Narrative driven, multi-sensory phonics

Welcome to Phonics Shed

Phonics Shed is a DfE validated systematic synthetic phonics programme with coverage from sound awareness in pre-school, into a full phonics scheme of learning that leads into Spelling Shed’s complementary spelling system and is also compatible with 2007 Letters and Sounds.

Joe is your guide in the Phonics Shed garden and will introduce you to all of our characters. Each character you meet will teach you a new grapheme-phoneme correspondance.

The weekly planning and overview documents are supported by physical and digital books, flashcards and all the supplementary resources needed to follow our comprehensive multi-sensory scheme. You even get a Joe puppet to introduce to the children and to support your teaching!

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Animated snake

Systematic synthetic phonics

Our programme provides a systematic way to teach reading through synthetic phonics. Children are taught to decode by breaking down words into sounds as a way to “synthesize” the whole word from letters and sounds. By using our fully-resourced and editable planning sequences, children are taught, through techniques such as our ‘Say It, Stretch It, Sound It,’ to decode by breaking down words into sounds as a way to segment and blend (“synthesise“) the whole word with the learning reinforced by our offline and online multi-sensory tasks and games.

How does it work?


Narrative Driven

Through our original series of storybooks set in the Phonics Shed garden with Joe as a guide, children are introduced to the 44+ phonemes of the English language and the 100 most commonly used words (High Frequency Words). Each storybook introduces a new character and its associated grapheme phoneme correspondence (GPC) allowing children to develop in their phonics attainment as they get to know the Phonics Shed characters and progress through the series.

Our read-aloud teaching book series comprises 120 stories which are available to purchase as hard copies and also available digitally via our websites to display on interactive whiteboards or via screen-share for remote teaching.

In addition to our narrative storybook series, we have a set of decodable reading books which spans the programme’s range. In these stories, many familiar characters appear but the words are strictly limited to those that are either decodable by the current stage of learning or are explicitly teachable as partially-decodable common exception words.

Multi-sensory teaching programme

Our scheme provides a multi-sensory systematic progression through synthetic phonics beginning with sound-making and early reading at pre-school, through the requirements of the Year 1 phonics screening check and onto our complementary Spelling Shed scheme.

Each lesson includes:

  • A full lesson plan and printable resources
  • A storybook, including a new character for every new GPC with accompanying stories
  • Grapheme flashcards for recall which also include letter formation phrases for both lower-case and capital letters
  • Songs relating to the character and following a familiar tune
  • An action relating to the character or sound
  • A selection of activities to initiate early writing and reading

It is the combination of these elements that makes our scheme so powerful. The combination of our systematic approach with so many different "hooks" into learning means children's learning is accelerated.

learning games

Supported by Technology

Our scheme is a classroom teaching resource strongly supported by online games, resources and tools. Our narrative book series and decodable books, lesson plans, guidance documents and training videos are available in digital formats which will allow teachers to display them on a variety of devices, including interactive whiteboards and screencasts, for in-school or at-home learning.

Our planning links to a series of new and original games. The games include the nine key pre-school areas from Chapter 1, such as our online body percussion game. Games support the learning progression through each phase (or chapter) with the game sequences progressing and supporting learning of each grapheme-phoneme correspondence in a variety of ways. Children can access the games as part of in-class phonics teaching, and as independent online activities which can be played in school or at home.

Assessment & Data

As part of all Phonics Shed subscriptions, we provide an easy to use assessment tool that acts as a screening for phonics knowledge. The assessment process extends to alien words and gives detailed reporting to enable teachers to identify gaps in pupils' phonics knowledge.

Our digital games add another layer of data to the assessment profile, as all in-game responses are automatically marked and populate an intuitive reporting dashboard, allowing teachers to assign personalised online tasks or follow up with one-to-one or small group interventions.

teaching resources

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Why choose Phonics Shed?

  • Meets Department for Education validation of systematic synthetic phonics programmes criteria
  • Compatible with 2007 Letters & Sounds
  • Complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP)
  • Comprehensive planning and resources for daily direct teaching sessions
  • Cumulatively covers all major grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) in the English language
  • Planning, resources and games for identifying, blending and segmenting graphemes to sound out and form words
  • Multi-sensory learning tasks
  • Full narrative book series, including songs and formation rhymes, for children to practise and apply known phoneme-grapheme correspondences and encounter common exception words
  • Over 100 decodable reading books and lots of games matching children’s phonics attainment as it progresses
  • Full teacher guidance for delivering the Phonics Shed programme online, as well as interventions for catch-up and for children with additional learning needs
  • Accessible training videos included


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DfE Validated Phonics Teaching Programme

In April 2021, the Department for Education published revised criteria for effective systematic synthetic phonics teaching programmes. We are listed on the DfE website as a validated systematic synthetic phonics program at

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