Direct Phonics draws on two theoretical rationales.  The first is to do with the nature of literacy learning.  It is now well established that basic literacy needs to focus on phonics and word building within a broad reading and writing context.  The second influence comes from USA where extensive research has demonstrated the effectiveness of a ‘model-lead-check’ teaching routine of a cumulative learning programme.


Trials of Direct Phonics have demonstrated that the programme works because:

  • The content is cumulative and very repetitive
  • Frequent checks of progress ensure that children have learnt what we have taught
  • The teaching method follows a routine of 'model-lead-check'
  • Each lesson has the same predictable pattern

The programme is ideal for teaching small groups of children at the same stage of literacy development or individual pupils whose progress requires even more specific attention.


We have reported research studies demonstrating the effectiveness of Direct Phonics.