There are some fundamental concepts that cannot be compromised on if you want to be successful with phonics. These are essentials, and you'll find they are a common thread across other high quality systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programmes, research studies and expert guidance. They are central to the pedagogy behind the Rocket Phonics programme.
1. Phonics is overseen by a dedicated phonics leader.
2. Phonics is taught for a minimum of 30 minutes daily.
3. All staff are supported with regular phonics professional development training.
4. A clear pathway is followed through the alphabetic code.
5. Children are not asked to read texts by themselves that they can't yet read.
6. The Systematic Synthetic Phonics Teaching Principles (knowledge of the code and the skills of blending, segmenting and handwriting) are taught explicitly.
7. The Teaching & Learning Cycle (revisit and review, teach, practise, apply) is followed.
8. Children are supported to keep up, so they do not need to catch up.
9. Phonics is taught at letter-sound, word, sentence and text levels.
10. Core phonics provision is distinguished from phonics enrichment activities.
11. Teachers have clarity about what, why and how they are teaching.
12. Teachers focus on details, such as accurate modelling and pencil hold.