Synthetic Phonic Cards

  Three national inquiries into the teaching of reading have concluded that synthetic phonics is the most effective method of reading instruction yet most people have never heard of the term, and it is not the way reading is taught in most Australian schools.

To master our spelling system, children must grasp that words are made of sounds represented by letters, that sometimes we use two, three or four letters for a sound (soon, hedge, caught), that most sounds have several spellings and that many spellings represent a few sounds

In his internationally acclaimed analysis of the effectiveness of teaching methods, Professor John Hattie assigns “effect sizes” ranging from 1.44 (highly effective) to -0.34 (harmful). Effect sizes above 0.4 indicate methods worth serious attention.

There are two main schools of thought about how to teach children to read and write, one focused on meaning (whole language) and one focused on word structure (phonics). Hattie’s meta-analysis gives whole language an effect size of 0.06, and phonics an effect size of 0.54.



  • Synthetic Phonic Cards

    Includes all 49 sounds of the Letters and Sounds Programme; they are ideal for individual, group and whole class activities. They can be used to practice letter sound relationships e.g. show me which letter/s makes this sound: /i/ /oo/ /sh/

    More importantly, they can also been used to synthesise or blend words e.g make the word ‘badge” /b/ /a/ /dge/ Making Words-helps increase understanding of sound-letter relationships. The multi-sensory method using cards or wooden letters should be the way in to teach reading and spelling with much more reinforcement to transfer the skills to decoding in reading and in free writing. Teaching reading through spelling, which will happen by using this method , is based on the idea that children will learn to read words that they have composed more efficiently than words from another source that were written for them.

    The resources have been designed to be used alongside the Letters and Sounds teaching programme but are also appropriate as supplementary resources to support any other good synthetic phonics programme.

    Additional research regarding Synthetic Phonics

    In Clackmannanshire, Scotland, a 2004 study contrasted the literacy that 300 children acquired after 16 weeks of using synthetic as opposed children using phonics via other methods . At the end of the 16-week experimental period, the children who were taught synthetic phonics (as opposed to analytic phonics) were
  • 7 months ahead of the analytic group in reading and 7 months ahead of their chronological age.
  • 8-9 months ahead in spelling of the other group, and 7 months ahead of their age. Another advantage of synthetic phonics is how beneficial it is to both genders. It has become a commonplace that boys lag behind girls in literacy, but according to the study of the 300 children in Scotland, boys as well as girls excelled in reading, reading comprehension, and spelling.