trugs follows Government guidelines on systematic synthetic phonics.


he DfE wishes to offer schools and early years settings support in choosing effective systematic synthetic phonics teaching materials. To assist in providing this, the Department has published revised core criteria that define the key features of an effective systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme.

trugs does meet the Government’s Core Criteria as a systematic synthetic phonics resource having completed the following self assessment.

How can I teach my child to read and enjoy the time together?


trugs is a system based on a synthetic phonics structure to allow anyone, who can themselves read, to help a child/student to progress their level of reading.

The trugs card games are deliberately designed with children and students in mind – in other words there is no mention of phonics, or letter clusters in the actual card games. The supportive literature gives all the details necessary, keeping the card games as an enjoyable way to practise the phonics being taught.

The card games are fun and competitive, with lots of laughter, they hardly notice the reading element - that’s why trugs works and that’s why children want to come back for more.

Every time they are playing they are decoding words in order to win. The stages are carefully graded to ensure easy progress and success.

About - Joanna Jeffery, MA(Ed), Cert Ed, Dip (Dys), AMBDA


Joanna is a qualified teacher with 35 years experience. During her career she had various posts within Primary and Secondary Schools, either whole-class teaching or as a head of dept and specialist one to one teacher. She has been a course co-ordinator for four-day dyslexia courses, has delivered training within schools, colleges of Further Education and Universities. She has an MA in Education, two Diplomas, one in Primary/Secondary development and one in dyslexia. Up until August 2011 she was the Principal of Dyslexia Access, a tuition and assessment centre in Devon. She is an Associate Member of the British Dyslexia Association and a full member of Dyslexia Action and PATOSS

Joanna became a phonics specialist and an advocator of systematic synthetic phonics through her desire to discover the best way to teach children to read. She quickly realised that children and students want to enjoy the process of learning to read. So she combined the professional side of learning to decode print with the fun side of playing card games and as a result created trugs – teach reading using games

Does trugs follow Government guidelines on systematic synthetic phonics?


The DfE wishes to offer schools and early years settings support in choosing effective systematic synthetic phonics teaching materials. To assist in providing this, the Department has published revised core criteria that define the key features of an effective systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme.

trugs does meet the Government’s Core Criteria as a systematic synthetic phonics resource having completed the following selfassessment.

What is trugs?


trugs (for teachers), trugs at home (for parents) is a systematic synthetic phonics group of resources to enable anyone, who can themselves read, to help a child/student to progress their level of reading/spelling. The structured decodable card games combines the professional phonics side of learning to decode print with the fun side of playing card games in a hugely, effective and engaging way. The pupils will be succeeding in a manner that captures their enthusiasm and achieves incidental learning.

By reading the words within the four decodable card games at the selected Stage pupils are able to practise reading by sounding out the phonemes in a word from left to right and blending them together all through the word until they can read the word automatically. The trugs resource gives them an enjoyable and successful way to reinforce and consolidate the knowledge of their letter-sound correspondences.

It is important to realise that these are reversible games. So where the games can be used as reading games, they can also be used as spelling games, reminding them that spelling is the reverse of reading. For reading we look at a written word and blend sounds; for spelling we listen to a spoken word and segment it to identify the sounds.

By using trugs you can practise, reinforce and consolidate reading and spelling, safe in the knowledge that by playing the games and having fun, the most effective teaching methods are being followed.

What is the trugs Structure?


The trugs structure is divided into 15 stages and within those stages there are only those words relevant to that specific stage as follows:

Stage 0

  • Introducing
  • 16 letter sounds:
  • /s/a/t/p/ /i/n/m/d/
  • /g/o/c/k/ /ck/e/u/r/

Box 1

  • Stage 1 cvc – sat yes big fox hug
  • Stage 2 ccvc – pram shall trip snack
  • Stage 3 cvcc and ccvcc – left best crash drank
  • Stage 4 two syllable words – magnet instruct
  • Stage 5 ‘ar’ - ‘or’ - ‘er’ – car port her stir churn

Box 2

  • Stage 6 split digraph (vowel - consonant-e) make these fine code tuneful
  • Stage 7 vowel digraphs and trigraphs – snail seen light boat statue
  • Stage 8 alternative vowel digraphs – boy out paw
  • Stage 9 two syllable words – limit pilot
  • Stage 10 three syllable words – consider discontent

Box 3

  • Stage 11 ‘c’ as in /s/ – mice pencil succeed
  • Stage 12 ‘g’ as in /j/ – gem page rigid
  • Stage 13 consonant-le – candle sensible
  • Stage 14 four syllable words – independent
  • Stage 15 suffixes with ‘ti’ ‘ci’ ‘si’ – electrician

TW1 and TW2

  • High Frequency Words

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