Reading Planet Rocket Phonics is DfE validated!

The wait is finally over and we are thrilled to confirm that Reading Planet’s Rocket Phonics is officially a DfE validated systematic synthetic phonics programme.

Many schools have enquired about the Rocket Phonics programme and what it would mean for it to be validated. So now we’re officially on the list, here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions.

So, what does it mean to be a validated programme?

Reading Planet Rocket Phonics has been assessed by the DfE’s official validation panel as meeting all the criteria for an effective systematic synthetic phonics programme. 

What makes Rocket Phonics a validated programme?

Rocket Phonics is a fully resourced systematic synthetic phonics programme based on the original Letters and Sounds progression. By using the programme, you will have everything needed to teach children to read and write and to meet or exceed the expectations of the phonics screener and the national curriculum requirements. This includes:

  • Clear, comprehensive and rigorous teaching guidance and planning materials to support teachers at all levels

  • Flashcards for introducing and revising the target letter-sounds

  • Attractive teaching ‘Big Books’ for teaching the target sounds and enriching vocabulary

  • Skills-based Pupil Practice Booklets to support daily practice and application of learning 

  • Fully-decodable reading books for focused decoding practice

  • Colourful resources for visual display, including Friezes and Sounds mats

  • Assessment guidance and test sheets to keep all children on track

Does my school have to use a validated programme?

Unless your school is part of the English Hubs scheme, it is not statutory to use an SSP programme on the validated list. However, schools are strongly advised to assess their phonics provision carefully, and if it is not delivering strong results for pupils, to switch to a validated programme

Are the Rocket Phonics programme books fully decodable?

Yes. The 48 Target Practice reading books are fully decodable and aligned to the programme in small incremental steps. Each book focuses on a small group of letter-sounds for graduated decoding practice in the classroom.

The 114 Rocket Phonics reading books are also fully decodable and fully aligned to the programme. They focus on wider groups of letter-sounds, and are ideal for consolidation as classroom or home readers, once all the letter-sounds in a colour level have been taught.   

What about the rest of Reading Planet? Are those books decodable and can they be used with the new programme?

The other books in Reading Planet – the Comet Street Kids and Galaxy series ‒ are based on the same phonics progression as the Rocket Phonics programme. They are highly decodable, but introduce some non-decodable ‘topic’ words (listed on the inside front covers) and are therefore suitable for whole-class shared or guided reading, and as stretch and challenge for more able readers.

Is there training to help me deliver the programme in my school?

Yes! Our training is led by Rocket Phonics author, literacy consultant and expert trainer Abigail Steel. Abigail and her team will work closely with your school to deliver bespoke training according to your needs. Learn more here.  

Can I see free samples before I buy?

The best way to try Rocket Phonics is to view our free online sample materials here. You can access 1 week of teaching for Reception (P1) and 1 week of teaching for Year 1 (P2). The materials include everything you need in PDF format: teaching storybooks (‘Big Books) fully-decodable Target Practice reading books, flashcards weekly and daily plans.

You can also contact your local Sales Consultant here, who will be happy to discuss the programme with you in detail.




phonics, Reading, Reading and Ebooks, reading scheme, Rising Stars Reading Planet

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