Reading Stars - Ransom Publishing
Time for Phonics has partnered with Ransom Publishing so that schools can purchase physical books that can be aligned with our scheme as an optional extra (not included in our membership price). You can find the alignment guide here to help you organise the books once you've ordered.
To help you get a feel for them, we’ve arranged for Ransom to offer all Time for Phonics schools (and prospective schools) a "Reading Stars Phonics Sample Pack”. It contains 18 books from across the programme (Phases 1 to 5) and is completely free/yours to keep.
To claim yours (one per school), simply email your school's address to email@example.com with the subject ’Time for Phonics Samples’.
When it comes to ordering, there are two options for Time for Phonics schools:
1) Buying from Ransom’s range of pre-selected packs.
Ransom’s Reading Stars Phonics packs already include 10-15% off RRP. Time for Phonics schools can get a further 10% off those pack prices (making the books £3.83 to £4.05 each).
To see the packs available, email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for a Reading Stars Phonics leaflet.
2) Create your own “bespoke” pack.
Alternatively, for schools wanting to fill specific gaps in their current book collections, we’ve arranged for Ransom to offer you the chance to create your own pack of titles i.e. however many copies of whichever titles you need.
They will offer Time for Phonics schools the chance to do this at 15% off RRP (making the books £4.25 each).
To begin this process, email email@example.com and ask for a Time for Phonics Bespoke Pack Order Form. You can also get in touch with Ransom if you need any help pulling together the perfect order for your school - 01730 829 091.
Our own books
*School members can explore ALL of our own decodable texts in one handy place via the "download resources" link below. They can also be accessed in each week's lesson folder. These are included in your membership.
Non-members can explore our free sample "Dog Can Sit". Samples are also available via week 1 of each lesson folder during your free trial.*
Our decodable texts can be used alongside or during daily lessons and can be found at the bottom of the appropriate lesson page. They are referred to within the relevant lessons, so teachers know exactly how to use them.
The texts are designed to be read by children individually, either at home or in school as printable mini-books. The books reflect the world that we live in, with diverse characters and storylines that children can genuinely relate to, and make them laugh, think and discover. Practising with decodable texts such as these will help children experience success and learn to rely on phonic strategies.
How to assign the books
At the end of each half term, we recommend benchmarking children in order to assign the most appropriate decodable text, using our handy assessment tracker though of course teachers will use their judgement to assess whether children need more consolidation and practice before attempting to read the text. The assessment tracker maps out which GPCs and tricky words align with each text and will allow you to select the best text for each child, ensuring they are reading texts that only contain GPCs and tricky words they already know.
At the beginning of phase 2, children are not expected to be able to blend sounds together to read the words, but you can still assign books to children based on the sounds they know, and they can start practising blending using the skills they’ve learned during the lessons.
You can also use our decodable text progression guide to help assign texts, showing which book corresponds with which phonics stage, though of course teachers will use their judgement to assess whether children need more consolidation and practice before attempting to read the text.
How to use our decodable texts
We recommend sending home 1-2 mini-books per week, aligned with the child's phonics knowledge.
When reading 1:1 with children, or during guided reading, adults should encourage children to decode and blend words using their decoding skills. Children should under no circumstances be encouraged to guess or infer words.
If a child cannot decode the word, the adult can help by prompting them, perhaps by suggesting a similar sounding/rhyming word to help the children decode.
The adult should also ask questions about the meaning of the book to check that children understand the story/concept. Suggested questions can be found in the guided reading reading comprehension resource within each week's lesson folder.
Ideally, all children would be read with at least once a week 1:1 in addition to the guided reading sessions. Children who are in the lowest 20% ideally should be reading 3 times per week 1:1 with an adult in addition to guided reading sessions.
How to access our decodable texts
School members can view all of the ebook and mini-books in one handy place by clicking on "download resources" below, or access them in each week's resource folder on Google Drive.
Matching other books to Time for Phonics
You may already have existing physical books - please don't throw these away, but use them with caution.
It is hugely important that children are reading texts that are matched to the GPCs and tricky words they have been taught to date. This will allow them to use their phonic knowledge to decode words and develop reading fluency.
The Reading Framework (2021) clearly states that that children must be given books that match their phonics progression and therefore if you choose not to use our decodable texts, or supplement them with your existing physical books, they must introduce new GPCs in the same order as our progression so children can practise GPCs they have already learned. The tricky words must also follow the same progression. Even if the books you have follow the Letters and Sounds progression, they still need to be organised to ensure they match with our progression. The books should also be classed as 'decodable' and should not contain words that cannot be decoded, unless those words have been taught as tricky words of course.
Children should be able to read these books with 90% fluency before they are assigned to them, so it's important to choose and organise them carefully.
You may wish to share books with children that are of special interest to them, that are not decodable - it's great to encourage this, as long as they are not being practised as reading books. We have written a blog post about aligning existing physical books to phonics progression that you may find helpful.