Structured Literacy

A structured literacy approach explicitly teaches systematic word identification and decoding strategies. Letter-sounds are taught explicitly, systematically, and sequentially. 

Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP)

Our Letters and Sounds programme teaches the skills of blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. It progresses through all sounds, working from the simple to the more complex. By following the progression, children build on their growing phonic knowledge. They quickly learn to read and spell using fully decodable text, having fun along the way. Each letter-sound is assigned a mnemonic (such as snake for s) and children are encouraged to revisit and recall previously learnt letter-sounds as part of each 30 minute daily phonics lesson.

Two Types of Mnemonic

A mnemonic is a simple device used to assist memory. We offer two types of mnemonics and your choice comes down to personal preference:

The photo mnemonics used in the Letters and Sounds resources provide a clear memorable example of the sound that is associated with each letter and may be more suitable for those with special needs.

The illustrated mnemonics provided in the Mog and Gom resources follow the same shape as the letter so that a patter can be provided to aid with letter formation. The Mog and Gom books and resources have been designed to be used with the Letters and Sounds progression, guidance, daily lesson plans and assessment.

Fully Decodable Readers

A core resource of any SSP programme is fully decodable readers. Decodable readers only use words using previously learnt sounds. Some high-frequency words have irregular spellings and need to be taught as tricky words. Only previously learnt tricky words are included in the text. We have 3 different series of readers that can be used separately or at the same time, as they all follow the same progression: 

    • Letters and Sounds Fiction and Non-Fiction books provide a consistent and highly effective approach to teaching phonics. Now available in either primer or sassoon font. Sold in sets of 8 books.
    • Pocket Rockets are effective fun books or booklets that introduce one phoneme at a time. Sold in sets of 18 or 26 books or 180 booklets.
    • Mog and Gom books also cover one phoneme per book. Children love the continuing story line and development of the characters. New tricky words are highlighted throughout the text. Split into 12 units to give children a greater sense of achievement with 6 books per unit.

Letters and Sounds DfE validation

Smart Kids Letters and Sounds programme has been validated by the British Department for Education (DfE). This means that our resources and decodable books have been reviewed by an independent panel of experts and meet all the criteria of an effective systematic synthetic phonics programme.