Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP).

The scheme enables children to become fluent readers and writers by providing strategies to decode words by teaching links between letters and the sounds they can make; this is called Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondence (GPC).

Phonics Shed uses the blending and segmenting approach to teach children to decode words. Children are taught to blend sounds together to make words by using the ‘Sound it, Squash it, Say it’ technique. Then to segment words into sounds they are taught to ‘Say it, Stretch it, Sound it’.

Sound squash say

The scheme is designed to run from the Early Years Foundation Stage (Nursery onwards) to Year 2 (P3) but can extend up to the end of Primary school for those children who need further support in phonics. It connects with the existing Spelling Shed scheme to ensure all relevant curriculum objectives are met, while preparing the children for their Phonics Screening assessment using fast-paced progression through all common GPCs.

The planning for the scheme can be used for whole class or smaller differentiated groups depending on the setting's preference.

Children will be taught to read and spell a wide variety of words in a short space of time.

The initial stages of the programme not only introduce decodable CVC words but encourage children to attempt to blend and segment longer words. This is supported by a range of High Frequency Words (CEWs), including some partially-decodable common exception words (CEWs), which are linked to specific GPCs. These HFWs give children access to a wider range of texts as they account for up to 50% of school-based texts.

As the children work through the scheme, they also gain access to decodable alien words. The Phonics Shed alien words match the criteria given for those used in the Phonics Screening assessment resources.

Alien Alien Alien Alien Alien

Phonics Shed also aims to foster a love of reading and writing through its strong, character-based narrative and engaging, multi-sensory activities.

Joe is the first character the children will meet. The scheme comes with a puppet version of Joe (usage optional) and he has several of his own stories. He is a key figure in the scheme and acts as a guide from the very beginning, right through to the later Chapters.

Each grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC) has a character linked to it, including digraphs and trigraphs, as well as having their own supporting stories and associated actions to aid with consolidation. Most have accompanying songs based on common nursery rhymes too.

The 26 letters of the alphabet each have two formation characters linked to them, one for the lowercase and one for the uppercase. These characters are linked through the narrative as it is important to understand how they correspond in order to properly decode all text.

These formation characters are also used to support the teaching of digraphs and trigraphs. Digraphs and trigraphs have their own characters but the formation characters also appear on their flashcards, and often in their stories, to support consistent letter formation.

The scheme uses Sassoon Infant fonts in all of its child-facing resources to maintain consistency. The default ‘k’ is the non-looped version however there are alternative resources for those wishing to teach the looped style ‘k’.

Kangaroo Kangaroo

There are supporting videos for every grapheme-phoneme pair, demonstrating the correct pronunciation of the sound, the formation rhyme and how to perform the supporting action.

The scheme is split into four chapters, each of which has various subsections, and follows a similar progression to ‘Letters and Sounds (2007)’. Each subsections has a minimum of one weeks planning, one weeks consolidation planning and accompanying small group intervention plans attached to it, along with accompanying resources, suggestions of how to extend the skills beyond discrete phonics sessions.

Chapter 1

Focuses on developing vital pre-reading speaking and listening skills. It is divided into a two week introduction and nine interlinking Elements, each with two weeks worth of planning and supporting intervention sessions available. Much of the planning is supported by age-appropriate texts by well-known authors. Designed for Nursery and/or Early Reception (P1). PLANNING SAMPLE BOOK LIST

  • Introduction- Joe: An Introduction to Phonics Shed
  • Element 1- Environmental Sounds
  • Element 2- Motor Skills
  • Element 3- Our Bodies
  • Element 4- Instrumental Sounds
  • Element 5- Our Voices
  • Element 6- Stories Rhymes and Rhythm
  • Element 7- From Left to Right
  • Element 8- Initial Sounds
  • Element 9- Beginning to Blend and Segment

Chapter 2

Introduces the first Grapheme-Phoneme pairs, including introducing the 26 letters of the alphabet and their corresponding capitals letters and several simple digraphs including an extended range of double letters. It also begins to introduce the concept of best fit; making an informed choice between alternative GPCs based on the most common placement in words. This chapter is designed for Reception/P1. PLANNING SAMPLE CONSOLIDATION

An example of intervention planning can also be seen for this chapter INTERVENTION SAMPLE

  • Set 1 – 's'/s/, 'a'/a/, 't'/t/, 'p'/p/:Sam the snake [unvoiced s], Anna the ant, Tom the tiger and Pat the pig
  • Set 2 – 'i'/i/, 'n'/n/, 'm'/m/, 'd'/d/:Indy the imp, Noah the nurse, Monty the monkey and Dusty the dog
  • Set 3 – 'g'/g/, 'o'/o/, 'c'/k/, 'k'/k/:Grey the goat, Ollie the otter, Curly the cat and Kit the kangaroo [including 2 variants of k]
  • Set 4 – 'ck'/k/, 'e'/e/, 'u'/u/, 'r'/r/:Buck the duck [first digraph and both variants of k], Ellis the echidna, Ugbie the bug and Rex the rat, /u/ 'Both hard and soft /u/ sounds are covered in this Set if appropriate to specific regional accents.'
  • Set 5 – 'h'/h/, 'b'/b/, 'f'/f/, 'l'/l/:Haz the hen, Bumble the bee, Flick the fly and Lily the ladybird
  • Set 6 – 'j'/j/, 'v'/v/, 'w'/w/, 'x'/ks/:Jack the jungle explorer, Val the vet, Wes the weasel and Alex the fox
  • Set 7 – 'y'/y/, 'z'/z/, 'qu'/kw/, voiced 's'/z/:Yan the yoga teacher, Eliza the zebra, Quinn the quail and revisiting Sam the snake
  • Set 8 – Double Letters 'ff'/f', 'll'/l/, 'ss'/s/, 'zz'/z/:Muffin the puffin, Billy the bull, Jess the grasshopper [including voiced ss] and Fizz the buzzard
  • Set 8 continued – Additional Doubles 'tt'/t/, 'pp'/p/, 'rr'/r/, 'mm'/m/, 'cc'/c, 'nn'/n, 'dd'/d/, 'gg'/g/, 'bb'/b/:Lottie the bottle, Pepper the hippo, Barry the parrot, Jimmy the hammer, Rebecca the broccoli, Bonny the bunny, Eddy the ladder, Peggy the egg and Robby the gibbon

Chapter 3

Progresses to more complex digraphs and trigraphs, and introduce more best fit rules as children begin to spell longer words and captions. Using the formation characters from Chapter 2, by the end of Chapter 3 the children will know at least one grapheme for each phoneme. This chapter is designed to be taught in Reception/P1. PLANNING SAMPLE

  • Set 1 – 'ng'/ng/, 'ch'/ch/, 'sh'/sh/, 'th'/th/ [voiced and unvoiced]:Wing the duckling, Charlie the chicken, Blush the brush, Theo the moth and The Weatherman [including a comparison between th sounds]
  • Set 2 – 'ai'/ai/, 'ee'/ee/, 'igh'/igh/, 'oa'/oa/:Gail the snail, Dee the sheep, Bright the night light and Boaty the toad
  • Set 3 – 'ue'/ue/, 'ow'/ow/, 'oi'/oi/, 'oo'/oo/ and 'oo'hard/u/:Huey the statue, Brown the owl, The coin in the soil, Boo the goose and Sherwood the woodpecker [including regional variation]
  • Set 4 – 'ar'/ar/, 'or'/or/, 'ur'/ur/, 'er'/ur/ and 'er'[schwa ending]:Archer the star, Gordon the horse, Kurt the turtle, Merlin the gerbil, Ryder the spider [including comparisons between ur, er and er]
  • Set 5 – 'ear'/ear/, 'air'/air/, 'ure'[various], 'a'/ar/:Ears the earwig, Blair the fairy, The Treasure Adventure [including various pronunciations] and Alana the Llama [can be taught with Chapter 2 Set 7 if it is a commonly used GPC]

Chapter 4a

Chapter 4a covers alternative graphemes for known phonemes. This chapter is designed to be taught in Year 1/P2. PLANNING SAMPLE

  • Set 1 – 'oe'/oa/, 'ay'/ai/, 'ew'/oo/, 'ew'/ue/:Joe stubbed his toe, Jay the clay, Drew the screwdriver and Stewart the newt [including comparing ew sounds]
  • Set 2 – 'ea'/ee/, 'ey'/ee/, 'ie'/ee/, 'ie'/igh/:Beans the flea, Stanley the turkey, Albie the cookie thief and The Magpie [including comparing ie sounds]
  • Set 3 – 'aw'/or/, 'au'/or/, 'ir'/ur/, 'oy'/oi/: Dawn the fawn, Paul the astronaut, Shirley the girl and Troy the boy
  • Set 4 – 'ou'/ow/, 'are'/air/, 'ph'/f/, 'wh'/w/: Sprout the mouse, Dare the hare, Phil the dolphin and Wheeler the whale.
  • Set 5 – Split Digraphs 'a_e'/ai/, 'e_e'/ee/, 'i_e'/igh/, 'o_e'/oa/, 'u_e'/oo/, 'u_e'/ue/:Jade the spade, Pete the millipede, Mike the kite, Hope the cone, Luke the flute and Duke the mule [including comparing u_e sounds]

Chapter 4b

Chapter 4b covers alternative pronunciations for known graphemes. These characters only have songs if the GPCs tend to follow specific best fit rules. By the end of this chapter, all GPCs required for the Phonics Screening will have been covered. This chapter is designed to be taught in Year 1/P2. PLANNING SAMPLE

  • Set 1 – Recap of previously compared sounds: th ew oo u_e etc
  • Set 2 – 'c'/s/, 'g'/j/, 'i'/igh/, 'u'/ue/, 'e'/ee/:Nancy the princess, Gem the giraffe, Ivor the lion, Music the unicorn and The Meteor
  • Set 3 – 'ea'/e/, 'ow'/oa/, 'or'/ur/, 'ey'/ai/:Heather the feather, Rainbow the snowman, Wordy the bookworm and Chey the grey squirrel
  • Set 4 – 'ue'/oo/, 'o'/oa/, 'o'/oo/, 'ch'/c/, 'ch'/sh/:Sue the bluebird, Leo the ghost, Who?, Chris the chameleon and Charlotte the chef
  • Set 5 – 'a'/ai/, 'a'/o/, 'y'/igh/, 'y'/ee/, 'y'/i/:April the angel, Squashy the wasp, Sky the spy, Cody the jellyfish and Dylan the lynx
  • Set 6 – 'ou'/oo/, 'ou'/u/, 'ou'/oa/, 'ear'/ur/, 'ear'/air/:Soupy the toucan, Doug in trouble, Mouldy the boulder, The Earl and Pear the bear
  • Set 7 – New Phoneme 'zh' [si, ge, s, g, j, z, ti]

Chapter 4c

Chapter 4c looks at spelling patterns, best fit and less common GPCs. This chapter is designed to be taught after the Phonics Screening in Year 1 and into Year 2 (P3). It is also a useful tool for consolidating knowledge of specific phonemes beyond these year groups. PLANNING SAMPLE

    Chapter 4c

    A wide range of possible graphemes for each phoneme, both common and uncommon, along with spelling patterns and best fit rules. This chapter is split into 5 sections: Consonants, Consonant Digraphs, Short Vowels, Long Vowels and Vowel Digraphs and Trigraphs. A total of 80 lessons that cover every phoneme, apart from the /th/ sounds which have no common alternatives.

Long Term Plan

Long Term Plan (based on 39 week average school year)

Aims for the year Half Term Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2


Chapter 1complete  Events September Starters January Starters April Starters
Settling in with no formal phonics (we suggest using our Phonics Shed books and songs during carpet time, as well as Chapter 1 games on the Phonics Shed site)  
CHAPTER 1 (including introduction and consolidation weeks)  


Brief Introduction and Chapter 1Element 9 Recap Events September Starters
Chapter 2and 3complete

Year 1

Chapter 4aand 4bcomplete Events Phonics Screening
CHAPTER 4a CHAPTER 4b Recap and Phonics Screening Practice using word cards or online resource Begin CHAPTER 4c (total 80 lessons)
Scheme up to Chapter 4bcomplete and secure before Phonics screening

Year 2

Chapter 4ccomplete Events SATs  
Content Continue CHAPTER 4c (total 80 lessons) Whole Scheme Consolidation and Targetted Interventions 

Medium Term Plans

Nursery Medium Term Plan - (based on 6 week half-terms)

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Settling in with no formal phonics (we suggest using our Phonics Shed books and songs during carpet time, as well as Chapter 1 games on the Phonics Shed site) Chapter 1 Element 2- Motor Skills (2 weeks) Chapter 1 Element 5- Our Voices (2 weeks) Chapter 1 Element 8- Initial Sounds (2 weeks)
Chapter 1 Introductionto Phonics Shed (2 weeks) Chapter 1 Element 3- Our Bodies (2 weeks) Chapter 1 Element 6- Stories, Rhymes and Rhythm (2 weeks) Chapter 1 Element 9- Beginning to Blend and Segment (2 weeks)
Chapter 1 Element 1- Environmental Sounds (2 weeks) Chapter 1 Element 4- Instrumental Sounds (2 weeks) Chapter 1 Element 7- From Left to Right (2 weeks) Assessment Weeks (2 weeks)

Reception Medium Term Plan - (based on 6 week half-terms)

Autumn 1Autumn 2Spring 1Spring 2Summer 1Summer 2
Chapter 1 Recap Week(1 week) Assessment Week Assessment Week Assessment WeekChapter 3 Set 1- /ng/, /ch/, /sh/, unvoiced /th/, voiced /th/and comparing /th/ sounds, HFWs:'children', 'they', 'then', 'them', 'this', 'that', 'with' (1 week) Chapter 3 Set 4- /ar/, /or/, /ur/, 'er'/ur/, comparing/ur/sounds, schwa 'er' ending, comparing 'er'sounds, HFWs:'are', 'for', 'all', 'her' (1 week)
Chapter 2 Set 1- /s/, /a/, /t/, /p/and corresponding capital letters, HFW:'a', 'at',' the' (1 week) Chapter 2Consolidation and Interventions (1 week) Chapter 2Consolidation and Interventions (1 week) Chapter 2Consolidation and Interventions (2 weeks) Chapter 3 Set 2-/ai/, /ee/, /igh/ and/oa/,HFWs:'see', 'he', 'she', 'we', 'me', 'be', 'my'(1 week) Chapter 3 Set 5-/ear/, /air/, 'ure' variations and'a'/ar/(if not previously taught), HFWs:said, little, can't (1 week)
Chapter 2 Set 2-/i/, /n/, /m/, /d/and corresponding capital letters, HFWs:'I', 'it', 'it's', 'an', 'in', 'and', 'dad' (1 week) Chapter 2 Set 5- /h/, /b/, /f/, /l/ and corresponding capital letters, HFWs:'had', 'him', 'back', 'big', 'but', 'if', 'from',' of', 'help' (1 week) Chapter 2 Set 8 - Additional Double Letters 'tt'/t/, 'pp'/p/, 'rr'/r/, 'mm'/m/, 'cc'/k/, 'nn'/n/, 'dd'/d/, 'gg'/g/and 'bb'/b/ (2 weeks) Chapter 3 Set 3- 'ue'/you/, /ow/, /oi/, /oo/, 'oo' hard/u/and comparing 'oo' sounds, HFWs:'was', 'you', 'now', 'down', 'too', 'look' (1 week) Chapter 3 Set 4-5 Recap
Chapter 2 Set 3- /g/, /o/, 'c'/k/, 'k'/k/, comparing /k/ sounds, and corresponding capital letters, HFWs:'on', 'got', 'not', 'do', 'to', 'into', 'can' (1 week) Chapter 2 Set 6- /j/, /v/, /w/, 'x'/ks/and corresponding capital letters, HFWs:'just', 'went', 'want' (1 week) Chapter 2 Set 8- Double Letters 'ff'/f/, 'll'/l/, 'ss'/s/,voiced 'ss'/z/ and'zz'/z/, HFWs:'off', 'will' (1 week) Chapter 2Alphabet Order (1 week) Chapter 3 Set 1-3 RecapAssessment Week
Chapter 2 Set 4- 'ck'/k/, comparing /k/ sounds, /e/, /u/, /r/ and corresponding capital letters, HFWs:'no', 'go', 'so', 'get', 'up', 'put', 'mum' (1 week) Chapter 2 Set 7- /y/, /z/, 'qu'/kw/, corresponding capital letters and voiced 's'/z/, also 'a'/ar/can be taught here if commonly used HFWs:'as', 'is', 'his' (1 week) Chapter 2Vowels and Consonants (1 week) Assessment Week
Chapter 3 Consolidation and Interventions (1 week)
Chapter 2 Set 1 to 4 Recap Chapter 2 Set 5 to 7 Recap Chapter 2 Recap(Whole Chapter) Assessment Week Chapter 3Consolidation and Interventions (1 week) Additional Consolidation of Chapter 2and 3(1 week)

Year 1 Medium Term Plan - (based on 6 week half-terms)

Autumn 1Autumn 2Spring 1Spring 2Summer 1Summer 2
Assessment Weekand Targetted Interventions Recap Chapter 4a
Set 1 - 4
Chapter 4b Set 2- 'c'/s/, 'g'/j/, 'i'/igh/, 'u'/ue/and 'e'/ee/, HFWs:I'm (1 week) Chapter 4b Set 7- New Phoneme /zh/, HFWs:'their', 'people' (1 week) Chapter 2to 4bConsolidation and Targetted InterventionsChapter 4cConsonants - /p/, /h/, /y/, /b/, /l/, /v/, /d/, /r/, /f/, /g/, /m/, /n/, /t/, /j/, /z/, /s/, /k/, /w/, ‘qu’and ‘x’, HFWs:'I’ve', 'live', 'lived', 'we’re', 'gone', 'know', 'jumped', 'stopped', 'pulled', 'please', 'mouse', 'horse', 'once' (6 weeks in total)
Additional Consolidation of Chapter 2and 3 (1 week) Chapter 4a Set 5- Split Digraphs - 'a_e'/ai/, 'e_e'/ee/, 'i_e'/igh/, 'o_e'/oa/, 'u_e'/oo/, 'u_e'/ue/and comparing 'u_e' sounds, HFWs:made, came, make, have, here, were, there, like, time, come, one, some(2 weeks) Chapter 4b Set 3 - 'ea'/e/, 'ow'/oa/, 'or'/ur/ and 'ey'/ai/, HFWs:Mr, Mrs(1 week) Assessment WeekPhonics Screening Practice using, blending and segmenting resources, word cards and online resources
Chapter 4a Set 1- 'oe'/oa/, 'ay'/ai/, 'ew'/oo/, 'ew'/ue/and comparing 'ew' sounds, HFWs:day (1 week) Chapter 4b Set 4- 'ue'/oo/, 'o'/oa/, 'o'/oo/, 'ch'/k/ and'ch'/sh/,HFWs:old, don't, oh(1 week) Chapter 4bConsolidation and Interventions (2 week)
Chapter 4a Set 2- 'ea'/ee/, 'ey'/ee/, 'ie'/ee/, 'ie'/igh/and comparing 'ie' sounds (1 week) Assessment WeekChapter 4b Set 5- 'a'/ai/, 'a'/o/, 'y'/igh/, 'y'/ee/ and 'y'/i/, HFW:looked, called, asked, by, very (1 week) Phonics Screening
Chapter 4a Set 3- 'aw'/or/, 'au'/or/, 'ir'/ur/ and 'oy'/oi/,HFWs:saw (1 week) Chapter 4a Consolidation and Interventions (1 week) Chapter 4b Set 6- 'ou'/oo/, 'ou' hard /u/, 'ou'/oo/, 'ear'/ur/ and'ear'/air/, HFW: 'your', 'could' (1 week)Whole Scheme Assessment, Practice Phonics Screening and Targeted Interventions(2 weeks) Chapter 4cConsonants - /p/, /h/, /y/, /b/, /l/, /v/, /d/, /r/, /f/, /g/, /m/, /n/, /t/, /j/, /z/, /s/, /k/, /w/, ‘qu’and ‘x’, HFWs:'I’ve', 'live', 'lived', 'we’re', 'gone', 'know', 'jumped', 'stopped', 'pulled', 'please', 'mouse', 'horse', 'once' (6 weeks in total) Chapter 4cConsonant Digraphs- /ng/, /zh/, /ch/and /sh/(1.5 weeks)
Chapter 4a Set 4-'ou'/ow/, 'are'/air/, 'ph'/f/and 'wh'/w/, HFWs:house, out, about, when, what(1 week) Chapter 4b Set 1- Recap - comparing multiple known phonemes for's', 'th', 'oo', 'er', 'a', 'ew', 'ie' and 'u_e'graphemes (1 week) Recap Chapter 4b Set 2-6

Year 2 Medium Term Plan - (based on 6 week half-terms)

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Whole Scheme Recap (1 week) Chapter 4cVowel Digraphs/Trigraphs - /oi/, /ow/, /ar/, /or/, /ur/, /air/, /ear/, schwa endingsand /ure/, HFWs:water, thought, more, door, small, where, really (3 weeks) Whole Scheme Assessment Week
Chapter 4cShort Vowels -/a/, /o/, /e/, /i/and hard and soft /u/ [regional], HFWs:because, friends, many, any, other, another, mother, coming (2 weeks) Whole Scheme Consolidation and Targetted Interventions
Chapter 4cLong Vowels - /ai/, /ee/, /igh/, /oa/, /ue/(/y//oo/)and/oo/, HFW:great, eyes, two, through (3 weeks) Assessment Week
Chapter 4cConsolidation and Interventions (2 weeks)
planning sample