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Why did Sladefield Infant School choose FFT Success for All Phonics?

As a school, Sladefield Infant School have always valued phonics as the key to a successful start to every child’s learning journey. For several years, they taught phonics using Letters and Sounds. As a school constantly looking to improve their practice, they felt the need to make changes. Firstly, they wanted to look at matching their decodable readers to the phonics session more closely, as many of their coloured level books seemed to vary widely in difficultly within each band. Secondly, they wanted to ensure fidelity to their phonics programme with high quality planning and standardised resources backed up with high quality training.

SLT invested time into researching several SSP programmes: attending webinars, reading up-to-date research around phonics and requesting sample plans and decodable readers. FFT Success for All Phonics immediately stood out to them from FFT’s first information webinar; it had excellent training modules that staff could access to ‘hit the ground running’, resources to reduce teacher workload, and decodable readers closely matched to the phonics teaching with the flexibility of being available to either purchase, photocopy, or read online in the Parent Portal.

Ofsted inspectors were very complimentary

Lisa Banks

EYFS Lead & English Lead

We have driven the delivery of Phonics through Success for All since introducing it in Reception in January 2022. Our current Reception and Year 1 staff are extremely confident and highly competent in delivering the phonics sessions as directed by the programme. This has included using the Reading Assessment Programme provided to identify gaps in learning.

In our recent Ofsted inspection, the inspectors were very complimentary about how well we had embedded the system in a relatively short period of time and how well the children were accessing the provision.

Implementing the programme


Sladefield introduced FFT Success for All Phonics from the first day of Spring 1 in January 2022, holding a whole staff training day to give every member of teaching staff a very clear starting point. The school now use the videos, available on FFT’s Portal, regularly to support practice.

They continued to make phonics a key priority for their SDP, ensuring continuous delivery of staff training, made easier by the range of CPD available from FFT. Any new staff receive training and they also ensure training for any parent volunteers and lunchtime supervisors, ensuring a whole school culture. Parent workshops were delivered, and parents were kept well informed.

When Ofsted visited Sladefield in January 2023, it recognised the high level of priority the school placed on developing and teaching phonics, and that it was delivered effectively and consistently across the year groups, whilst maintaining fidelity to the programme. Year 2 colleagues have demonstrated an enthusiastic approach to Spelling with the Jungle Club and Routes to Reading and have commented that the planning and resources have reinvigorated their approach to teaching.



Reading progress made

In EYFS, since starting to use FFT Success for All Phonics, Sladefield's end of year results for Literacy have been significantly above national levels and they increased by 2% in July 2023 compared to 2022. From very low starting points at baseline, children with EAL achieved particularly well. As a school, historical data showed a significant gap between gender performance; since beginning to use FFT Success for All Phonics, this gap has decreased.

In Year 1, since starting to use FFT Success for All Phonics, the school’s Phonics Screening Check results have at least been in line with national levels and predictions indicate results will increase in June 2024 for the current Year 1 cohort.

Spotlight on pupil progress

Pupil A joined Reception at Sladefield Infant School in September 2021. Pupil A has a SEND diagnosis for Autism and entered school as an EAL learner working below expected.

Pupil A showed great enjoyment for the characters in the stories and began to make good progress. The visuals really helped him to focus on his learning. When the Phase 3 digraphs and trigraphs were introduced, the weekly pace helped him to consolidate his prior learning and allowed for Pupil A to have interventions to help him to catch up with his peers. Although Pupil A didn’t achieve the ELG for Literacy, his progress was exceptional and the gap was beginning to close. He was able to read and write CVC words and simple sentences. His love of the decodable readers was evident.

When Pupil A started Year 1, he continued to thrive. His Year 1 teacher commented on how the structure and visual resources helped Pupil A to stay focused. She noted that Pupil A was a quirky character with a real love of learning. He was described as having a very good memory, yet easily distracted, but his enjoyment of the stories and the characters helped to keep him focused. The Reading Assessments and Phonic Check resources on the Reading Assessment portal were crucial at this point to help highlight any gaps in learning and Pupil A received additional support in Phonics and Reading. Pupil A comfortably passed the Phonics Screening check at the end of Year 1.

Pupil A has continued to make good progress during his first term in Year 2. His class teacher noted that he reads very well and his enjoyment is apparent. He is keeping up with his peers and is very imaginative in his re-telling of the stories, adding his own twist to the stories which is certainly helping his writing composition! His Phonics teacher shared that he is very engaged with Spelling with the Jungle Club and loves the high level of interactivity. His independence in completing the work in the Pupil Workbook has improved due to the clear structure of each lesson. He thoroughly enjoys the Routes for Reading books and can speak at length about them.

Extreme Earth because it was the best book ever! It’s all about the hottest, coldest and rainiest places. It was so, so good. I read it 100 times!

Pupil A

The engaging and visual but clear structure of Success for All has made Pupil A a much more fluent and confident reader. This fluency, alongside his clear enjoyment, has allowed him to focus his energy on developing his understanding of what he has read.

School SENDco

Why is Sladefield Infant School pleased with FFT Success for All Phonics?

Lisa Banks, EYFS Lead & English Lead, highlights the benefits seen since using the phonics programme:

First and foremost, FFT Success for All Phonics provides a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics and reading that works for our school community.
The structure of the planning and high-quality resources, including the matched decodable readers, have increased the engagement levels of the pupils and made the teaching more enjoyable for staff.
As a school that places a high emphasis on considering staff well-being and work life balance, the introduction of the programme has seen a decrease in teacher workload.
The Reading Assessment Programme is a valuable resource that enables greater emphasis on ‘keeping up’, but also supports accelerated ‘catch up’ when required.
Since introducing FFT Success for All Phonics to our parents, we have seen a dramatic improvement in parent engagement and reading at home, which is regularly communicated with us and evidenced when carrying out parent questionnaires and surveys.

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