Laura Bessant


Laura is an experienced leader of literacy and phonics specialist. She has led the implementation of a systematic synthetic phonics programme, training both teaching and support staff in the delivery of phonics. Laura is keen to support schools to ensure that all pupils have access to high quality phonics teaching.

I am a Year 1 teacher, KS1 lead and phonics and English lead at Hodnet Primary School.

Having taught in a wide variety of schools in Northumberland, Bristol and Shropshire for over 17 years, I have developed a passion for the teaching of reading and writing. Whilst teaching in Bristol, I was fortunate enough to work with Pie Corbett on a Talk for Writing project with a cluster of local schools. This really sparked my interest in the teaching of writing. I then went on to implement Talk for Writing in my next two schools and have delivered training to a local cluster of schools.

With the publication of the Reading Framework in 2021, the importance of high quality phonics teaching was really brought to the fore. As phonics lead, I implemented our chosen SSP. This involved training of both teaching and support staff in both the fundamentals of phonics and in our chosen scheme. I also had to ensure that all of our reading books were decodable and closely matched to the scheme. I implemented Phonics Tracker as our assessment tool which ensures that our phonics teaching is tightly matched to the needs of our pupils. As a result, phonics teaching is now consistently of an excellent standard and our Year 1 PSC data has improved.

I have recently completed the NPQLL which has allowed me to further develop the knowledge, skills and expertise to effectively lead literacy and support pupils’ reading and writing at all stages. I am keen to support schools with the teaching of phonics in order to ensure that all pupils in the Trust are equipped with skills as readers to allow them to succeed in all curriculum areas.