It is not only the content of the programme that matters.  Research has demonstrated that the way it is implemented makes all the difference.  The status of the programme in the school is important.  In one school it was called the "Gorilla Club" with illustrations displayed on a notice board.  The club became so popular that all children wanted to join.


There are organisational factors such as how manageable the programme is within the school.  There are questions about staffing, liaison between staff, timetabling and the space needed for group work.  Many schools noted that the pupils’ regular school attendance was critical.


Where there are budgetary constraints, Direct Phonics can be seen as effective and cost-effective.


Here are some comments from Headteachers concerning the effective implementation of Direct Phonics:


"A co-ordinator was chosen to oversee and monitor the programme and three different  Teaching Assistants actually ran the programme.  Class teachers were in regular discussion with Teaching Assistants and the lead co-ordinator about the progress of the pupils concerned and the impact on their reading and writing in class.  Parents were consulted initially to gain permission and explain the purpose of the programme.  They were regularly updated on their children’s progress, both informally through discussions and formally through IEP targets."


"At the outset the school was committed to the children accessing the programme for four sessions a week.  Initially these sessions were timetabled at various times during the day. After about six weeks it became apparent that the children responded much better if they worked on the programme during the morning and they preferred a set time so they now always meet during the last session prior to lunch."


"Lessons take place straight after register each morning, during Morning Task time and running into Assembly time.  Sessions take place in the Literacy Area outside Year 3 classroom (opposite the cloakroom).  This is the most suitable place available, although there are distractions.  The group sits around a table with a portable whiteboard. All worksheets were prepared beforehand during planning time.  Liaisons with the SENCO take place several times per week to discuss pupils’ progress.  The children look forward to the lessons and have come to regard them as their ‘special time’, a time in which their needs are directly addressed at their pace."


"The co-ordinator had regular non-contact time to monitor Direct Phonics.  This involved lesson observations, listening to pupils read, pupil interviews, analysis of progress through various assessments, SATs data, undertaking independent writing tasks and analysis of their writing samples."


"Careful consideration needs to be given to the choice of Teaching Assistant leading the programme.  The programme has benefited from being led by a Teaching Assistant with initiative, who is flexible, is a creative thinker and is knowledgeable."


"Consistent liaison is needed between the Teaching Assistant and class teacher to ensure continuity into the classroom."