It’s truly heartwarming to build relationships with people working with one’s phonics resources and suggestions who love using them, where children love them and succeed with them, and the children’s parents and carers are appreciative – and everyone ‘says so’.
The Oxford Reading Tree Floppy’s Phonics programme (published by Oxford University Press) is not a new systematic synthetic phonics programme. It was created in 2010 by a small team at OUP working very closely with me, and it was validated as a full, systematic synthetic phonics programme by the Department for Education in the first window of the DfE validation process (from 2011 to 2014) for the governments’ match-funded phonics initiative at that time – and re-validated by the DfE in 2022.
Lord Scudamore Academy was one of the first schools to adopt Floppy’s Phonics as their preferred programme – and periodically over the years, leaders at the school have kept in touch with me. They have very kindly provided me with their annual Year One Phonics Screening Check results, descriptions of their use of the resources and various testimonials to add to our site dedicated to the Floppy’s Phonics programme including the provision of resources and pre-recorded INSET training for best use of the programme.
The examples of independent writing that were sent to me of children at the end of Reception, who were non-writers at the beginning, are some of the best I have ever seen.
These are the annual Year One Phonics Screening Check results achieved at Lord Scudamore Academy since 2012: 79%, 93%, 87%, 86%, 94%, 94%, 92%, 96%. Year on year, the school’s phonics check results were substantially higher than the national average results.
To put these results in England’s context, the national average results for the past four years or so prior to Covid (the subsequent school lockdowns have blurred the picture since 2019), had stalled at 82% of Year One children reaching or exceeding the 32 out of 40 words in the phonics check read correctly (or ‘plausibly’ in the case of the 20 pseudo words).
When Early Years Head of School, Corinne Benjamin, retired, this role was taken over by Sherry Morris-Davies. Sherry has continued to keep in touch with me, attended various events where I was speaking, and continued to be an advocate of the Floppy’s Phonics programme showing her great dedication and professionalism. I’ve been invited to Lord Scudamore Academy as a guest to see the school in action and to meet the staff and children, and I’ve listened to feedback with suggestions for further FP resources that I’ve shared with Oxford University Press (developments include additional flash cards for level 5, additional decodable reading books to match the original FP Sounds Books, and further printable resources via the FP online digital platform).
Sherry and other members of staff kindly sent me their ongoing experiences with the Floppy’s Phonics programme:
From the time when we first started using Floppy’s Phonics in 2011, we have been thoroughly committed to the programme. We are a three form entry primary school and part of a federation of academies. Within this federation we were able to support some of these schools with the successful transition to using Floppy’s Phonics. These schools all began using Floppy’s with confidence knowing that we had had such successful outcomes, both in terms of children’s enthusiasm and outcomes but also the assurance that teachers gave to using and delivering Floppy’s Phonics.
The programme allows the children and us to be in the fortunate position to have consistently high levels of pass rates for the Year One Phonics Screening Check.
During 2019 we had some changes within our EYFS and KS1 teaching staff. We needed to support them in their subject knowledge to ensure the children were receiving high quality phonics teaching. We were able to access Debbie’s Floppy’s Phonics online INSET training and we all engaged in the online course. We thought it was extremely informative and a great way to train not only teachers new to Phonics but as a refresher to those of us that have been using it for eons!!
Head of School for Early Years
Lord Scudamore Academy
Tel: 01432 273951
Herefordshire Marches Federation of Academies
Floppy’s Phonics provides the children with a fantastic foundation for their reading and writing journey. The scheme is comprehensive and provides teachers with a systematic approach to teaching early reading and writing.
Floppy’s Phonics is a robust, fun and easy to use programme that promotes early reading and writing in an engaging way. I thoroughly enjoy teaching phonics in this exciting way and my class love it.
NQT – Year 1
Both the children and I love using Floppy’s Phonics! Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy are just as much members of our class as are the children. The programme has allowed every child to enrich their vocabulary and comprehension. The resources are enjoyable, allow effective differentiation and are structured for clear use. Children have the confidence to apply their phonics and apply it within reading, comprehension, spelling and handwriting.
Teacher Year 2
Having taught in all year groups from Year 2 to Year 6, I can really see the benefit of using Floppy’s Phonics. Not only does it support teaching and learning but it is also fun and interactive. The children love learning using familiar characters and refer back to the classroom frieze when trying to write, read or spell unfamiliar words. The resources are high quality, child friendly and the programme gets results.
Head of School – Key Stage 1
I have been using Floppy’s Phonics for 9 years and it is a phonics scheme that I would highly recommend to all schools. I like the way that it encourages a wider range of vocabulary and focuses on reading and writing at the same pace. I have found that children are enthusiastic about their phonics learning and like the routine it provides.
Teacher – Reception
Since introducing Floppy’s Phonics in 2011 we have found the programme to be highly effective and its child friendly approach allows the children to understand synthetic phonics in a clear, systematic and well-structured way. Each session is clearly planned and structured using the frieze and carefully addresses the key areas of blending, of segmenting, and allowing the children to apply these phonics skills throughout every session. The children will often choose this lesson as their favourite part of the day as its familiar approach allows the children to be exposed to new sounds and their graphemes in our complex spelling system in a clear, child friendly approach.
Year 1 teacher
Thank you – and a big ‘well done’ – to all those involved with teaching and learning foundational literacy with the Floppy’s Phonics programme at Lord Scudamore Academy.
A big thank you to Sherry who has undertaken the whole FP journey from the outset for the benefit of many!