Frequently Asked Questions about All Aboard Phonics:

All Aboard Phonics is a complete systematic, synthetic phonics programme for Reception and Year 1 in UK schools. It has a similar structure to the Letters and Sounds curriculum, so any teacher familiar with that will find it easy to implement.

It is designed to enable children to start learning phonic knowledge and skills early in Reception, with a systematic introduction of the phonemes used in English. From there it provides a structured route for children to build on that foundation, so that they meet or exceed the expected standard in the year one (Y1) Phonics Screening Check. 

They will then have the skills needed to continue towards becoming confident and fluent readers and writers in Years 2 and 3.

The DfE has said that they will expect schools to move to using a complete SSP programme with fully integrated resources, rather than a mix of resources based around Letters and Sounds.

The All Aboard Phonics programme is completely designed around the new criteria set by the DfE in March 2021. We will be presenting it for validation in October.

We are publishing a full set of fully decodable books designed to be both engaging and perfectly matched to children’s ability. Those are in production at the moment and will begin to be available in September 2021. In the meantime, if you have decodable books designed around the Letters and Sounds phases, then those will also work for you with All Aboard Phonics.

It is our intention to make the decodable books entertaining, high quality and good value, so that it is easy to build a suitable library of books quickly, without stretching your budgets, by buying our discounted packs for schools.

The DM team has been working in literacy research and publishing since 2008. There is more information on that in the About Us section of the website.

Our research has been based around understanding the causes of reading difficulties that are normally seen. We have a unique depth of knowledge in this area, which has led to the creation of processes for avoiding or overcoming difficulty for every child, whatever aspect of learning to read is difficult for them. All of that research is built into the processes we can share with you in All Aboard Phonics and our intervention pack All Aboard Phonics Plus.

Most education publishers earn income through the publication of materials, because that has always been how they have earned income. Nowadays, with the ability to share publications at no cost through PDFs and ebooks, that model is rather out of date.

So we feel we are just taking a more modern approach, by sharing resources for free when we can do that. As a result, we are sharing all of All Aboard Phonics manuals and lesson plans for free through PDF downloads and our online training resources, since doing so has no cost for us. You can print all of our manuals and classroom resources from those.

Where a resource does have a direct cost for us (such as printed versions of our course materials, some copyright material with royalty costs such as our book library, certain online facilities that have server costs and any direct consultancy or training services) then we do have to charge for those.

Pictophones teach reading the way the brain wants to learn: it’s visual and fun. With the help of visual prompts, a child can easily decode words correctly, even tricky ones. It’s ideal for visual learners, dyslexics, beginners, or struggling readers.

Each image represents a sound in the English language. For example, the Toad About to Explode represents the /t/ sound. The pictophones are an easy visual representation of the sounds of each phoneme.

All Aboard Phonics Plus is our intervention programme, designed to identify the cause of difficulty for a child and apply the right solution each time. 

All Aboard Phonics is based on the Letters and Sounds curriculum, which has already been successful for a lot of schools. We have taken it forward with some new innovations and added an integrated set of materials, lesson plans and training resources. All of that will make the success seen in individual classrooms more consistent.

We are then also integrating our knowledge in the field of reading interventions, which has been heavily tested in schools and homes for over 12 years, with around 15,000 struggling readers. This was also tested in an RCT by the Open University and our resources achieved a 2-year gain in reading age on average over 120 short sessions during that trial.

If you have been using Letters and Sounds, we believe your team will find it easy to switch to All Aboard Phonics and will find the new resources immensely helpful. And you can do that without having to allocate any budget for it, if you choose not to purchase any printed materials from us.

Phase 6 is not supported by the programme. All schools should be following the spelling curriculum as set out in the National Curriculum in Year 2. Our programme finishes in Year 1 once the children have mastered all the Phase 5 GPCs.

Any child in Year 2, who did not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Year 1, or is not fully fluent in reading words with the Phase 5 GPCs should continue to be taught phonics daily.