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Phonics Guidance during COVID-19

Sound Discovery is keen to support parents during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. We have produced a Parent's Guide to Phonics (Guide for Parents) with advice, and links to resources.

Sound Discovery? Longitudinal Study uploaded to Reading Reform Foundation website

Longitudinal Study from Reception to Year 2 (2010-2013) and Summary of an Earlier Longitudinal Study from Reception to Year 6 (1997-2004) ? The Effects of a Systematic, Synthetic Phonics Programme on Reading, Writing and Spelling ? with whole classes of children who started with the programme for first-time teaching in Reception (aged four to five years) and received small group teaching with the same programme for catch-up as required.

The 2010-2013 follow-up study on the effects of Sound Discovery? from Reception to Year 2 found that Year 2 children built on their flying start in Reception and Year 1. The aim of the study was to demonstrate how all children in a class can become fluent readers by the age of 7 years, and how disadvantaged children and struggling learners can overcome their difficulties to become confident, enthusiastic readers who love books. The whole Year 2 class were 28 months above chronological age for reading and 21 months ahead for spelling. Children in vulnerable groups made strong progress and no child achieved less than average reading or spelling for their age. Boys were the most impressive group at 36 months ahead for reading and 27 months ahead for spelling.

The 1997-2004 study followed children who received first-time and catch-up teaching with Sound Discovery to the end of Reception and through to the compulsory national tests for school pupils in England (Key Stage 1 (KS1) and Key Stage 2 KS2) Standardised Assessment Tests (SATs)). The KS2 SATs results in 2004 showed that there were no severe literacy difficulties with this large cohort of three classes. The children achieved 94% Level 4+ and 65% Level 5 in contrast with national results for England of 77% Level 4+ and 26% Level 5. Hence the children left primary school at the age of eleven years well equipped for the literacy demands of secondary education with virtually all of them having met nationally expected standards for English (Level 4). The children from low-income and other disadvantaged families and children with learning difficulties were able to overcome their difficulties.

A copy of the full study can be downloaded from the Reading Reform Foundation website at the URL given below.


New Sound Discovery® High Frequency Words Resource published

A new resource Sound Discovery® High Frequency Words Version 2 is the resource you have been looking for to teach high frequency words most effectively (Product Code SD4, published 2014). The resource is suitable for all ages, for first time teaching and for intervention. Discover how high frequency words can be decoded using grapheme-phoneme correspondences without the words being taught separately as ‘sight words’. Develop reading fluency, accuracy and speed as well as comprehension and oral language with the Precision Monitoring, Speed Reads and Comprehension elements in this resource. The resource provides specially prepared words, sentences and texts to make it easier for students to practise sounding and blending , so that: “... they being to be able to read them (the words) without overt sounding and blending, thus starting to experience what it feels like to read some words automatically.”. This way of teaching high frequency words follows the latest guidance to practitioners and teachers.

View Product Here

Sound Discovery® part of Education Endowment Foundation control trials

Sound Discovery® in conjunction with Rapid Phonics was part of a randomised control trial conducted by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) dedicated to literacy catch-up projects for children at primary-secondary transition. The approach build on the idea that catch-up lessons needed to be ‘snappy’, quick, memorable and fun. The project aimed to improve the literacy of struggling readers at the end of Year 6 and the beginning of Year 7. The project involved 22 schools and reached 300 pupils. The EEF will be reporting the findings in September 2014.