Skills - Children are taught the skills of segmenting, blending and sound manipulation. Children are explicitly taught that words are made up of sounds, and how these sounds are represented, by offering simple, physical locational cues.
Knowledge – Children are taught that sounds can be represented by letters (spellings), beginning with single letter spellings (units 1-6). While Sounds-Write works on the principle that ALL words, even those considered ‘tricky’ by other schemes, are decodable, within he Initial Code children are taught a first 26 High Frequency words explicitly so that they can access texts and begin to spell these words correctly. In unit 7 children begin to learn that sounds can be represented by spellings of two letters. This learning continues in unit 11 (and is practiced in units 8-10). Within units 8-10 children learn to blend, segment and manipulate words with adjacent consonants (CVCC, CCVC, CCVCC, CCCVC, CVCCC words).
Rehearsal and consolidation – As children progress through the units it is ensured that they have ample opportunity to revisit previously learned spellings over and over again until their phonemic skills become totally automatic.
Timing and pace – As the children have such regular opportunities for rehearsal and consolidation it is unnecessary to demand 100% accuracy at the end of each unit, before allowing the children to move on. 75% to 80% accuracy is sufficient to ensure that pupils can progress to the next unit.