PATOSS Review of Dandelion Readers

The November issue of the Patoss Bulletin contained a great review of the Dandelion readers – written by Kate van den Ende
who is a SENCO and Specialist Teacher. Here is what she said:

” Synthetic Phonics and the Letter and Sounds programme were introduced into schools with the intention that ‘by the end of Key Stage 1, children (will) have developed fluent word reading skiils and have a good foundation in spelling and letter writing.’ At our primary school, we felt that our children needed a systematic, phonic based reading scheme to support practise and embed their learning. If possible, we wanted to buy a scheme which gave exxtra support to any KS2 children who had not yet reached the DCSF’s laudable but ambitious aim.

Being asked to trail Dandelion Readers (published by www.phonicbooks.co.uk) for PATOSS gave us the opportunity to start the hunt for a suitable scheme. Dandelion Readers are written by experienced practioners, who carefully and humourously ‘introduce phonic concepts sequentially in a structured way.’ (The books we used related to Phases 2-5 of Letters and Sounds but Phonic Books now produce sets of books offering extra support at Phase 2 and sets for older readers who have gaps in their phonic knowledge.)

We chose a target group of 4 children from Year 2 and worked with them every week for around 40 minutes, focussing on a new book and its phonic patterns each time. The children engaged with the books immediately and rapidly improved their reading skills and, importantly, their confidence and approach to reading. They particularly enjoyed the photo montage illustrations and the development of the characters. There are games in the back of each book which provide excellent follow up work for the children in guided reading time and as homework.

On a less formal basis, the year 2 class then examined books from 2 other phonic-based schemes. THey disucssed the schemes with their teachers and were clear that Dandelion Readers were the best for them. Surely the most valid recommendation available! So all we need to do now is persuade the PTA to fund our buying the scheme”

We were please to hear that they did get the funding!!  PATOSS will be reviewing the Talisman Series in the next edition of the Bulletin. We will keep you posted.

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