Testimonial 2

Dee Bleach, Headteacher

Mayflower Primary School, London

What elements of ALS Phonics: Letters and Sounds work well?

The training has been key in ensuring that the teaching of phonics is taught consistently across the phase. The ‘check ins’ provided ensure that standards are maintained and that transition between phases is smooth. The training on interventions has been key post Covid and has meant that gaps have been closed in attainment. Support with analysing data has been crucial in identifying knowledge gaps and next steps for pupils not making expected progress. The whole class approach to teaching phonics (with the exception of the writing part of the lesson) not only suits our school philosophy on teaching mixed ability, but ensures that phonics is taught by a teacher (evidenced by the EFF as the most successful). It also ensures that assessments are both clear and accurate.  

How has your involvement in ALS Phonics: Letters and Sounds changed what happens in the classroom and your school in relation to the teaching and learning of phonics?

Ann Smalberger has worked with our school for many years initially through the LA.

What makes her work with schools so successful is that she takes the staff and pupils from where they are and is always improving and adapting what she does. Her work is tailored to the needs of the school.

Ann has provided support across the school, including guided reading in KS2.

What impact has ALS Phonics: Letters and Sounds had on children’s phonics attainment?


What other improvements has your involvement with ALS Phonics: Letters and Sounds led to across the school?

As an inner-city school we have a high staff turnover and movement within the school, the ALS Phonics: Letters and Sounds programme ensures that consistency is maintained and the teaching of phonics can be implemented quickly and effectively. The mantras ensure that phonics is applied successfully in both reading and writing and so pupils have continuity.

Additional Comments

We enjoy working with Ann, she is a true advocate for phonics and early reading. She has high expectations of herself and of the teachers and learners she supports.