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What is Linguistic Phonics?

The Phonics for Pupils with Special Educational Needs is a linguistic phonics programme. This is sometimes referred to as Speech to Print / S2P or Structured Linguistic Literacy / SLL.


I am often asked about this and what it means for instruction and teaching.


Watch the video to find out more.

The Reading Framework
Teaching the Foundations of Literacy DfE 2021 Revised 2023

The DfE published their core principles for initial reading instruction of pupils in mainstream schools and specialist provision and for pupils who have not yet mastered the basics and require access to an intervention programme.

I am pleased to say that Phonics for SEN fulfils all the requirements of the framework and always has done!


Phonics for SEN:

• provides pupils with the skills and knowledge they need to read and spell, teaching by direct instruction, progressing systematically with carefully structured, small and cumulative steps,

• uses instructional routines that become familiar,

• provides materials that limit distraction; are clear, linear and easy to follow; are age-neutral or age-appropriate and can be adapted further, such as being reduced to individual items,

• provides opportunities for work on vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension

• provides multiple opportunities for overlearning (recall, retrieval, practice and application at the level of the alphabetic code, word, sentence and text).


Phonics for SEN is delivered:

• at a suitable pace for the child (acknowledging that progression through the programme will be much slower than for their typically developing peers),

• daily, with well-paced, well-planned lessons that are engaging and motivating,

• taking full account of the child’s individual strengths, weaknesses, knowledge and understanding, and profile of needs.


Phonics for SEN provides additional teaching strategies and resources for some children, such as for those who:

• have physical disabilities that affect their fine motor control for holding and manipulating objects, e.g. use of desktop manipulatives, alternative writing strategies,

• are pre- or non-verbal, e.g. use of alternative communication strategies, such as selecting their response from auditory choices anchored to visual symbols or place-markers,

• have both fine motor difficulties and are pre- or non-verbal, e.g. use of low- or high-tech eye gaze strategies.

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