FFT Success for All Phonics
A multi-academy trust perspective
With insights from John Halliwell, Director of Primary at STEP Academy Trust
Introducing a new Phonics programme
About Step Academy Trust
The teaching of phonics in schools
John shares: "There were significant gaps amongst the children, and this was particularly noticeable across key stage 2 with teaching often being dropped after the phonics screening checks." It was clear that a a more systematic approach needed to be introduced across all schools.
Gonville Academy was the first school within the trust to introduce the Success for All Phonics programme back in February 2021. Since then, a further six schools within the trust have taken up the programme.
About FFT Success for All Phonics
FFT Success for All Phonics is a complete systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme validated by the Department for Education and aimed at nursery children upwards.
Since being first introduced to Gonville Academy in 2019, the programme has evolved significantly, however the co-operative learning pedagogy, rooted in the pioneering work of the Success for All Foundation has remained the same.
John Halliwell explains: "The schools using the programme have embedded the unique co-operative learning pedagogy as a whole school behaviour policy and practice across the entire curriculum. This has allowed for consistency across all schools, ensuring that children are fully engaged and able to interact with all their lessons. This has been fundamental in the successful application of the scheme for each school."
Applegarth Primary Academy is one example of a school using the phonics programme that has experienced a transformative turnaround; being ranked as the sixth best state primary school in England.
The impact of using FFT’s Success for All Phonics programme across the trust
The phonics programme is now well-embedded across seven schools, with excellent results being seen.
The trust recognises the benefits of using a single phonics scheme across multiple schools. John Halliwell highlights these below.
Benefits of using a trust-wide phonics scheme:
- A shared and common understanding
- Learning from each other
- The building of support networks
- The ability to share resources, planning and successes
- Progression and development opportunities
- Ease of movement amongst staff to teach different groups throughout the year
- Ability to assess both progress and standards
Why FFT Success for All Phonics — a trust perspective
“One of the biggest areas is the progression through the whole of the English curriculum and the rigour of reading fluency, word reading, phonics, comprehension, writing, grammar and spelling.”