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DfE announces extension of its match funding - our response!

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Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2577
Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:21 am    Post subject: DfE announces extension of its match funding - our response! Reply with quote

Our response:

There has just been an important announcement that the UK government’s ‘match funding’ for approved synthetic phonics programmes and training is to be extended in England beyond the original deadline of March to the end of October 2013.

Further, match funding is now expanded to include Key Stage 2 schools that could not previously access the match funding for training as only Key Stage 1 was eligible for the match funding. Now junior and middle schools can take advantage of this government match funding.

This is an acknowledgement that all primary staff need to be trained and very knowledgeable about the alphabetic code and the core phonics skills. The foundations achieved in teaching and learning is far from done in Key Stage 1 as we have a particularly challenging alphabetic code for the English writing system. Even when children can decode well for reading purposes, it is desirable to embed the notion of 'spelling alternatives' for the sounds identified in spoken words for spelling - and then continue to build up knowledge of spelling word banks. In other words, the phonics teaching can develop into a full spelling programme throughout Key Stage 2.

It is worrying that the perception of phonics for many pupils, even adults, is that it is ‘infant stuff’, when it is ‘adult stuff’ – alphabetic code knowledge and skills for reading and spelling that set us up for lifelong literacy and which we call upon even as adults. It is particularly important for pupils requiring more intensive or sustained programmes of phonics work that they themselves do not perceive phonics as 'babyish'.

The Phonics International programme is, and always has been, promoted as suitable for all ages - for teaching the alphabetic code very thoroughly and the core phonics skills of decoding, encoding and handwriting. It is designed to be sustained as a thorough spelling programme throughout Key Stage 2.

Many schools are using Phonics International to supplement or complement more 'glossy' programmes aimed at infants and then continuing with Phonics International as their intervention and spelling programme throughout the junior years.

Other schools are using Phonics International as their core programme right from nursery and reception as it has an outstanding and comprehensive bank of fit-for-purpose content for both teaching purposes and for embedded learning - and for easily informing parents and guardians at home.

Furthermore, the Phonics International website provides a huge amount of very useful resources which are entirely free which can supplement teaching and learning - including 30 printable variatons of the English Alphabetic Code. It is easy to see the scope of the programme to evaluate it by visiting the website and its message forum. Debbie Hepplewhite, author of Phonics International (and phonics consultant for the Oxford Reading Tree Floppy's Phonics Sounds and Letters programme) is an extremely 'accessible' person and provides free and sustained guidance to anyone who requires it regardless of which programme and resources they use.

John Dabell of 'Teach Primary' recently reviewed Phonics International and could not believe the bank of resources the programme includes and its amazing value for money. He also recognised Debbie's expertise for training purposes. Read his review of the Phonics International programme here:

Priced at only £113.90 plus VAT for a three year licence in the match funded catalogue (less 50% under the scheme), the Phonics International programme represents outstanding value which equates to only 5 pence a day.... for a whole school phonics programme and sustained spelling programme!

Our Training package under the matched funding scheme is equally good value and described as 'excellent' in a recent inspection.

Debbie Hepplewhite
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