Skip to content


Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write. It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English Language. Written language can be compared to a code, so knowing the sounds of individual letters and how those letters sound when combined will help children decode words as they read. Understanding phonics will also help children know which letters to use when they are writing words.

At Ravencroft Primary, we teach Phonics through the Phonics Shed Programme.

Phonics Shed – DFE validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme (SSP)

Phonics Shed provides a systematic way to teach reading through synthetic phonics. Our children are taught to decode by breaking down words into sounds as a way to “synthesize” the whole word from letters and sounds. By following the Phonics Shed planning sequences, our children are taught, through techniques such as ‘Say It, Stretch It, Sound It,’ to decode by breaking down words into sounds as a way to segment and blend (“synthesise“). Joe is the guide in the Phonics Shed garden and introduces the children to all of the characters. Each character they meet teaches a new grapheme-phoneme correspondence.

Joe is the first character the children will meet. The scheme comes with a puppet version of Joe and he has several of his own stories. He is a key figure in the scheme and acts as a guide from the very beginning, right through to the later Chapters.

Each grapheme-phoneme correspondence (GPC) has a character linked to it, including digraphs and trigraphs, as well as having their own supporting stories and associated actions to aid with consolidation. Most have accompanying songs based on common nursery rhymes too.

The 26 letters of the alphabet each have two formation characters linked to them, one for the lowercase and one for the uppercase. These characters are linked through the narrative as it is important to understand how they correspond in order to properly decode all text.

These formation characters are also used to support the teaching of digraphs and trigraphs. Digraphs and trigraphs have their own characters but the formation characters also appear on their flashcards, and often in their stories, to support consistent letter formation.

Skip to content