All the lessons are structured in exactly the same way and need no resources except a set of grapheme flashcards (included). Each lesson teaches one sound a day, is half an hour long and is split into 4 parts - revisit, teach, practice, apply. After each Phase has been completed, there are a number of recap lessons before moving on to the next sound Phase. Every lesson is accompanied by a ready made ActivInspire flipchart which helps reduce preparation time and increase lesson pace. A fully formatted assessment Excel spreadsheet is also included in order to monitor and track progress.
On starting the Lern Fonix scheme, the children should have been exposed to all the Phase 2 sounds (mainly each single letter of the alphabet) and many or all would have been taught Phase 3. However phonics is largely a memory game and reinforcement of previous knowledge is vital to ensure the sounds have been embedded. Revisiting previous sounds is necessary and if Lern Fonix begins by the third or fourth week of the Autumn term there will be more than enough time to get through all the Phases as well as alternative pronunciations and recaps.
Delivery is key when teaching any subject but this programme in particular requires a very good pace. Teaching needs to be to the point and teachers must be keeping time efficiently as the lessons should not go over half an hour. Try not to dwell on any aspect of the programme for too long. Therefore, if you feel the pace is dropping you do not need to ask the children to read all of the words or all of the secret sentences, just as many as you feel is right for the mood of the children at the time. If children are or have written some of the words in the sentence incorrectly in the application section at the end, so long as they are not key sounds or words, do not spend too long correcting them. What matters is that they are phonetically plausible. The flashcards in the revisit section at the beginning should be quick – if teachers are finding that some of the sounds such as ‘j’ or ‘w’ for example are well embedded they do not need to show these at the beginning – this will help to reduce time.
It is worth carrying out mock phonics checks throughout the school year to monitor and measure progress (there are downloadable past phonics checks in the free resources section of the website).This way any gaps in knowledge can be identified and targeted and progress can be tracked. It is also great to carry out a baseline check so you can see the excellent progress children have made since the start of the academic year. Assessments should be carried out after each Phase has been taught. When assessing, remember that most of the children will only know how to read the words containing the sounds they have learnt. So as not to lower children’s confidence it is best ask children to only read the words containing the sounds they have learnt. The included assessment Excel Spreadsheet is a 'point in time' assessment tool. The spreadsheet has been formatted to change colours according to the data making it easy for teachers to identify gaps and of course progress!