How Oxford’s validated phonics programmes teach and support young readers

Recent updates from the DfE on teaching phonics using Letters and Sounds and the validation of resources might have left you wondering about the suitability of your school’s phonics provision.  There’s no requirement to make any drastic changes if you’re already following the Letters and Sounds progression, but if you are thinking of updating your school’s phonics programme, we’re here to help. 

All three of our systematic synthetic phonics programmes are validated by the DfE, but how do you know which programme is the best fit for your school? We’ve broken down how each of our programmes teach and support young readers to help you find out.

Consider Read Write Inc. Phonics if…

You are looking for a tried-and-tested whole-school literacy programme that will make and sustain an impact on teaching and learning.

  • Tried, tested, honed and improved by fellow teachers over 15 years, Read Write Inc. Phonics was developed by Ruth Miskin during her time as a teacher in Tower Hamlets. There’s lots of evidence of its impact, particularly for schools and pupils in difficult circumstances.
  • Children are taught a number of ‘speed sounds’ and blending skills to build their fluency before they start reading the programme’s fiction and non-fiction decodable books.
  • The unique teaching sequence and structure is directly connected with the reading books, and each book, including any tricky words, is taught and practised repeatedly to build fluency and comprehension.
  • Children are taught in ability-based groups, which are regularly reviewed.
  • Black and white copies of the Storybooks used in class and Book Bag Books offer additional ‘take home’ reading practice that’s fully aligned to the teaching sequence.
  • Training and leadership is essential to successful implementation. High-quality, personalised PD, delivered by Ruth Miskin Training, supports you to deliver the programme. 

Find out more about Read Write Inc. Phonics

Consider Floppy’s Phonics if…

You are looking for a flexible, step-by-step phonics programme for Reception and Year 1 (P1–2) with matched decodable readers that engages children with fun characters.

  • The Floppy’s Phonics teaching sequence is based on an Alphabetic Code devised by Debbie Hepplewhite, with a progression similar to Letters and Sounds (2007).
  • Sounds and blends, as well as common exception words, are taught systematically and practised using flashcards, activity sheets and a collection of illustrated ‘Sounds and Letters’ books, featuring Biff, Chip and Kipper.
  • Delivered as whole-class teaching, there are lots of options for flexibility around pace and timetabling.
  • Additional matching independent reading practice is offered by Floppy’s Phonics Fiction readers and Oxford Reading Tree Traditional Tales.
  • All training is delivered in on-demand webinars that help you understand the theory and pedagogy behind the programme, and support you with practical implementation and effective classroom use.

Find out more about Floppy’s Phonics Teaching Programme

Consider Essential Letters and Sounds if…

You are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use phonics programme that works with your current decodables from Oxford, following the Letters and Sounds progression, that will get all children to read well, quickly.

  • Essential Letters and Sounds has been created by teachers for teachers, working with expert practitioners from the Knowledge Schools Trust, one of the DfE’s English Hubs. 
  • It follows the original Letters and Sounds progression, using fully-aligned decodable books to enable children to practise decoding skills based on their secure phonics knowledge, in context, whilst building comprehension and fluency. 
  • The aligned books are from series you may well already use, like Word Sparks, Hero Academy, Alien Adventures and Little Blending Books, making it an affordable solution for your school.
  • The programme provides a simple, consistent approach to phonics through easy-to-use interactive whiteboard eBook lessons that give you a scaffold for introducing letters and sounds, modelling blending, reading words and sentences, teaching ‘tricky’ words, decoding and encoding.
  • The daily, same structure approach  keeps routines simple to reduce cognitive load, giving you and your children security, and maximising the chances of success. 
  • A full range of high-quality teacher training is available through a training subscription. It includes modules on the theory and pedagogy, how to deliver Essential Letters and Sounds lessons in your school, and how to ensure all children keep up rather than catch up.

Find out more about Essential Letters and Sounds

Whatever your school’s phonics needs, we have the solution. 

Whether you want to review your existing phonics teaching programme and decodable readers from Oxford, or you need a new phonics programme, your expert local Educational Consultant can support you. Book your free, no obligation Phonics Review whenever is most convenient for you.

Book a free Phonics Review >