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FFT programmes used


Why did Lionel Walden Primary School choose FFT Success for All Phonics?

Since January 2023, Lionel Walden Primary School in Cambridge have been using the FFT Phonics Success for All programme.

The comprehensive and evidence-based approach to phonics instruction that FFT Success for All Phonics offers was the deciding factor in its selection. The programme's proven track record of improving reading outcomes for pupils, along with the ongoing support provided by the FFT Support Team, made it the ideal choice for their school.

After lots of supportive discussions and webinars with members of the FFT Support Team, the school decided to purchase the FFT Success for All Phonics programme in January 2023 and started the training of all Pre-School, Reception, Year 1 and 2 teachers and teaching assistants.

An increase in enjoyment and attainment in reading and writing

Natalie Bayes

Deputy Headteacher and Phonics Lead

In February 2023, we started teaching the programme to our pupils. In April 2023, we underwent a Section 8 Ofsted inspection resulting in us maintaining our ‘Good’ grade. They made specific reference to the rapid introduction of the programme and how embedded it was with all staff.

During the summer term, we introduced daily shared reader lessons to our Reception pupils. We have noticed that pupils make rapid progress through the reading programme and are developing their comprehension and inference skills too.

Our Year 1 Phonic Screening Check results for 2022-2023 were 83%. This is despite a very challenging cohort with 3 pupils unable to access the classroom environment and two pupils arriving the week of the screening check (these children did not achieve the required threshold). To ensure our parents are equipped with the relevant knowledge to support their children at home with reading and phonics, our website has all the information and links to the FFT Parent Portal.

We also deliver termly parent workshops where parents are given the time to discover how we teach phonics and reading in school and experience a range of activities that they could do at home. These are very well attended by parents, carers and grandparents.

Since using FFT Success for All Phonics and other FFT resources, we have all noticed an increase in enjoyment and attainment in reading and writing throughout EYFS and KS1.

Implementing the programme


Training was given to all staff and a dedicated team of teachers and teaching assistants ensured that the sessions were delivered consistently every day of the week.

This commitment to daily practise and monitoring of feedback by the Deputy Headteacher/English Lead resulted in a more engaged and proficient pupils' body when it comes to language acquisition.

The programme has truly revolutionised the way pupil learn and interact with language.


pass rate


reception GLD


programme introduction

Reading progress made

February 2023: started teaching the programme.

April 2023: Underwent an Ofsted inspection, resulting in us maintaining our ‘Good’ grade. Ofsted made specific reference to the rapid introduction of the programme and how embedded it was with all staff.

At the end of the academic year 2022-2023: higher level of Reception children achieving the reading GLD than previous years (87%)

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check results for 2022-2023: 83%

Spotlight on pupil progress

Lionel Walden had a reception pupil who joined with a low self-esteem in his ability to read and write. His mum was worried about her challenges at home to engage him in reading activities. 

Following the introduction of the FFT Success for All programme, the teacher observed him writing more in the continuous provision, spelling more accurately, noticing environmental print, and being more motivated to read. He was making connections between the phonics lessons and how to apply this knowledge to his reading and writing. He could remember and use the correct spelling of some red words too.  

Although the pupil did not quite achieve the GLD in Word Reading at the end of the year, staff at the school were so impressed, including his parents, with the progress and confidence in his phonics and writing. He transformed from a reluctant reader and writer to a little boy who is keen and confident to write. 

I like the Alphabet Chant and joining in with the actions.

EYFS pupil

I like learning new digraphs and doing my turn/your turn with the teacher.

Year 1 pupil

Why is Lionel Walden Primary School pleased with FFT Success for All Phonics?

Natalie Bayes, Deputy Headteacher and Phonics Lead, highlights the benefits seen since using the phonics programme:

An increase in enjoyment and achievement in reading and writing throughout our EYFS and KS1.

The transition between part-time teachers is smooth as the teaching is explicit.
There has been a reduction in cognitive load for pupils, enabling them to focus on the skills of blending and reading therefore enabling rapid progress for all.
Using the FFT resources, such as word mats and alphabet strips, in other lessons has scaffolded the children to be more independent and confident to have a go!
Teacher workload has reduced as letter formation and spelling are built into the programme.

Find out more

We're happy to answer questions you have about FFT Phonics.