Lesley Clarke's Letters and Sounds (DfE Validated Programme)

It is important for all staff (including members of SLT) to have attended the core training sessions, so they

  • have the subject knowledge needed to effectively teach/observe others teach synthetic phonics.
  • understand how the programme is constructed and the order in which knowledge and skills are taught.
  • become familiar with the key routines involved in teaching the programme.
  • learn the phonic rules they will need to teach as part of the programme.
  • understand how to use the assessment toolkit, group and 1:1 interventions effectively.

Core Training Modules

This is essential training for all staff who will be teaching the programme. Each session is 1.5 hours and is pre-recorded by the author Lesley Clarke. These modules can be used by schools at any time:

  • Subject Knowledge
  • Effective Teaching of Phases 2-4
  • Effective Teaching of Phase 5a & 5b: The Phonic Rules You Need to Know and How to Teach Them
  • Effective Teaching of Phase 5c: The Phonic Rules You Need to Know and How to Teach Them
  • Assessment & Supporting the Lowest 20%

Initial whole school core training package (for the first year of implementing the programme)

This consists of:

  • One year’s access to pre-recorded core training above for all staff. It is essential for staff to undertake this training together and not individually in their own time, as the sessions are interactive and involve group tasks. Teachers and TAs may do the training in separate groups at separate times depending on staff working hours. The 5 x 1.5 hour training modules can be combined in various ways eg 1.5 training days/1 training day plus 2 twilights/½ training day plus 3 twilights/series of twilights).
  • Access to pre-recorded online videos showing how to use the assessment toolkit, group and 1:1 interventions (available from Sept 2022)
  • Access to pre-recorded online videos showing the routines for different activities within phonics lessons (available from Sept 2022)
  • The opportunity to book places on ‘open’ online catchup sessions for staff who need additional support to develop the required level of subject knowledge following their initial core training. This will be determined by an audit which all staff complete at the end of the subject knowledge module. Places on these open sessions are limited and booked on a first come first served basis.
  • A 1.5 hour online session with Lesley or one of her associate consultants, which could be scheduled during the school day/after school (exact scheduling subject to availability). This will involve the literacy/phonics lead throughout. 20 mins will be spent with reception teachers, 20 mins with Y1 teachers and 20 mins with EITHER nursery or Y2 teachers to discuss implementation and answer any queries raised by staff. This will be followed by 30 mins with the literacy/phonics lead to support with implementation of the programme.
  • A place for the literacy/phonics lead on an ‘open’ online session for leaders each term in the first year of implementing the programme.
  • The opportunity to book a place on a termly online ‘drop in’ Q & A session for reception and Y1 staff using the programme. Places will be limited and booked on a first come, first served basis.

The cost of the training package is based on the size of the school, ranging from ½ form entry primary/1 form entry infant school to a 4+ form entry primary/5+ form entry infant school. Contact Lesley for the current pricing.

Schools within MATs will need to pay for their own training package. However, a 10% discount is available for schools within a trust subscribing to their training package at the same time.

Training package in subsequent years

It is very important for new staff to receive the same training that others had previously, so that everyone has been trained to the same level.

The number of staff that will require training in subsequent years and the level of support schools will need with implenting the programme will both decrease, so both the content and cost of the training package decrease from year 2 onwards. Contact Lesley for the current pricing.

This consists of:

  • One year’s access to pre-recorded core training above for all new staff. Where at all possible, these new staff should undertake the training with someone else and not individually in their own time, so they can support each other with tasks. However, if you only have 1 member of staff needing the training, they could complete it on their own.
  • Access to pre-recorded online videos showing how to use the assessment toolkit, group and 1:1 interventions (available from Sept 2022)
  • Access to pre-recorded online videos showing the routines for different activities within phonics lessons (available from Sept 2022)
  • The opportunity to book places on ‘open’ online catchup sessions for staff who need additional support to develop the required level of subject knowledge following their initial core training. This will be determined by an audit which all staff complete at the end of the subject knowledge module. Places on these open sessions are limited and booked on a first come first served basis.
  • The opportunity to book a place on a termly online ‘drop in’ Q & A session for reception and Y1 staff using the programme. Places will be limited and booked on a first come, first served basis.

Additional training and support available in addition to the training package outlined above

Support for senior leaders

Lesley has 14 years’ experience supporting senior leaders to implement LaS effectively in their schools and this support now extends to her version of the programme. She can provide this 1:1/small group support online via Zoom. The length of these sessions can be tailored to the needs of the school.

The 1.5 hour session with the literacy/phonics lead and each year group in turn (detailed in the initial core training package above) has proved very effective in schools, with positive feedback from staff involved. Additional sessions such as these are available.

Contact Lesley for current pricing.

Additional training modules

Additional 1.5 hour training modules are available for schools to book in any year and these include:

  • Developing word reading and comprehension skills through guided reading (for children reading at approximately purple book band and below).
  • Application of phonics skills into reading and writing across the curriculum.
  • Termly meeting for Phonics Leads (included in the training package in Y1, but available to book separately in subsequent years if demand is sufficient).

A 2.5 hour session on the ‘Phonics screening check: What you need to know’ is available each year for staff new to administering the check.

Details of the additional ‘open’ sessions available each half term are emailed to schools several weeks in advance along with the pricing.