Sounding Board


Literacy: Reading and Writing Resources

Stories 4 learning


Stories-4-Learning (S4L) is open-source eBook software that you can use with the children you work with to promote language and literacy. There are a lot of example books to choose from and the language is simple and clearly set out to promote discussions about both the context and the words. We would recommend watching the YouTube tutorial, which is quick brings the resource to life. For example there are ways of highlighting certain word groups like verbs in different colours and also “hot potato” games where you get to build your own sentences from a choice of words.


Phonics and the Hearing Impaired Child: Practical Strategies for Mainstream Settings
This book was produced by the NDCS and is available from their website.

Phonics is recognised as a key tool in the acquisition of literacy skills for all children and therefore should be made accessible to deaf children. This guidance is intended to help teachers to respond to the needs of the deaf child.



This is devoted to teaching children phonics using a systematic approach. There are lots of games, books and interactive activities all of which reinforce the learning of phonics to children in the first years of school. It is an extensive resource and well worth a look.

first school years

First School Years

This site has lots of resources for practising and reinforcing all phonics with crosswords, code words and word searches to vary the activity.



THRASS (Teaching Handwriting Reading And Spelling Skills) helps children to understand the relationships between the forty-four phonemes of spoken English and the twenty-six letters of the alphabet, which are the key to successful reading and writing. They have a range of colourful and useful materials which usually have to be paid for although most of them are a reasonable price. They also have an interactive calendar which can be downloaded.



This site enables teachers, parents and pupils to make their own story books. Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print. Read them like books, play them like games, and send them like greeting cards. They may inspire youngsters to create their own story or enable a teacher to produce a book at an appropriate language level for a particular child or children.

Words and pictures 250

Words and Pictures

h3]Words and pictures support the literacy hour and is aligned to the BBC schools TV series. It has interactive literacy based games and a gallery section, hosting materials such as poetry and generating sentences.

SMOG readability calculator

SMOG Calculator

This is a useful website from the University of Nottingham that helps to calculate and check how easy you are able to read a particular piece of writing or text. Simply copy and paste the reading material into the calculator and you will receive a breakdown of how easy the passage to understand when read. Along with this calculator you will also need to download a free pdf document explaining the scores. This leaflet has a number of interesting tips on how to make reading, material clear and easy to understand.

click below for the calculator and pdf booklet: Understanding the SMOG calculator


Oxford Owl

Oxford Owl is a great website , which provides practical advice and top tips up to age 11 to help support children’s reading all the way through their primary school years. There are huge numbers of fun games and activities to try to practise reading and language skills and help to build confidence.

Stories from the web schools

Stories from the web schools

Stories from the Web Schools has been described as a treasure trove of exciting ideas for reading and writing. This new website for schools does involve a subscription fee, but will provide access to a wide range of excerpts of various texts and commentaries. The ethos of the website is to get children to read more widely as well as engage more deeply with text. For those children who need more visual reinforcement or who prefer engaging with text visually there is a great section on comic books. Widgit is available on the site too.

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets

Reading Rockets is a national multimedia literacy initiative offering information and resources on how young kids learn to read, why so many struggle, and how caring adults can help. We bring the best research-based strategies to teachers, parents, administrators, librarians, childcare providers, and anyone else involved in helping a young child become a strong, confident reader. Our goal is to bring the reading research to life — to spread the word about reading instruction and to present "what works" in a way that parents and educators can understand and use.

Bradford schools online

Bradford Schools online

Bradford Schools online is a website with some useful and well written resources for professionals working with deaf children. We have included a link to the page managed by the “Support team for deaf children”. Look out for the “Phonics Guidance for Hearing Impaired Children in Mainstream Schools”.

Read Write Think

Read Write Think

Read Write Think is an organisation providing educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering high quality free materials. You will be able to access hundreds of standards-based lesson plans written and reviewed by educators using current research. There are worksheets, articles and a new section on video pod casts. We have set up the link to a page for encouraging higher order language skills, some lovely practical ideas to try at home.

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