Questions and Answers


Q1    What kind of phonics programme is Direct Phonics?


A1       Direct Phonics has two mains features:

  1. A structured systematic approach to phonics which makes explicit the links between single sounds, words, and sentences in every lesson.
  2. A clearly explained model for teaching the prepared lessons which are included in the manuals.


Q2    What age range is Direct Phonics suitable for?


A2      Direct Phonics has been targeted at primary aged children but has also been used in secondary schools.  The content is suitable for any learner needing the systematic and cumulative approach provided by Direct Phonics.


Q3    How do I know where to start in the programme?


A3      Assessment activities for both reading and spelling are included at the end of each block of work in the programme.  These can be used for both placement tests and for monitoring progress.


Q4    How is progress measured?


A4      Progress is measured by regular monitoring, checking and assessing that the children are learning what they have been taught.  This is built into the programme with assessment activities for reading, spelling and writing at the end of every block of work.


Q5    What evidence is there for progress made?


A5      Standardised tests have demonstrated good progress but we believe that the most convincing evidence comes from the curriculum-based checks and tests provided in the manuals.


Q6    Can Direct Phonics be used with individual or groups of children?


A6      Direct Phonics has be used successfully with small groups of children who are at the same stage of literacy development and with individual children.


Q7    Who can teach Direct Phonics?


A7      Direct Phonics can be used by teachers and teaching assistants (supervised by a teacher).   Parents can also use Direct Phonics as full instructions are given.  Direct Phonics is easy to use because every lesson has exactly the same format.


Q8    Why are there very few pictures in the programme?


A8      Pictures can be distracting when the focus needs to be on the print.  Children need to learn to listen carefully to the sounds in words so that they can blend and segment the words.


Q9    Why do children like Direct Phonics?


A9      Children enjoy Direct Phonics lessons because they are lively, highly predictable and repetitive.  This helps to ensure the children’s success and promotes confidence with reading and writing.


Q10   What are teacher’s responses to Direct Phonics?


A10     Here are some comments:

  • "The format, structure and routine were easy to follow."
  • "Children enjoyed the predictable pattern of each lesson."
  • "Children were motivated because they quickly noticed progress."
  • "The checks /tests in the manual clearly demonstrated to us what the children had learnt."
  • "It was important for the children to learn to really listen to the sounds in words. We could see that pictures would have been a distraction."