William, age 5, rewrote a story in his own words. This was his fifth week in Year 1 and he learnt how to join his letters only since entering Year 1. A comprehensive range of letter/s-sound correspondence knowledge (40+ speech sounds and some spelling variations) enabled William to write freely. The pace and rigour of Synthetic Phonics teaching resulted in William being attentive to the detail of spellings aided by his all-through-the-word scrutiny in reading activities (no guessing). In addition, William had the skill of being able to identify the sounds all-through-the-spoken-word (and words ‘said in his head’) enabling him to write confidently and independently and with rapidly growing accuracy.
Part of William’s rewritten story: ‘Suddenly’
The range of writing activities for William during Year 1 included handwriting practice, free-writing and creative writing, rewriting stories, regular news, spelling and dictation, writing notes from the board, completing exercises, writing as part of games (word, sentence and text level), writing for different purposes, writing in a range of genres across all curriculum subjects.
William’s ideas written six months later – just 6: ‘Spreading Happiness’
Of course, I would add to William’s ‘Spreading Happiness’ list:
(10.) “When children have a Synthetic Phonics teacher!”