Learning to Read

What’s going on with ‘Letters and Sounds’?

The Department for Education has announced that is it ‘retiring’ the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme which was published in 2007.   In its place, it is asking publishers to submit their phonics programmes for revalidation.  Initially, the DfE planned to update […]

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What is phonemic awareness and why we should teach it

We know that phonological awareness is one of the  6 components of learning to read: phonological awareness – being able to identify sounds in words which includes, syllables, rhyme, alliteration and phonemes. phonics – to recognise letters and combination of […]

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How to teach blending

I have recently listened to two podcasts about working memory and they’ve made me think how we teach reading, specifically, how we help children with blending sounds into words: Evidence Based Education Podcast – Trialled and Tested: Working Memory: https://evidencebased.education/working-memory/ […]

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How to teach using our Dragon Eggs Series

See our Dragon Eggs series in action! An exemplary example of teaching with our Dragon Eggs Series… Observe how the reader practises decoding, but also encounters new words that develop vocabulary. Note the exemplary teaching: how the teacher makes sure […]

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Decodable reading quest books for building fluency

The Dragon Eggs Series is a set of 10 decodable books that combine revision of those tricky vowel digraphs and an exciting, beautifully-illustrated quest with dragons in it! Designed to engage children and secure their Alphabetic Code knowledge and reading […]

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Why the Phonics Check is not just for Year 1

I recently had a Zoom meeting with a Year 6 teacher who discussed how a number of his pupils were struggling with reading and he said he was using the Year 1 phonics check to assess them.  This may seem […]

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What is a schwa sound?

What is a schwa sound? And – did you know it is the most common sound in the English language? A schwa sound is a weak vowel sound in an unstressed syllable.  Here is an explanation: Most multi-syllabic words in […]

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Decodable Books – What’s the Point?

I read this post and thought it was really worth reposting.  It explains in simple and sympathetic language why decodable books have an important role to play in learning to read.  New Zealand has been slow in adopting Systematic Synthetic […]

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How decodable texts contribute to reading fluency and comprehension

Reading fluency is a precondition for reading comprehension. If the reader is not fluent he/she will struggle to put the words together in a sentence and make meaning of it. When short term memory is taken up by working out […]

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Whole word reading vs decoding – why does it matter?

Many schools are moving away from teaching children to recognise whole words to teaching them how to decode. It is important for anyone reading with children, or teaching them to read to understand why this is so significant. The approach […]

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