Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and Letters

Millions of children have grown up with the lovable Robinson family and their friends courtesy of the award winning Roderick Hunt and Alex Brychta. Now it looks like millions more children will be able to do the same.

Before they get to read Biff, Chip and Kipper stories, children can now access Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and Letters. Written by phonics expert Debbie Hepplewhite, this is a complete, stand-alone early years programme, and the best I’ve seen on the market by a country mile.

Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and Letters is a beautifully crafted programme for learners aged 4-7 that is both systematic and rigorous. It is complete with Alphabetic Code Chart, The Alphabet Poster, Frieze Posters, Tricky Words Poster, Say the Sounds photocopiable Posters, giant Flash Cards as well as exciting CD-ROMs for interactive whiteboard lesson introductions and individual pupil use. It also includes a full range of photocopiable activity sheets, which can be used alongside a brand new set of 42 glossy teaching books for Stages 1-5 to support the teaching and learning of the alphabetic code and core skills. A glorious amount of work and thinking has gone into creating this impressive set of resources.

Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and Letters is based on synthetic phonics teaching principles and centres around the Alphabetic Code Chart, which shows the rationale of sounds to spelling alternatives and how to organise phonics teaching. The aim is to help children ‘crack the alphabetic code’ and the reading skills they need to immerse themselves in as many stories as possible.

The Teaching Handbooks are clear, accessible, unpatronising and knowledgeably well written. You will find everything you need to know here and you’ll be well versed in how to teach children to read and spell with synthetic phonics. The tips given are highly informative, the step-by-step example lessons are invaluable and the ideas and activities are inspiring. The Planning, Assessment and Resources book and CD are just as well thought through and will more than help you assess children’s progress with insight and accuracy.

The Sounds and Letters books and the fiction and non-fiction books are quality titles, each with their own charm and character, magnificently illustrated by Alex Brychta and Nick Schon. Children are readily drawn into the world of the Robinson family and will easily absorb themselves in the rich scenarios and clever contexts illustrated. These create all the right conditions for rich learning and a great stimulus for enriching vocabulary and speaking and listening skills.

Our Verdict

A reading revelation

Outstanding. In a word, that’s what the new Oxford Reading Tree Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and Letters resource is. The resources are rich in variety and oozing with class. This must be what a Rolls Royce feels like to drive. The luxury end of the market normally has a high price tag but the Oxford Reading Tree resources are decently priced and well within budget and you can mix and match as needed. It’s not a bad time to be an early years learner or teacher. Highly recommended.

Pie Corbett