The practice of teaching phonics can be a far cry from the lecture halls and seminar rooms, the suggested texts and reports read by trainees. When faced with planning for, delivering to children, and assessing phonics, many trainees feel overwhelmed with the daily practice and how to keep it somehow engaging.
Being a teacher with nineteen years’ experience (five in Early Years) and new to Monster Phonics, I was keen to gauge how much easier our school’s latest ITT student would find the planning, teaching and assessing of phonics using the scheme. By her own admittance, she agreed that the prospect of teaching a daily phonics lesson alongside all of the other responsibilities was one that she found daunting.
A small scale observation-based study took place during her six-week placement. The trainee had never been responsible for teaching Phonics, nor had she even heard of the Monster Phonics programme.
Based on the amount of support she required in terms of planning and assessing of the children in Phonics, it was much less than with previous trainees. This was based mainly on the amount of time she required for the Phonics planning during PPA time, and how confident she was with teaching daily lessons of Phonics. In addition to this, she used the resources well in adult-led and adult-initiated activities as well as using them with children as they requested them (child-led).
In terms of workload for trainee teachers, and NQTs (as indeed all teachers of Phonics), Monster Phonics is an ideal tool for reducing preparation time, ensuring coverage is completed and assessments completed at appropriate times for children.