Starting a new phonics programme is a big and sometimes daunting decision. But phonics trainer and expert Grace Kleanthous explains why moving to Rocket Phonics will be a straightforward s-w-i-tch.
1. We follow Letters and Sounds
The order of teaching sounds in Rocket Phonics is very similar to many phonics programmes: we teach Phase 2, Phase 3 and then Phase 5 sounds. One slight difference is that we follow a slower pace of 2 letter sounds per week. However, this will make it much easier for children to keep up with the learning and you will have time to fill any gaps in knowledge which may already have arisen from rushing through the sounds.
2. We use the Teaching and Learning Cycle
Like many phonics programmes, the Rocket Phonics lesson structure follows the Teaching and Learning Cycle (Revisit and Review, Teach, Practise, Apply and Consolidate). The format of lessons is therefore very similar so children (and staff!) should find the transition easy to make. A slight (but impactful!) difference is that Rocket Phonics has an equal balance of reading and writing content from the very beginning of the programme. This means that children’s blending and segmenting skills will develop simultaneously.
3. You don’t need to break the bank on books
Rocket Phonics has 180 fully-decodable reading books that can be used as part of your phonics lessons and for other reading sessions. If budget permits, you can buy them all in print (your local consultant can advise on how many you need). However, if budgets are tight, you could just access these books online. Every Rocket Phonics book is available as an interactive eBook via your Rocket Phonics Online subscription. Finally (despite what the rumours say!), you can continue to use reading books from other schemes even if you switch to Rocket Phonics. For example, you could use your ‘old’ books for guided reading sessions and home reading. Providing children are given texts to match their independent reading level , you will still show fidelity to programme.
4. Our reading sessions are flexible
Rocket Phonics gives you the flexibility to manage reading sessions how you want to do it for your school. For example, if Guided Reading works for your class and for your school, then Rocket Phonics supports that. If, however, as a school, you conduct different types of reading sessions like whole class shared reading, Rocket Phonics also supports that. If it works for you and your school, we support you!
5. We support whole-class teaching
Along with many other Phonics programmes, Rocket Phonics also promotes a whole-class teaching approach. However, we explicitly demonstrate to you how this is possible and how to be successful with it through our explicit CPD training and within our Teacher Guides on the online platform. We support you to manage every child’s needs in your class.
Thinking of making the switch?
Meet Grace Kleanthous
Grace Kleanthous is part of the Abigail Steel Training team. She has been teaching in primary schools for 6 years. Becoming Phonics and Early Reading Leader and Key Stage One Coordinator after her second year in teaching, she quickly developed a true passion for early reading and Systematic Synthetic Phonics. Grace enjoys delivering high-quality, interactive Phonics training to develop Phonics provision within primary schools to support the reading needs of every child. Accomplishing a Masters in Education degree, Grace’s in-depth research record and experience as a teacher and trainer, allows her to combine her thorough subject-knowledge with understanding the practicalities (and sometimes unpredictability!) of everyday school life, instilling confidence in everyone that she supports.
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