson follows a script designed to enable children to focus on their learning and to prevent cognitive overload.

Autumn Term Initial Code (Sounds-Write Units 1-7)

Introduce an average of two ‘new’ sounds per week always in the context of word building (i.e. sound to letter) and practised through reading, writing sound swopping, symbol search activities etc. By the end of the Autumn Term, pupils will understand that two letters can spell one sound (e.g. bell, boss, buzz) and be able to read and spell words containing sounds from Units 1-7.

Spring Term Initial Code (Sounds-Write Units 8 – 11)

Children will be able to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants (four and five sounds). No new sounds/spellings will be introduced at this stage. By the end of the Spring Term (or shortly after), children will have completed Unit 11 (sh, ch, th, ck, wh, ng, qu)

Summer Term

Bridging Lessons into the Extended Code using lesson 6, 7 & 8

Sound /f/ spellings < f ff >

Sound /k/ spellings < c k ck q >

Sound /l/ spellings < l ll le >

Sound /c/ spellings < ch tch >

Sound /s/ spellings < s ss >

Through the teaching in these lessons, children will come to understand that the same sound can be spelled in different ways.

Key Stage One

In Year 1 children are introduced to the Extended Code (Units 1-26) where the focus is on the phonemic nature of the code(sounds) and its graphemic nature(spellings). The sounds and spellings are presented in an order which allows pupils to read the greatest number of words as early as possible. Each unit is taught over a two-week period following a set of scripted lessons and a variety of games and activities. Lessons 6-9 provide opportunities to continue teaching the concepts, skills and knowledge outlined previously.

Unit 1 – /ay/- first spellings

Unit 2 – /ee/– first spellings

Unit 3 – same spelling – different sound

Unit 4 – /oe/ first spellings

Unit 5 – same spelling – different sound

Unit 6 – ‘er’- first spellings

Unit 7 /e/ spellings

By doing S-W Lesson 10, children will understand that the same spelling in English can represent different sounds. By unit 4 in the Extended Code, children will also begin the work on reading and spelling words of more than one syllable (polysyllabic words). They will start with 2 syllable words and progress to 3 and even 4 syllable words for reading and writing. Sounds-Write Lessons 11, 12 and 13 & 14 will be used and Lesson 15 to analyse the spelling of polysyllabic words.

Year 2 onwards (from unit 27 of the extended code)

We continue to teach and revise the sounds and spellings of the Extended Code progressing through the Sounds-Write Units. In many cases we will revisit a sound and cover ‘more spellings’ (complete list of spellings for a sound).

Children will continue to practise reading and spelling polysyllabic words.

Sounds Write strategies will be honed and used throughout KS2 for all children, and identified children will have targeted support and interventions.


Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become confident, accurate and independent readers and spellers by the end of Key Stage One.

Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.

 Other ways we measure progress include:

  • Ongoing teacher assessment through delivery of daily phonics lessons
  • In school attainment tracking
  • Pupil voice- questionnaires, pupil books and learning reviews
  • Phonic leader monitoring- lesson visits, scrutiny of books, assessment, pupil interviews and questionnaires.
  • Governor monitoring.

Mr Guillaume's Phonics Videos

Have a look at our very own Mr Gillaume showing you how we teach phonics at Harbour!

Lesson 1 Word Building


 Lesson 2 Symbol Search


 Lesson 3 Sound Swap


 Lesson 4 Reading and Spelling Words


 Lesson 6 One sound, Different Spelling


Lesson 6 adjusted One sound, Different Spelling


 Lesson 7 One Sound, Different Spelling


   Lesson 8 Sound Review