Debbie Hepplewhite recommends what she calls ‘incidental’ teaching of phonics during other aspects of literacy work. She says, here:
Teach a planned, systematic synthetic phonics programme and, in addition, adopt a rigorous approach to incidental phonics teaching – RATIONALE:
Incidental teaching is ESSENTIAL. Systematic programmes take a long time to deliver because there is a lot of alphabetic code to teach explicitly! Children cannot ‘wait’ to learn about a ‘full’ alphabetic code until it happens to occur in the planned programme. Teachers and learners need to be proactive and ambitious and teach incidentally to supplement the structured programme for reading and spelling skills!
Incidental phonics teaching should occur as the need arises naturally and where it is common sense. This may well be on a daily basis or several times a day including whenever children are asked to read aloud.
Incidental teaching should be a feature of general class teaching. It significantly increases and accelerates knowledge of the alphabetic code and personalises the teaching, addresses differentiation and provides constant revision.
This time I only have one question: to what extent does this approach match the experiences people have had of the teaching of reading via Systematic Synthetic Phonics in schools?