Phonics Interventions

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How does Time for Phonics support the lowest 20% of children?

Access the Time for Phonics intervention guide and structured programme below.

Time for Phonics is an effective, multi-sensory systematic synthetic phonics programme, developed with phonics specialists, which provides all that is essential for ALL children to become successful, committed and enthusiastic readers.

Systematic Approach

If Time for Phonics is followed systematically by introducing children to the letters and sounds of the alphabet and building up to more complex grapheme phoneme correspondences through structured, well planned and well-paced lessons and additional resources, then it will cater for ALL learners. It provides children with the skills and knowledge they need to read and spell.

Familiar Structured Lessons

Lessons follow the same structure by revisiting and reviewing previously learnt graphemes and skills, teaching a new sound or skill, and giving children the chance to practise and apply phonic knowledge. These instructional routines will become familiar and provide children with a sense of security in their learning.


Lessons are designed to be multi-sensory in order to engage all learners and target individual learning styles, as well as acknowledge children’s strengths and weaknesses and profile of needs. Where teachers choose to use the supplementary teaching presentations,  these are designed to be clear, easy to follow and limit distractions. Supplementary phonics materials are also provided for teachers to put out in continuous provision so that children can embed learning independently outside of a phonics session, as well as a range of complementary interactive online phonics games.

Suitable Pace

Teachers are encouraged to assess pupils, in both a formative and summative way, as highlighted in individual lesson plans or using the provided assessment materials. Teachers can then pace their lessons and delivery accordingly, adapt where necessary or return to previous lessons in smaller groups or tuition sessions. There is also an acknowledgement that some individuals may progress through the scheme at a slower pace than peers, but the outcome is just the same; becoming an effective and successful reader and developing the ability to use this knowledge in their spelling and writing.

Apply Knowledge as part of a Broader Curriculum 

All lessons provide the opportunity to apply phonic knowledge in both reading and writing. Supplementary phonics materials are also provided to place out in provision or use within other lessons so that children can embed learning and demonstrate knowledge independently, within a small group or within other areas of the curriculum and are ideal for those children that struggle with a more formal method of teaching.

Additional Teaching Strategies and Resources

Additional lesson presentations, accompanying phonics resources and online phonics games are provided for the lessons if children need to access them on an individual basis or 1:1. Other methods of recording are highlighted (magnetic letters, letter cards and other writing strategies) for those children that have physical difficulties that affect their fine motor development. 


Most phases have at least two consolidation weeks of planning which provides children with the opportunity to really embed their knowledge before moving on. Gaps in knowledge can also be highlighted during this time and previous planning returned to in order to plug those gaps. 

Physical Resources

All resources are available as digital downloads so that they can be adapted to suit individual learners, for example children with visual difficulties can have their flashcards enlarged using a photocopier or displayed on a laptop for individual use. Handwriting resources are also provided which gives a fun way of remembering the letter formation with a picture and rhyme. This will provide a concrete way of remembering the letter sounds. 

Limited Distractions

The lesson plans are designed to be delivered to a whole class or in small groups at the same time. This will therefore limit distractions from other classroom activities that might otherwise be happening at the same time. With all children taking part in a Phonics session at the same time this promotes a quiet time for listening and engaging with Phonics. The supplementary teaching presentations are also designed to be fairly minimal, clear and distraction free.


Assessment is encouraged through questioning and other formative methods highlighted in planning and lesson delivery. Summative assessment tools are also provided as part of the scheme to utilise after each phase. Teachers are encouraged to use both methods of assessment to highlight individuals and groups and target those bottom 20% of children who need additional support.  

You can find assessment materials here.

Precision Teaching

Below, members can also find Precision Teaching guidance and tracker to help develop automatic recall and fluency of graphemes or high frequency words.

Intervention sessions

Despite the intention of Time for Phonics to provide all that is essential for ALL children to become successful, committed and enthusiastic readers, it’s vital to identify the lowest achieving 20% of pupils in your cohort to ensure that they are supported with any gaps in knowledge, especially with the loss of in-school learning time since 2020. 

To this end, we have created detailed, clear and planned sessions to support staff in delivering sessions to pupils who require additional support, either 1:1 or in a small group. These can be delivered by a teaching/support assistant, class teacher, or specialist phonics teacher.

The phonics intervention sessions are based on the following principles:

  • They are clear and easy to follow, with few additional resources needed.
  • They target specific gaps in knowledge, based on knowledge gap analysis.
  • They follow similar types of activities to the existing lessons, ensuring fidelity to the scheme.
  • They are repetitive and familiar, so as not to overload children’s working memory.
  • They are engaging, enjoyable and realistic in terms of how long children are able to stay focused.

How to use

  1. Use questioning and other formative methods during lesson delivery to identify children with gaps in phonics knowledge and skills (for example, segmenting skills, letter formation, reading simple sentences etc).
  2. Use the Time for Phonics assessment (more details on each assessment method for school members only), to identify children with knowledge gaps in.
    • Oral blending.
    • GPC recognition.
    • Blending for reading.
    • High frequency words (including tricky).
  3. After identifying gaps using the assessment techniques mentioned, use the activities below and select the lessons needed to plug the knowledge gap. For ease and fidelity, you can use the same activities to address gaps in GPC knowledge simply focusing on the specific missed sound. These are designed to be short 5-10 minute sessions to be used as required.
  4. If required, perhaps for teaching assistants, you can use the editable half-termly phonics intervention planning template and copy and paste the activities from the table below as required. 
  5. Reassess regularly to ensure that the knowledge gap has been plugged and that children are making progress. If not, repeat the sessions as needed, and/or use the interactive phonics games, focusing specifically on the knowledge gaps. 

    Please note that if you find that a large number of pupils have similar knowledge gaps, it may be best to simply repeat a whole phase using the Time for Phonics planning and resources.

School members can download the intervention guide and structured programme below.


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The games on here are brilliant! The children loved playing them this morning and it really engaged them in their phonics practice (without knowing them were!)

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My daughter loved playing the games! Not just because of the unicorns, I think the bright graphics are really appealing. I liked the fact that it was easy to filter by phase  and select groups of letters for her to practice. I had to promise to let her play again later.


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