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 to Year 2; but can extend into Key Stage 2 for those children who need further support in phonics. It connects with the existing Spelling Shed scheme to ensure all curriculum objectives are met, while preparing the children for their Phonics Screening assessment using fast-paced progression through all common GPCs.

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 (HFWs), including some partially decodable words, 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 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 lower-case formation characters each have an easy-to-follow formation rhyme to support the children’s writing. Known as ‘special friends’ to the digraph and trigraph characters, the formation characters remain consistent throughout the scheme. The 26 individual lower-case alphabet characters have corresponding upper-case characters, with their own rhymes, as it is important for children to understand the correspondence between upper-case and lower-case in order to properly decode all text.

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 subsection has a minimum of two weeks planning and resources attached to it, as well as suggestions of how to extend the skills beyond 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. PLANNING SAMPLE

  • 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. PLANNING SAMPLE CONSOLIDATION

  • Set 1 – s, a, t, p: Sam the snake [unvoiced s], Anna the ant, Tom the tiger and Pat the pig
  • Set 2 – i, n, m, d: Indy the imp, Noah the nurse, Monty the monkey and Dusty the dog
  • Set 3 – g, o, c, k: Grey the goat, Ollie the otter, Curly the cat and Kit the kangaroo [including 2 variants of k]
  • Set 4 – ck, e, u, r: Buck the duck [first digraph and both variants of k], Ellis the echidna, Ugbie the bug and Rex the rat
  • Set 5 – h, b, f, l: Haz the hen, Bumble the bee, Flick the fly and Lily the ladybird
  • Set 6 – j, v, w, x: Jack the jungle explorer, Val the vet, Wes the weasel and Alex the fox
  • Set 7 – y, z, qu, voiced s: Yan the yoga teacher, Eliza the zebra, Quinn the quail and revisiting Sam the snake
  • Set 8 – Double Letters ff, ll, ss, zz: Muffin the puffin, Billy the bull, Jess the grasshopper [including voiced ss] and Fizz the buzzard
  • Set 8 continued – Additional Doubles (optional) tt, pp, rr, mm, cc, nn, dd, gg, bb: 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. PLANNING SAMPLE

  • Set 1 – ng, ch, sh, 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, ee, igh, oa: Gail the snail, Dee the sheep, Bright the night light and Boaty the toad
  • Set 3 – ue [you], ow, oi, oo and oo[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, or, ur, er[ur] and er[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, air, ure, southern a[ar]: Ears the earwig, Blair the fairy, The Treasure Adventure [including various pronunciations] and revisiting Anna the ant [optional]

Chapter 4

Is split into three parts:

Chapter 4a covers alternative graphemes for know phonemes. PLANNING SAMPLE

Chapter 4b covers alternative pronunciations for know graphemes. PLANNING SAMPLE

Chapter 4c looks at spelling patterns, best fit and less common GPCs. PLANNING SAMPLE

    Chapter 4a
  • Set 1 – oe[oa], ay[ai], ew[oo], ew[you]: Joe stubbed his toe, Jay the clay, Drew the screwdriver and Stewart the newt [including comparing ew sounds]
  • Set 2 – ea, ey, 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, e_e, i_e, o_e, u_e[oo], u_e[you]: 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
  • Set 1 – Recap of previously compared sounds: th ew oo u_e etc
  • Set 2 – c[s], g[j], i[igh], u[you], 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

    A wide range of spellings for phonemes both common and uncommon, along with spelling patterns and best fit rules. This chapter is currently covered by Spelling Shed lists, with supporting planning.

planning sample