The programmes listed below are high quality, research-informed *synthetic or linguistic phonics programmes with explicit and systematic teaching of the Alphabet Code at their core. *For a description of the differences- see Method 3 N.B. both styles of programme were approved by the DfE as meeting the 'core criteria'.
It is essential that carefully matched decodable books are used alongside a school's synthetic phonics programme for all early independent reading practice -see Decodable Books
For guidance only: primary X primary intervention X secondary/adult intervention X parents at home X student teachers X
S ou n d R ea d i ng S y s t e m (SRS) XXX http://soundreadingsystem.co.uk/
A scripted linguistic phonics one-to-one intervention programme,
based on the work of Professor Diane McGuinness
(author of Why Children Can't Read) and adapted, with her
permission, by Fiona Nevola B.Ed.(Sussex) and M.Sc.(Oxen).
Highly suitable for 'dyslexics' and struggling or non-readers of all ages (6+) including adults. The programme
is also being used successfully as a whole-class early reading programme and in Further Education Colleges, Academies and Youth Offender Institutions. The Dyslexia-SpLD trust place the SRS programme in their top category of effectiveness as an intervention for all age groups, 'remarkable' in all three areas; reading accuracy, comprehension and spelling. As this is an instruction-led approach to reading and spelling, the programme's teaching manual and materials are only available WITH 4 days training. Please contact Fiona Nevola for training details: fiona.nevola at gmail.com.
Sounds~Write http://www.sounds-write.co.uk/ XXX
This scripted linguistic phonics classroom programme is designed
for KS1 but can be used with all ages as
'catch-up' As this is an instruction-led approach to reading and spelling the programme's teaching manual is only available WITH (4 days) training.
Free, online initial/basic
Alphabet Code (part1) practical course for
parents/carers/homeschoolers: teach your rising 4-6 yr old
child how to read and spell
S-W's excellent, interactive whiteboard presentations -initial code and extended code. They can be used alongside any phonics programme: http://www.sounds-write.co.uk/interactive-whiteboard.aspx
App for iPad. Sounds-Write's Initial / Basic Code app - see below.
A comprehensive review of S-W's resources:
Phonics International (PI) XXX www.phonicsinternational.com/
Debbie Hepplewhite's online
synthetic phonics programme. Comprehensive range of resources
along with instructions for teaching the basic and advanced
English Alphabet Code.
PI is also published as a set of nine teacher books + pupil
Teach Primary's review of Phonics International
Teach Secondary's review of Phonics International http://www.phonicsinternational.com/teach_secondary_review.pdf
XX Online synthetic phonics training https://phonicstrainingonline.com/
XX Early Years Starter Package: Young-child resources for children aged 3-5,
for pre-school settings and parents who want to make an early
start with synthetic phonics AND Teeny Reading Seeds:
Resources for approximately 3-4 yr.olds as they begin to make
links between speech sounds and the 26 alphabet letters. http://www.phonicsinternationalpreschool.com/
Sounds Together X http://soundstogether.co.uk/ Complete synthetic phonics programme for YR/KS1 - resources, lesson plans, interactive whiteboard materials and decodable texts.
Sound Discovery. www.syntheticphonics.net XXX
Synthetic phonics programme to teach reading, writing and
Read Write Inc (RWI) Pub. OUP. X http://www.oup.com/oxed/primary/rwi/transformingprogrammes/
Ruth Miskin's scripted synthetic phonics programme for primary schools. It is the only programme that specifically recommends putting children into fluid 'ability groups' for phonics lessons.
The RWI materials are available with or without training.
- RWI. XX Fresh Start: 'Catch-up' reading, writing, spelling and grammar activities
for children in Year 5 upwards with age appropriate integral texts for reading
''It basically consists of 34 'workbooks' (modules) which progress from extremely simple to complex'' (Secondary school HLTA)
- RWI XXX One to one phonics tutoring kit for ages 4-9. Starts at CVC level.
Tutoring Kit review: http://www.teachprimary.com/tried_and_tested/view/one-to-one-phonics-tutoring-kit
Caution: The RWI programmes are based around purchased consumables - expensive, but saves preparation time and helps ensure programme fidelity. N.B. RWI's 'Red words' are
not 'sight words, to be memorised as whole shapes; Ruth Miskin says ''Help children look for the letters that “work” and ones that are tricky'' in the Red words. RWI also uses nonsense words, but only for assessment at the end of a lesson to check that children can read recent graphemes in new or nonsense words. ''We advise only two or three."
Floppy's Phonics Sounds and Letters. Pub. OUP X
Well designed and comprehensive range of resources. Uses
Letters&Sounds GPC introduction order. The teaching handbooks include interactive whiteboard CD-ROMS. ''The heart of the programme is the Alphabetic Code Chart to help your children 'crack the code', support the learning of alternative phonemes and to reinforce phonics''.
Teach Primary review: http://www.teachprimary.com/tried_and_tested/view/floppy-phonics-sounds-and-letters
Jolly Phonics. Pub. Jolly Learning. XX http://jollylearning.co.uk/
Synthetic phonics Basic Code programme (unscripted) and resources.
Straightforward to use and suitable for nursery/pre-school -> 6yrs max.
Some advanced code spellings are covered in the Grammar Handbooks.
That Reading Thing www.thatreadingthing.com X
Online training in a basic, remedial linguistic phonics one-to-one programme
for teenagers and adults.
For information only: DfE's synthetic phonics 'programme' Letters and Sounds.
N.B. L&S Phase 1 is phonological awareness activities without letters, not synthetic phonics. Caution: This is an unscripted, deliberately resourceless, generic framework for teaching synthetic phonics, originally provided as a stop-gap/fall-back programme for schools and has now been archived. It is NOT recommended for use without very
high-quality training and appropriate resources (e.g OUP's Floppy's Phonics or
Rising Star's Rocket Phonics decodable books). Caution: the ‘phases’ of L&S were never intended as a means of ‘differentiation’ but as steps for introducing the various letter/s-sound correspondences systematically. Additionally, children should not be asked to memorise as visual whole shapes any of the 300 high frequency words listed in L&S, see L&S Notes of Guidance p15/16
Scroll down to base of page for more info. on L&S.
X Read Elizabeth Nonweiler's review of L&S http://www.nonweiler.demon.co.uk/page14.html
Spelfabet's linguistic phonics resources.
Comprehensive range of materials to teach a linguistic phonics one-to-one intervention programme including workbooks and games. Spelfabet is Australian but the materials can be downloaded internationally using Paypal. N.B. includes some Aus.vocab.
Phonicbooks linguistic phonics resources: workbooks and games.
Each decodable book series has a linked photocopiable workbook with writing/spelling practice sheets and games. Training in linguistic phonics recommended to gain maximum benefit from the materials.
X Debbie Hepplewhite's free, comprehensive Alphabet Code chart specifically designed for student teachers, includes IPA symbols and synthetic phonics teaching principles.
App for iPad. Sounds-Write's Linguistic Phonics Initial / Basic Code app. 1st three units are free. ''This app offers a variety of activities to develop the skills of blending and segmenting, sound spelling correspondence, word reading and writing and some sentences reading and writing''. N.B. Parental/
carer/tutor supervision needed when using the app.
App for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Pocket Phonics. 'Aimed at preschool kids and older children up to 7, PocketPhonics uses animated graphics, sound and touch' to teach synthetic phonics. Free trial 'lite' version available.
OUP's synthetic phonics spelling dictionary based on Floppy's
Oaktree Designs set of 3 beautifully illustrated phonics wildlife friezes: ''The name of each creature is written at the top in black and the graphemes which combine to make the word are along the bottom''
Free download (colour printer needed) First Phonics Picture Book for pre-schoolers -all 44 sounds covered. http://www.spelfabet.com.au/materials/spelling%20sounds
- For teaching French reading, writing and spelling. In the
same format as The Phonics Handbook, Le manuel phonique
introduces the main 36 letter sounds in French, with 'actions'
for each one, and activity sheets + wall frieze
Spanish Alphabet Code chart -useful to compare with the English Alphabet Code chart -see above.
A unique Spanish (Latin America) systematic synthetic phonics reading, writing and spelling programme written by Grace Vilar, from Argentina, and Debbie Hepplewhite.
ABeCeDarian reading program is a comprehensive linguistic
phonics program that also teaches spelling and handwriting
Letters and Sounds
In England, the now most widely used synthetic phonics
programme, the government's Letters and Sounds (L&S), was
not intended, according to the then DCSF, to replace the
fully-resourced, 'tried and tested in the classroom', synthetic
phonics programmes which were already available commercially.
L&S was hastily produced by the DCSF purely as a
fall-back/stop-gap programme for schools, with the official
status of 'guidance'. The then Labour government wanted all
English primary schools to start using synthetic phonics as
quickly as possible, with no excuses, after its acceptance of
the recommendations in the 2006 Rose Report.
Most schools turned to L&S automatically because it was free
(the government sent 6 copies of L&S to every primary school in
England), government-produced, and therefore viewed as being
unsullied by commercialism, but also because most LEAs put
pressure on schools in their areas to use it along with their
(LEA-provided) training. Unfortunately, in the majority of
cases, the LEAs' L&S trainers were exactly the same people who
had been delivering NLS 'mixed method' training only a short
The L&S pack contained two books. One was the 'Six-phase
Teaching Programme', the other was 'Notes of Guidance for
Practitioners and Teachers'. The second booklet, despite
containing all the important detail of how to teach the
L&S programme, usually went unread.
To limit any conflict of interest with the commercial
programmes, L&S was produced without any essential resources
such as decodable books. Most of the schools that took up L&S
simply carried on using the school's old, leveled, whole
language scheme books with their beginning readers, usually
along with a hastily improvised mixture of mis-matched 'phonics'
materials. As a result, one of the key concepts of the Rose
report, 'fidelity to the programme', was regularly neglected and
decoding using multi-cueing continued to be necessary if
children were expected to 'read' the books independently.
Schools seem to be unaware that in Oct 2010 the DfE
introduced a revised set of criteria for synthetic phonics
programmes. It included new advice on early texts to practise
reading: ''(E)nsure that as pupils move through the early stages
of acquiring phonics, they are invited to practise by reading
texts which are entirely decodable for them, so that they
experience success and learn to rely on phonemic strategies. It
is important that texts are of the appropriate level for
children to apply and practise the phonic knowledge and skills
that they have learnt. Children should not be expected to use
strategies such as whole-word recognition and/or cues from
context, grammar, or pictures''