Bug Club Phonics support resources

Support resources for teachers and pupils

Learners and teachers are at the heart of everything we do at Pearson, and we are committed to helping and supporting schools. We have collated a variety of information and resources for both teachers and pupils to help support teaching and learning.

1. General questions on Bug Club Phonics

Yes, Bug Club Phonics was validated by the DfE in July 2021.

Being validated means that a systematic synthetic phonics programme has been judged by an independent panel to meet all of the Department for Education’s core criteria for an effective systematic synthetic phonics programme.

It also means Bug Club Phonics is eligible for English Hubs funding and Recovery Funding. Speak to one of our sales consultants to find out more.

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. Bug Club Phonics also has content for Nursery.

Bug Club Phonics uses its own progression based on the progression proven to work in the Clackmannanshire Study conducted by Rhona Johnston (MBE) and Joyce Watson.

If your school is used to using Letters and Sounds 2007 (PDF | 8.01MB), Bug Club Phonics offers you an affordable and easy-to-use programme with a similar progression to Letters and Sounds 2007, with the added benefit of a clearly structured route through Phase 5 that enables all children to make good progress, quickly.

Key points about Bug Club Phonics’ progression:

  • early introduction of simple plurals and the ‘s’ forms of verbs offers a richer reading experience early on
  • adjacent consonants can be included from early on or reserved until Phase 4
  • Phase 5 alternatives are weaved together.

Take a look at Bug Club Phonics’ progression chart (PDF | 1.81MB) which shows how the GPCs and tricky words are introduced.

And if you're looking for more reading books aligned to the Bug Club Phonics progression, our Bug Club books follow the same progression offering you confidence that you’re assigning further reading practice at the right level for your pupils. Explore the Bug Club Family.

The authors of Bug Club Phonics, Rhona Johnston (MBE) and Joyce Watson, were also the authors of the seven-year Clackmannanshire study that proved systematic synthetic phonics to be the most effective way to teach children to read. Bug Club Phonics offers a fully resourced systematic synthetic phonics programme based on a proven progression.

"This progression, and the method, follows what our research has shown to be very effective in rapidly developing independent reading skill in children." Rhona Johnston (MBE)

Take a look at the Clackmannanshire Report and its impact.

Bug Club Phonics was also analysed as part of the Bug Club UCL Institute of Education (IOE) randomised control trial which showed pupils were 11 months ahead of their expected age equivalent reading score after 5 terms of use, as measured against Cambridge University Press and Assessment’s InCAS standardised reading assessment. Take a look at the full report. (PDF | 525KB)

Bug Club Phonics and Bug Club are designed to work together to help your school achieve the following:

  • increase learner access, in that pupils can access Bug Club materials in print and online, and at home, as well as at school
  • increase positive pupil behaviours toward reading, including enjoyment, engagement and independence
  • increase achievement for all pupils, regardless of first language, gender or socio-economic factors
  • secure learner progression, ensuring that pupils are ready for the next reading phase.

If you’re interested in combining the DfE-validated Bug Club Phonics systematic synthetic phonics programme and the wider library of Bug Club books, speak to us today.

To find out all about how Bug Club Phonics links to Scotland's Interventions for Equity Framework, download this handy PDF (247KB).

2. Bug Club Phonics support resources

Your guide to Bug Club Phonics and the new Ofsted Framework.

Find out how we meet Ofsted's requirements [PDF 156 KB]

Bug Club is now bigger and better than ever! We want all children to be able to develop a lifelong love of reading, and to feel that our books are for them, whatever their ability, background or identity.

Explore our new Bug Club resources

A sample lesson plan from the Bug Club Phonics programme.

Bug Club Phonics sample lesson plan [PDF 0.8MB]

To make it much easier for schools teaching with Little Wandle to confidently pick up and go with our new readers... we’ve created new Little Wandle matching packs! With these exciting new packs, you can have full confidence that the books you’ve chosen align to your pupils’ current phonics phase.

See which books are included in each of our packs and which Little Wandle Phonics phase and set each book maps to.

Little Wandle matching packs


3. The Reading Framework

We have taken a look at each section of The Reading Framework to help schools and trusts to meet the laid out requirements. There are videos and supporting documents to help schools evaluate their current reading provision, aligned with statutory guidance and Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework. 

Find out more

4. Phonics Screening Check

Want to see more?

Explore Bug Club Phonics for yourself with a free trial of ActiveLearn Primary.

Request a call

We’re here to support you with the next steps in accessing funding. Complete a short form to request an Accelerator Fund advice appointment and one of our consultants will be in touch.