Frequently Asked Questions

We work with teachers every day getting them started with Get Reading Right and Synthetic Phonics. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions with some short, snappy answers to help get you started!

What makes Synthetic Phonics, synthetic?

Yes, it is a strange name, but the ‘synthetic’ in ‘Synthetic Phonics’ simply means the synthesising or blending of sounds to make whole words. Read more here.

How long should I spend on each unit of Get Reading Right?

You can move as fast or as slow as your assessment dictates; as long as you use the 80/80/80 rule of thumb; only move on, once 80% of the children, have mastered 80% of the content, 80% of the time.

How long should I spend on phonics each day?

Remember that you are covering both reading and spelling; so we recommend 25-30 minutes a day, involving: explicit teaching, children applying what they have learned and then reinforcing with games and activities.

The readers use single words and the pictures don’t match. Why?

We want children relying on their decoding skills rather than guessing from the pictures. When a child uses picture cues it becomes a game of ‘spot what’. We have all seen the year 4 slump in reading skills, when the pictures are removed – let’s not get into bad habits! Take a look at a sample of our books to see for yourself!

Do we move on the children who need extra support?

We want to intervene early, with our Power Pack, to ensure those who are experiencing difficulties do not get too left behind. Additionally, remember that Synthetic Phonics is cumulative; so in unit 2, children will get practise at unit 1.

How should I structure a lesson with a composite class?

Firstly, you are in the lucky position to group children by ability rather than age – lucky you! You should use our differentiation models from the Toolkit; explicitly teach one group of children, then send them off for phonics games and activities. Whilst that group is reinforcing, you explicitly teach the second group.

Should we deal with ESL children differently, and how?

The process of learning to read for a native English speaker and a second language speaker is no different – what is different is the quantity of vocabulary known (when teaching ESL children make sure you are explaining any unknown words). Take a look at our Picture Dictionary for some extra support.

What role do games play in the teaching of Synthetic Phonics?

Playing games reinforces what the children have learned – remember that the games do not teach. Your explicit, direct instruction teaching is critical!

What is the secret to teaching camera words?

Teach one a day, then three a day, then review during lesson breaks, every day. Remember that they may already know some, and so just review these and add from other units if necessary (camera words are not cumulative, so you can go ahead).

How much does Get Reading Right cost?

You can implement the program for as little as $135 for the Synthetic Phonics Toolkit, or you can go all the way up to $1,364 for ‘The Basic Code Pack‘, which includes every resource you need, for one Foundation classroom. We will design a quote, which best suits your classroom. Just send us an email – or take a look at our order form.