Primary education
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English as an additional language
English as an additional language

Ensure your EAL students have the foundations in English required to access the curriculum. Instant impact on English language skills, vocabulary and confidence.

Improve the literacy levels of your students

Boosts reading ages by an average of 24 months in just six weeks
Develops spelling, punctuation and grammar
Delivers improved results for all abilities
Ensures deeper understanding of the curriculum
Encourages students to become active learners
Improves student engagement and self-esteem
Enhances vocabulary knowledge
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Word of the week


The ability to withstand hardship - as this week's London Marathon runners will show us!

en-: in, into

durus: hard

-ance: quality, state, instance

ENDURANCE is the quality of having hardness or toughness within.

Good luck to all the runners in the London Marathon on Sunday!

To read our ENDURANCE blog, and for further word play, information and articles, click on our Sound Training blog link at the top of the page.

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The act of burying someone again

This week sees the REINTERMENT of King Richard III, the last English king to die in battle. His remains were found buried under a Leicester carpark in 2012, in the remains of a lost medieval church. He will finally be laid to rest in a royal tomb on Thursday in Leicester Cathedral.

The word REINTERMENT is Latin in origin:

re - again

in - in, into

ter - from 'terra': the earth, ground

ment - result of an action

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A person who loves books

To celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 5th March 2015, let everyone know you're a BIBLIOPHILE!

BIBLION = a book (in Ancient Greek)

PHILOS = loving, fond, friendly towards

Which is your favourite book - or books?

In the Christian world THE BIBLE is THE BOOK - both in importance and in the meaning of its name. The Old Testament books were originally written in Hebrew, and were translated into Ancient Greek by scholars at the famous Library in Alexandria, Egypt in the third century BC - Egypt was then ruled by the Greek heirs of Alexander the Great. The New Testament books were written in the first century AD in Ancient Greek, as this was the language of education in the Mediterranean area (ruled by the Romans), at that time.

Other BIBLION words:
BIBLIOGRAPHY: (graph = writing) a list of books to read about a particular subject
BIBLIOLATRY: (latry = worship of) an excessive love of books; or, the act of sticking too closely to a literal interpretation of the Bible
BIBLIOTICS: the study of documents, handwriting and writing tools to decide if the documents are authentic - carried out by a BIBLIOTIST (ist = a person doing a job or hobby)
BIBLIOPOLE: (-pole, -poly = to do with trade, e.g. monopoly) a bookdealer, especially one who buys and sells rare books

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A person who studies the origins and development of the universe - the Theory of Everything!

COSMOLOGIST comes from the Ancient Greek 'kosmos' meaning 'order' or 'world, universe'.

kosmos - order, universe
-ology - the study or science of
-ist - a member of a profession

A COSMOLOGIST is a person whose profession is the study of the order and workings of the universe. Arguably the most famous British cosmologist alive today is Dr Stephen Hawking, whose life has recently been examined in the film 'The Theory of Everything', winning a Best Actor Oscar for actor Eddie Redmayne at the Oscars Awards ceremony on Sunday.

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There's no time like the present! PROCRASTINATION comes from the Latin word CRAS meaning 'tomorrow'.

PROCRASTINATION is, to me, a perfectly formed word: it is made up of a root word, with a prefix and two suffixes added.

pro - forwards, in front

cras / crastinus - Latin for tomorrow / belonging to tomorrow

ate - to make into, become

tion - (the result of) an act or process

So PROCRASTINATION is the act of (or the result of the act of) making something into the business of tomorrow - or putting it off till tomorrow.

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The belief in fair and kind treatment of all humans

HUMANITARIANISM can be broken down into four sections:

HUMAN + ITY (state) + ARIAN (having a concern/belief in something) + ISM (a belief/system).

Put back together, it is the belief in fair and kind treatment of all humans, regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs etc.

On the third Monday in January (this year Monday 19th January) America celebrates Martin Luther King Day, in honour of the civil rights activist who campaigned against racial segregation and was assassinated for his beliefs in 1968.

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The birth of a baby, especially of Jesus Christ

NATIVITY comes from the Latin NATUS meaning BORN, EXISTING, with the suffix -ITY, meaning THE STATE OF, AN INSTANCE OF.

At this time of year children across the country are performing their Nativity plays at school - traditional or with added lobsters and aliens!

But there are many other words used all the time which come from the same root:

NATURE - your birth, inborn personality; or 'all things which have been born', all living things

NATIVE - by birth, e.g. your native country, native language

NATION - originally, a group of people with common ancestors - joined, therefore, by birth

Also, some names come from this root; NATALIE / NATALYA, from the Latin phrase DIES NATALIS, meaning 'birthday', especially Jesus' birthday, and therefore 'Christmas', were originally popular in France and Russia; NATASHA is the pet-name version of NATALIE.

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The root of many words, from the Greek verb archo, meaning TO RULE, or TO BEGIN

English words using the sense of TO RULE include:

matriARCHal – (of a group or society) being led by a senior woman (mater, matri- = mother, -al = like, of that sort)
anARCHist - a person who believes there should be no ruler (an = without, ist = a person)
ARCHbishop, ARCHangel, ARCH-enemy - a head bishop, a senior angel, a most important enemy

English words using the sense of TO BEGIN include:

ARCHaeology - the study of (ology) things from the beginning (i.e., from long ago)
ARCHaic – ancient, old-fashioned (-ic = to do with, e.g. archaic language)
ARCHetype – the first, original version of something

The scientific and mathematical genius ARCHimedes (he of 'Eureka!' fame and the Archimedes Screw) has a curiously apt name: 'medes' comes from the Greek for 'to plan, think, invent'. So he truly was 'The Master Inventor'!

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On 1st December 1887 Sherlock Holmes first appeared in print, in A Study in Scarlet.

My investigations into Holmes' profession have uncovered the following facts:

de – the opposite, away from, down, off;
tect –a roof, a cover;
ive –by nature, tending to do or to be something – it’s usually an ending for an adjective (such as ‘active’) but sometimes these words become used as nouns.

So a DETECTIVE is someone who tends to uncover things.

-TECT- comes from the Latin verb TEGO and the Greek verb STEGO, which both mean TO COVER, and often are used in the senses of clothing, roofs, or building.

Other linked English words are ARCHITECTURE, PROTECT and STEGOSAURUS (a dinosaur with plates which looked like roof-tiles along its spine!).

Elementary, my dear Watson...

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The Cenotaph

The War Memorial in Whitehall, London, to commemorate those soldiers who died in the First World War

CENOTAPH comes from two Greek words: KENOS, meaning 'empty' and TAPHOS, meaning 'tomb'.

Cenotaphs have been used in countries across the world and for thousands of years as memorials to an individual or group who are actually buried elsewhere.

The Cenotaph in London was originally erected as a memorial for the fallen British soldiers of the First World War. However, it has now become the focus of commemoration for British soldiers who have died in all conflicts since then.

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a collection of the best poetry, writings or pieces of music

ANTHOLOGY comes from two Ancient Greek words:

anthos - a flower, blossom

logia - a collection

It literally means 'a collection of flowers' - but of course it's used metaphorically. We speak in English of the 'flower' of youth, meaning 'the best', and of ideas 'blossoming', or a plan coming to 'fruition'. Our language is so full of metaphors referring to nature and plants that we hardly notice them any more - look out for them!

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A word, phrase or number which reads the same both forwards and backwards

It is made up from two Ancient Greek words:

palin = again, back

dromos = a course, race, racetrack.

Strangely, though, it wasn't ever a Greek word itself - it was actually made up by the English Jacobean poet and playwright Ben Jonson (1572-1637).

Some examples of palindromes:

Names - Hannah.
Dates - 20th February 2002 = 20 02 2002.
Phrases - 'A Toyota's a Toyota'.

Do you know any interesting or funny palindromes?

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VELOCITY comes from the Latin velox meaning 'swift, fast'.

The suffix '-ity' means 'state or quality of', so VELOCITY is 'the state or quality of being fast'.

But there is another link to the Tour de France here: the French for a bicycle is un vélo - a shortened form of vélocipede, which was an early type of bike with no pedals. Hence indoor cycle races take place in a velodrome.

More velo words - a velocimeter is an instrument which measures (-meter) speed/velocity, and a velociraptor is a speedy dinosaur.

Enjoy the cycling!

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Monarch comes from two Ancient Greek words

monos - alone

arkho - I rule

So a monarch is someone who rules and holds power alone, such as a king or queen.

Other monos words: monologue = a long speech for one person in a play

monogamy = marriage to only one person

monotone = a sound or voice which stays at one pitch, with no intonation

Other arkh- words: archangel = a senior angel

archbishop = the chief bishop for an area

patriarchy = a society led by a male elder (pater, patros = father)

anarchy = the state of being without (an-) a ruler

The irony is, of course, that the French Revolution ultimately opened the way for Napolean to declare himself emperor - a sole ruler - a monarch!

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What others say about us...

It was great to see the students so engaged and pleased with themselves. Hollie went home on cloud nine!

Claire Whiley, Assistant Principal, Ormiston Park Academy, Thurrock

The pupils didn’t view the training as a lesson, rather than a series of fun challenges or games. The truth is that they were learning an awful lot. It’s such an exciting programme. It is very intense and pacy with constant changes of activity.

Linda Pulman, Sound Trainer, Chaucer Technology School, Canterbury

Of all the strategies we use I feel strongly that Sound Training for Reading is the most effective and accessible. When a group of Yr 11 ‘characters’ come out of their first session and say ‘Cheers, Miss, I’ll have some more of that’, you know you’ve found a diamond! Equally, this week we had 4 very emotional Yr 11 girls celebrating their improvements. Sound Training is an integral part of our whole school literacy strategy and I will always invest in it, however tight our budget may be.

Debra Clapham, Unity City Academy

Kiera was on track at the beginning of the year to make the 2 levels expected progress across KS2 but she was having some difficulties with friendship groups and her self-esteem was very low. She began Sound Training in the spring term and she has surpassed the level that was her target and achieved a level 5 in her SAT’s Reading test. This has boosted her confidence and she is so excited with the prospect of moving to High School with a level 5. We are all very proud of her. Thank you Sound Training.

Diana Higton, Headteacher, St John’s Primary School, Wetley Rocks

Sound Training is brilliant. I managed to get a 'B' in English AND I am now reading books. I never did that before!

Hani, Yr 11 pupil, Aston Manor School, Birmingham

I found that Sound Training helped me with my dyslexia more than anything else I have tried.

Dan, Yr 11 Pupil, Mounts Bay School, Penzance

I noticed a huge improvement in Niamh’s confidence and understanding. She used to rely heavily on us to complete homework; we practically had to do it for her. Since Sound Training she is able to complete and understand her homework with minimal support from us.

Carol Roberts, parent at Weavers Academy

We have just had two days’ training with Sound Training. I can safely say that it was the best training that I have had for a very long time. We are very excited about the impact that Sound Training will have on the life-chances and academic outcomes of our pupils. The best part of the training was observing a session with pupils. So much progress was made in a single lesson that we were completely convinced that Sound Training is a large part the way forward for the development of Literacy in our school. The course is so pacy that pupils can’t sit back and are desperate to join in. We will be using Sound Training with all year groups, especially vulnerable pupils who are in danger of not reaching their potential.

Robert Bradley, Assistant Headteacher, Brynmawr School, Ebbw Vale

The training was extremely positive. Staff came away after day one full of energy and enthusiasm. On day two, staff came away thinking about implementing the training and incredibly excited about the possibilities that ‘Sound Training' could offer to our learners.

Sharon Robinson, Director of Teaching and Learning, The Link School Pallion

I'm really excited about using the online resources in my classroom. The videos coupled with the testing and worksheets - I've never encountered a resource as thorough and useful and I've been looking!

Miquila Lucero, Licence Trainer, Leadership High School, San Francisco

Oaks Park High School

Oaks Park High School

“We are delighted with the relationship that we have with Sound Training and the investment we have made has been worth every penny. We have so far put all Year 9 students through the programme and ...

Kevin Wyre, Deputy Headteacher

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Sounding out



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Why you'd need to be hard to run the London Marathon this weekend!

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This week the remains of King Richard III will be laid to rest at Leicester Cathedral.

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