FFT Wave 3 Programme for teachers and TAs

Fischer Family Trust Wave 3 (FFT Wave 3) is an early intervention for children in Year 1 who have difficulties learning to read and write.  FFT Wave 3 is aimed at children who are unable to access a scripted group intervention, but who do not have the depth of need that would require the support of a Reading Recovery programme. It is based on the pedagogy and practice of Reading Recovery.  The programme is included in the review of literacy intervention schemes compiled by Greg Brooks in ‘What Works for pupils with Literacy Difficulties’: 3rd Edition 2007


The aim with FFT Wave 3 is to accelerate learning so that each child makes enough progress in reading and writing in order to access a group intervention and/or continue to progress through whole class /group teaching.  At Year 1 the gap between a targeted child and the rest of the class will be relatively small, so it is easier to use an effective intervention to accelerate their learning in order to close the gap with their peers. FFT Wave 3 can be used with year groups other than Year 1, although texts will need to be adapted for different maturity levels. The programme contributes to a layered approach to interventions.

The programme in outline

• Designed for TAs working one-to-one with a Year 1 child
• Targets children who do not have the skills to access group programmes
• 15-20 minutes daily for 10-20 weeks
• A 2-day rolling programme (reading one day, writing the next)
• Delivered by an experienced Teaching Assistant who has attended the 3-day training

Structure of the FFT Wave 3 programme

Each child’s programme is based on the initial assessment.  It addresses skills and knowledge at word, sentence and text level.  Letter and Word work is always immediately applied to reading or writing continuous text.  The aim is for the child to develop a range of independent reading and writing strategies.

Day 1 Assessment Day

  1. Assessment procedures for early literacy
  2. Running records

Day 2  Reading Day

The child:

  1. Re-reads a familiar book (4-5 mins)
  2. Carries out 3 fast letter/word work activities (3 mins)
  3. Reads a new book following a book introduction (6-8 mins)
  4. Reconstructs a cut-up sentence taken from the book (2 mins)
  5. Learns a new word from the book (2 mins)

Day 3  Writing Day

The child:

  1. Re-reads yesterday’s book (4-5 mins) – weekly running record
  2. Revises word(s) learnt in the previous sessions (2 mins)
  3. Composes and writes a sentence based on a picture or stimulus from the book (8-9 mins)
  4. Learns a spelling from the writing (2 mins)
  5. Reconstructs a cut-up sentence from the writing (2 mins)

The training

FFT Wave 3 is a three-day training for both the Teacher and Teaching Assistant.  A file which accompanies the training can be purchased from FFT Literacy. 

Aims of training

  • To give adults a deeper understanding of the needs of children who find reading and writing difficult
  • To provide a structure for individual teaching
  • To promote inclusion by enhancing Quality First Teaching

Content of Training

Day 1 – Assessment procedures for early literacy including running records
Day 2 – The reading process
Day 3 – The writing process

There is a week to ten days between each training day to allow for consolidation of training.   Set tasks are part of the training.  Activities and approaches will also support Guided and Shared reading and writing.

Academic Accreditation is available for all staff involved in training, delivering or supporting the FFT Wave 3 programme through Edge Hill University. FEP also offer trainer accreditation which is a professional accreditation and means of quality assuring trainers working outside a local authority.  Please click on the trainer accreditation tab on the left hand menu.


The FFT Wave 3 programme has been recognised as an effective approach to boosting children’s reading and writing. A summary of impact and a detailed report based on research into the progress made by 255 children.

FFT Wave 3 Research

Click here for more information

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a registered charity that supports a range of UK-based education and health projects.

FFT Education Ltd is a company limited by guarantee 3685684.