Articles on: Literacy

Do you present full lists or split/half lists (half/half lists)?

The Structured Synthetic Phonics Time-Savers Resources have multiple list options for each phonic concept. Some are a single concept, and others have 2 concepts (half/half lists) or even 3 concepts (third/third/third lists).

More options than just one list have been provided for each phonic concept. This allows teachers some flexibility in selecting lists, which target the specific needs of students within their class, as well as catering to the wide range in ability that may be present within a classroom. The expectation is not that every list will be used within a year of teaching, but rather that options are available to reduce the planning load so teachers can meet the needs of students within their class.

In what circumstances would one utilise full lists?
If students are age appropriate and you are following the Teaching Sequence Manual, specific lists are outlined here. Typically, a new concept is taught in isolation in a singular list, and concepts for review are found in half/half lists.
You may choose to change these lists to suit your students. For example, if English is not a first language, you may need to select words consisting of simple vocabulary, or if students are older but needing early phonic concepts, you may choose lists with a more advanced vocabulary.
One phonic concept, differing levels of vocabulary
Why might I use half/half lists?
Instead of establishing 4 or 5 teaching groups, PLD recommends combination groups.
In classes working in Stage 1, a group could be made by merging two targets. i.e. Stage 1, Target 2 & 4 as shown below.

To assist, the Timesavers Stages 3/4 and 5/6 book provide prepared combination lists. Hence, rather than having a Stage 3 a Stage 4, a Stage 5 and a Stage 6 group, these could be merged and split lists used. See example below.

In what other circumstances would one utilise half/half lists?
If there are students who require ongoing revision and consolidation, it is recommended that teachers focus upon a proportion of new words/concepts, but also present concepts covered in previous weeks.
If students have the ability to acquire phonic concepts at a faster rate, they may require the presentation of two phonic concepts simultaneously.

What if I cannot find the split/half list that I desire?
If there is no pre-made split list that suits your requirements, feel free to make what you need by copying and pasting from the the lists to create your specific combination.

For more information on the Time-Savers lists:
Do I present the lists in numerical order?
How are the phonic lists colour coded?
3 Groups/Levels of phonic based list words and 2 levels of dictation?

Updated on: 18/09/2023

Was this article helpful?

Share your feedback


Thank you!