I have had the pleasure of trialling the Clever Phonics books and think it is amazing! Not only is it such a visual and versatile way to teach children to read, it has brilliant illustrations which are extremely capturing to the young child.
The books also include various activities which are brilliant to help a child in increasing their receptive and expressive language skills. These activities include the following:
The picture for each letter sound is so visual and gives the child a sense of how that sound should look and how it is formed. Clever Phonics is not like any other phonics programme I have come across. It is unique, innovative and is suitable for all children including children with additional needs. The activities, tips and advice in the books are priceless. The Clever Phonics books appealed to me right at the start from a perspective of a parent but more so as a Speech and Language Therapist. This approach in learning to read and write is multifaceted and will make learning for children of all abilities easier, fun and memorable. I could not recommend Clever Phonics enough.
Independent Speech and Language Therapist
The Clever Phonics scheme is a comprehensive and easy to follow set of books. Each book progresses systematically and reinforces skills learned along the way. The images are fun, bright and refreshingly modern. The actions and images accompanying each phonetic sound are memorable to children due to their simple, logical design and their link to current, modern concepts and imagery.
The reading books entitled ‘practising the letters’ are excellent for encouragement of using the sounds learned. The font is clear and large enough to be accessible to all. There is enough text to allow for cohesion but not too much that would be off-putting for beginner readers. The clear and stimulating imagery encourages the introduction of the use of visual cues to help decode unfamiliar words.
The author has taken care to successfully link these books to the current curriculum but goes further to support children with special educational needs. The activities at the back of the workbooks not only reinforce phonetic skills learned but also develop the use of communication skills and an awareness of feelings and emotions. Developed in consultation with a variety of experts in the field such as; speech and language advisers, teachers and occupational therapists, the scheme provides a proficient and well thought out delivery of the phonetic system.
As a highly experienced primary school teacher I am glad to see a scheme that feels up to date and is highly inclusive of all children. I look forward to seeing the release of further accompanying materials!
Cheryl Rudd, Primary teacher with BA Honours
The children have been responding well to the books and activities and I like how there is a reading book linked to the specific sounds we have just been focussing on – it helps them make that link between phonics and reading.
Lydia Offen, Parkside school
This concept worked well for a child with specific language acquisition difficulties. These books are designed to help children achieve a sense of success. This is a scheme for children who struggle to hear and pronounce pure sounds. These books have been developed to use more obvious sounds – rather than the pure sounds used to teach phonics to young children.
These books are suitable for children in a specialist provision for whom mainstream phonics has been hard to engage with.
The child who used these books passed his phonics screening test at the appropriate age. He is now an accomplished reader.
The pictures are bright and engaging . The font is clear. The shapes of letters are represented pictorially which would appeal to visual learners. The repetition in these books will help struggling readers.
Crossing the midline and ideas to strengthen fine motor skills are included in the writing books which is a good idea.
Local school in Heathfield
When I asked Jennifer about her books, she was friendly and was happy to explain her products and why she created the books.
The size of the books make them an ideal size for children to handle and use with ease. They are printed on nice quality paper they are bright and engaging. Charlie enjoyed going through the books, due to the layout and design, he could feel a sense of achievement and accomplishment thought the books which keep him engaged to do more.
Charlie and I played a few different games with the flash cards, including snap, saying the sound as we placed each card. We also played a hide and seek game, I hid the sound cards around the room and Charlie had to find and shout the sound. I then challenged Charlie to make as many words as he could using the flash cards. The flash cards could be used for various games and activities to practice phonics.
The end of the book introduces ‘I’ and ‘is', which are phase 1 ‘tricky words' (words that don’t follow the phonics rules). They use short sentences and visuals to help the children learn and keep them engaged.
Sarah Hunter - Sarah has a degree in education and disability studies, specialising in 1 to1 support for children with SEND, in particular asd, adhd as well as additional behavioural and emotional needs.
We have been using the books in our SEN classroom and with individuals around the school. Most importantly, the children really like them. The font is really helpful for some of our children to read. They have a range of activities that are easy to follow. It’s really helpful to see the shape of the mouth. It’s also really easy for T.A’s to pick up and use. We have enjoyed them very much.
Lisa Pigg - Senco
Sir Alexander Fleming Primary School
I’ve been using them to compliment my ‘phonics’ and ‘sound of the week sessions’ and the children seem to be really enjoying them. I think the fact it is engaging and involves progression and repetition has helped them to consolidate their understanding of the different sounds.
Hayley Noake - Grangewood school in Eastcote
I’ve tried other phonics books, and Clever Phonics was the only system my child understood and thrived with. It really was the key to our phonics success. My child is now a confident reader.