Provision for Children with Special Educational Needs and Additional Learning Needs

“SSP, rather than a whole-word approach, provides children with moderate to severe and complex needs the best opportunity to gain functional literacy. Children who have a hearing or visual impairment are generally able to access phonics teaching if they have some hearing or vision. Instruction should be accessible to all these children.” - Reading Framework, DfE, 2021

The Phonics Shed systematic synthetic phonics programme has been designed with all learners in mind. We believe that by following the programme as intended, it will cater for all learners with little adaptation. We have indicated below where adaptations can be made.

  • All lessons follow a similar structure and routine.
    • Each lesson from Chapter 2 to 4 follows a five-part structure:
    • This structure can be beneficial for all learners as all children can enjoy the experiences of whole class activities, such as stories and rhymes, before working at a level at which they can manage independently.
    • It may benefit some children to have a visual reminder of this structure and a visual prompt to show which section of the session they are completing. This could be as simple as using the lesson sequencing graphic on page 29 of the guidance document with a movable arrow, or using the following graphics on their personal sequencing board (available on page 140 of the guidance document):
  • Clear lines of sight
    • Ensure that children are positioned throughout the lesson so that they can see the teacher’s mouth and face clearly and that visual stimuli are big enough to be seen clearly.
    • Our flash cards come in two sizes; the larger size is A4 for larger group teaching. All resources are also available digitally so that they can be enlarged or used with a screen magnifier.
  • Active Listening
    • Eye contact can be difficult for some children. ‘Look’ is part of the active listening, but this can be simply looking in the speaker’s general direction rather than full eye contact.
    • This can be modelled by giving children the same eye contact that is expect from them. By modelling expectations, it encourages them to do the same.
  • Grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in a meaningful context.
    • Each letter is linked visually to an animal or human character, for example, Curly the cat and Monty the monkey. The visuals and alliterative names allow children to create concrete links with the sounds.
    • The use of characters will particularly aid those children who struggle with abstract concepts, especially when combined with the multi-sensory aspect of the programme.
  • Ensure that distractions are minimised.
    • Teaching whole class phonics promotes a quiet time when all children are listening and engaged in the reading or writing tasks, rather than moving around the classroom and taking part in continuous provision activities, which can be distracting to some children.
  • Ensure, where possible, that doors are closed, the environment is well lit and any other distractions are minimised.
  • Targeted questioning
    • In whole class sessions, teachers should use their expertise and knowledge of the children in their class to target children with specific questions at a suitable level.
    • Children should be given time to process questions and form answers.
    • Teachers should target children with questions at their level. This may include making links to prior learning or simplifying questions for some.
  • Record and display new vocabulary
    • Create a vocabulary working wall for phonics lessons.
    • All children will be able to refer back to any new words learned.
    • Include words that involve a focus sound or spelling pattern.
    • Include a visual reminder of words such as digraph and phoneme.
    • Use our friezes for display and add to them as each new set is taught. They also contain appropriate, decodable example words.
  • Additional Visual Prompts
    • The scheme includes visual prompts for active listening and blending and segmenting to remind children of these skills.
    • These can be printed and used as prompt cards for those who need visual reminders.
    • Additional audio prompts can be used to help to focus children at the beginning and end of the sessions. Song sheets and audio files can be found in the ‘Additional Resources’ files of every Set or Element sub-section on the digital hub.
  • Continuous Provision
    • Planning includes continuous provision suggestions that allow learning to take place beyond discrete Phonics lessons.
    • These learning opportunities are often ideal for those who don’t do well in more formal teaching situations.
    • They also allow for consolidation of learning for those who need more time to process certain knowledge or skills.
    • They are often more tactile for more kinaesthetic learners.
    • See examples of our continuous provision plans as part of the sample planning for Chapters 1 to 4b here.
  • Consolidation Weeks
    • Additional content to repeat and spiral the learning of all skills for those who need extra support to process or consolidate the Phonics taught.
    • These can be used to slow the pace of progression for those who struggle with the accelerated pace; they can be used straight after the first week of planning. However, you must also adapt your medium-term planning, where appropriate, to include these additions to ensure you are still on track to complete lessons to the end of Chapter 4b before the Phonics Screening.
    • You can find an example of our consolidation planning here.
  • Using devices to view materials online
    • Teachers and support staff can view our printable resources online, allowing children with one-to-one or small group support to view materials on a tablet, laptop or similar device for in-lesson support or intervention sessions.
    • The website is designed to be easily accessible, and the e-books are designed to work with e-readers.
  • Using Chapter 1 planning and resources
    • Teachers can use Chapter 1 planning and resources as a type of intervention at any time during the programme to help children to develop the core skills needed for reading and writing.
    • This will be particularly useful for developing fine motor skills for those with disabilities affecting motor skills for writing.
    • An example of Chapter 1 planning can be seen here.
  • Intervention Scheme
    • All packs not only include consolidation planning for every Set and Element for Chapters 1-4b but there is also a comprehensive set of small-group or 1:1 intervention plans that matches the schemes progression.
    • These intervention plans can be used as an when they are needed to support progression.
    • They can also be used for children who struggle with multi-sensory learning or whole class learning and need 1:1 or small group settings in order to progress effectively.
    • These interventions use resources from the main planning, including the same characters and the matching flashcards, but are designed to last for approximately 10 minutes as apposed to the 30 minute whole group sessions.
    • They also follow a similar predictable structure to the whole group sessions.
    • An example of intervention planning can be seen here.

We are always interested to hear feedback. How do you support children with SEN when using Phonics Shed? Email support@edshed.com with your ideas.