Dramatic Progress in Literacy  Phonics Programme (DPiL Phonics ) is an outstanding DFE verified Systematic Synthetic Phonics Programme (SSP). 

Dramatic Progress in Literacy is a successful, internationally used, education consultancy for primary schools. The inclusive curriculum covers EYFS to Year 6. It both supports teachers to be the best they can be and enables children at all levels to access their potential.  DPiL is a relentless systematic approach in reading and writing (including a progressive grammar and punctuation framework that is embedded in the planning sequences, a systematic editing system and a discrete spelling programme for Y2-Y6). Children make accelerated progress. DPiL creates learning opportunities that are inclusive, fun, and anti-oppressive in their approach.

“The DPiL programme has totally transformed how we teach writing...”

Jo James, Headteacher, Redriff Primary (South London)

It was first founded in 2011 following on from five years of developing the Dramatic Progress in Literacy Curriculum within a local authority and came out of two action research projects: ‘Every child a Writer’ and the ‘Black Children’s Achievement Project’, where English is taught through a quality text, but with drama at its core to support understanding, using vocabulary, planning and writing.

Dramatic Progress in Literacy Phonics is a phonics programme, currently awaiting approval by the Department of Education. This is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme, which has recently been rated as ‘Outstanding’ in a whole school ‘Deep dive into phonics and reading’ (Blean Primary School (Kent), March 22). Please see the phonics pages for more information regarding this programme.

“Nina Birch's DPiL training has without question brought dramatic improvements to the quality of teaching.”

Jo Ryan, Headteacher, Judith Kerr Primary (South London)

About Nina Birch


Nina has over thirty years of experience in teaching in primary, secondary and special education.  This includes being a classroom teacher, a subject specialist, an Assistant Headteacher, and a Local Authority Consultant. She has an MA in Arts Education (Drama). She believes all children have the right to achieve their academic and social potential. She also believes all teachers have the right to the best support, structures and interventions to enable them to make this happen.

Nina is a renowned international trainer, who has developed successful whole curriculum programmes that have enabled children to achieve sustained strong progress and for schools to achieve an outstanding Ofsted grading.  Most recently, Blean Primary School (Kent) achieved an Ofsted grading of outstanding in a deep dive into phonics and reading using her DPiL Phonics programme (March 2022).

Nina’s approach is to balance both imagination and rigour in improving outcomes for children and schools.  Dramatic Progress in Literacy offers teachers systematic scaffolding, planning and resources for phonics, reading and writing across the curriculum. This approach drives a relentless focus on improvement in standards, with the use of drama techniques that are exciting, engaging and fun for children to make accelerated progress.