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Linguistic Phonics Programmes, Decodable Books and Resources

All children should be taught to read using ”a vigorous programme of phonics work…securely embedded within a broad and rich language curriculum” (Rose review 2006)

Check that your school’s phonics programme is fail-safe:
How well does it fit The Prototype for Teaching the English Alphabetic Code?

A Comprehensive Guide to Choosing a YR / KS1 Mainstream Phonics Programme based on DfE (England) guidance. Elizabeth Nonweiler.

”Decisions, decisions – can research help identify the best phonics programme?
The Reading Ape suggests identifying the best phonics programme through the use of ”a Year Three phonics pseudo-word check that assesses the whole alphabetic code, including polysyllabic level”

UK-style synthetic phonics and linguistic phonics programmes have much in common but they do have some differences. Learn about those differences here (scroll down):

Linguistic phonics programmes and training (UK-based):

Sounds~Write (S-W) http://www.sounds-write.co.uk
This scripted linguistic phonics programme is DfE (England) validated for use as a whole-class programme in YR/KS1. It has also been quality assured and formally endorsed by the DfE of Western Australia and approved by the Colorado Department of Education (USA) as an evidence-based phonics provider.
It includes all the common spelling code and teaches decoding and spelling in tandem from the start.
It can also be used as a wave 2/3 intervention for all ages as the materials are non-age specific.
As this is an instruction-led approach, the teaching manual and photocopiable materials are only available with face-to-face or online training.
No yearly subscription is required.
The online training is open to all including parents/carers/homeschoolers and internationally – send for the free virtual showcase:
– An online Vocabulary and Spelling course (with manual) for whole-class teaching throughout KS2 (years 3-6): this course builds on KS1 linguistic phonics. It includes morphology, etymology and multi-syllable word building and is open to teachers who have completed S-W’s KS1 phonics training.
– FREE online ‘Help your child to read and write’ Part 1 (Initial Code Units 1-7): a practical course for parents/carers/homeschoolers: teach your rising 4-6 yr. old child how to read and spell.
– FREE online ‘Help your child to read and write’ Part 2 (Initial Code Units 8-11)
– Sounds-Write’s initial code app for iPad. 
1st three units are free. ”This app offers a variety of activities to develop the skills of blending and segmenting, sound spelling correspondence, word reading and writing and some sentences reading and writing”. N.B. Parental/carer/tutor supervision is recommended when using the app.
– Sounds-Write case studies: free e-book

The Sound Reading System (SRS) http://soundreadingsystem.co.uk/
SRS is a scripted linguistic phonics 1-1 intervention programme that teaches struggling / dyslexic readers of any age how to read and spell. The programme is based on the research and prototype of Prof. Diane McGuinness and adapted, with her permission, by Fiona Nevola.
It includes all the common spelling code and teaches decoding and spelling in tandem from the start.
A fully decodable story (plain text suitable for annotation) is provided for each focus phoneme.
SRS is used as a 1-1 intervention in private tutoring, schools, academies, FE colleges and youth offender institutions. It can also be adapted to use as a whole-class early reading programme or as a KS2 spelling programme.
SRS training is available face-to-face or NEW online. See the website for details.

Phonics for Pupils with Complex Special Educational Needs
A linguistic phonics 1-1 programme, published as a series of photocopiable books and designed to be used for initial instruction with pupils in specialist settings or as an intervention for those with complex needs ”including non-verbal pupils and those with significant motor skill difficulties (or both)”.

Forward with Phonics: 
Training in the Sounds-Write programme (see above) and linguistic phonics resources (including decodable books), specifically designed to use with post-16 teenagers and adults.

That Reading Thing: 
Provides online training in a linguistic phonics one-to-one intervention programme, specifically designed to be used with pupils at secondary schools, post-16 teens and adults (RA.8+). On the subject of teaching reading in prison, programme author Tricia Millar says ”Over 240 education staff are either using, training or getting started with That Reading Thing across almost all prisons in England.”
That Spelling Thing: https://thatspellingthing.com/
Online training and a handbook* with lessons and resources to provide a rapid spelling intervention for pupils at secondary school, post-16 teens and adults (SA.8+).
*That Spelling Thing handbook can be purchased separately.

Decodable Books to use with Linguistic Phonics programmes:

All DfE validated YR/KS1 phonics programmes must have a ”fully published collection of matching resources including decodable books – fully decodable books are an essential part of a complete SSP programme.”

Sounds~Write decodable storybooks: initial and extended code sets -see the website for details.
-Two sets of non-fiction (Animals / Countries) decodable books with a high ratio of text to illustration, ”suitable for Y1 onwards as well as for intervention”
-FREE. First Steps. 12 initial code (unit 4->) stories: sign up with your email for the free pdf e-book versions. For initial code units 1-3 see Phonic Books ‘Launchers’ below.
https://sounds-write.mykajabi.com/offers/KdRNaE2u/checkout or purchase hard copies.
-FREE set of e-books for children taking their first steps into the Extended Code

Decodable storybooks and NEW non-fiction decodables for YR/KS1 plus decodable books for intervention: specifically designed for older, struggling readers aged 8-14.
All books follow the Sounds~Write GPC introduction order.
– ‘Launchers’ first texts for beginners at the Foundation stage -start at CVC level.
Launchers units 1-7 are now available as interactive e-books that can be downloaded onto the iPad or iPhone. Unit 1 is free to download.
Dandelion readers:
Review of Dandelion Readers, Level 2, that introduces alternative vowel spellings.
Dragon Eggs – a quest series for beginning readers.
FREE. 10 storybooks: ‘Moon Dogs at Home’ series + linked activity worksheets to print out.
Moon Dogs Extra is a series for beginner readers of all ages with special educational needs.
Review https://www.phonicbooks.co.uk/2022/07/01/moon-dogs-extras-independent-review/
– Decodable book series for older, struggling readers aged 8-14:
Alba series.12 books specifically written to appeal to girls in KS2/3. Start at CVC level
Magic Belt. 12 books, a prequel to the Totem quest series -start at CVC level.
Review of Magic Belt https://theliteracyblog.com/2013/01/21/the-magic-belt-series-from-phonicbooks/
Totem series. 12 books.
Talisman series. 20 books.
Check out the website for several other series…

Forward with Phonics. http://www.forwardwithphonics.com/index.html
Linguistic phonics training and resources (including decodable books), specifically designed for intervention with post-16 teenagers and adults.

Phonics resources and paper-based phonics games:

Phonic Books: https://www.phonicbooks.co.uk/
Linguistic phonics resources for Reception and KS1 + KS2/3 intervention.
Each decodable book series (see above) has a linked photocopiable workbook with writing/spelling practice sheets and games (£) https://www.phonicbooks.co.uk/product-category/workbooks/
FREE phonics games templates, alphabet code charts and a set of decodable books with activities to download:

Sounds-Write’s linguistic phonics workbooks:
Two photocopiable workbooks with phonics games and activities for the Initial Code and the Extended Code are available from http://www.sounds-write.co.uk/ and Amazon UK.
FREE 60-page e-book to download with a selection of extended code games suitable for Y1/Y2 https://www.dropbox.com/s/nzl3codxoyio081/Phonic%20games%20and%20activities%20EC%20free%20resources%20March%202020.pdf
”The activities can be used whole class, in small groups and in one-to-one settings, as well as for homework or home-schooling. Each activity has clear instructions so that teachers, teaching assistants, parents or carers know how to use them”

£. Dandelion Board Games: Five attractive packs of phonics code games that are directly linked to stories in the Dandelion decodable books.
£. Talisman Card Games: Ten sets of beautifully illustrated card games that reinforce phonics skills for catch-up readers. Starting at CVC word level, the sets introduce consonant digraphs and alternative spellings for vowel sounds.

Phonics crosswords – the good and the bad + link to a site where you can make your own crosswords for free.

Download this free spelling game that uses advanced/complex code with code overlap.

‘The -tion Spelling Challenge’ which moves from 2 to 6 syllable words (KS2+)

Fantasy Phonics: Free reading and spelling game to print (KS2+) Can be played at any stage in a phonics programme (players read and spell words and sentences appropriate to the level at which they are working).

£. Linguistic phonics word-building card games to print out + videos to show you how to play the games.

£. Downloadable phonics playing cards. 5 of the 30 decks are free + with video demonstrations of games to play.