When I first heard the term "systematic synthetic phonics" my eyes glazed over in bewilderment. Luckily a simple explanation was quickly given. "Systematic" means teaching in a sequence beginning with the letter / sounds that can make the most words (s,a,t,p). "Synthetic Phonics" means synthesising (sounding out) each of the 44 sounds of the english language, as opposed to "Analytic Phonics" which analyses sounds into larger chunks.
Then when I read the Letters & Sounds manual published by the UK Department for Education I thought - WOW! Here is a program with a multi-sensory approach (visual, auditory and kinesthetic) that:
• is engaging for students (most important)
• has an emphasis on spelling (which other programs don't have)
• teaches high frequency and 'tricky' words systematically
• can be aligned to reading text
Letters and Sounds also has the support of the Dyslexia SPELD foundation of Western Australia. They offer two day interactive workshops with the following description:
The Letters and Sounds program effectively targets the development of oral language, reading, spelling and written expression in the early years in addition to providing an excellent structure for remediation in upper primary and beyond. It aligns with the achievement standards outline in the Australian Curriculum (English) and has been shown to significantly improve whole-school literacy outcomes.
This two day interactive workshop provides teachers with a working knowledge of the six phases of Letters and Sounds from the oral language activities through to reading and writing fluency.
The Letters & Sounds teaching manual for each phase of the six phases can be downloaded for FREE by clicking on each of the colour-coded titles below:
Phase One: Kindergarten.
Phase Two: First 6 weeks of Year One.
Phase Three: Next 12 weeks of Year One.
Phase Four: Next 4-6 weeks of Year One.
Phase Five: Next 30 weeks of Year One / Two.
Phase Six: Year Two and Up.