Learning to Read

Where do our stories come from?

On many occasions, especially at conferences, teachers have said to us, “You have gone ahead and done what I always dreamed of doing!”  They describe how every lesson they write decodable stories for their pupils and thought what a good […]

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Teach high-frequency words like an incomplete puzzle

English is complex and we need to teach reading in a structured way from simple to complex.  Unfortunately, there is no avoiding high-frequency words with spellings the children haven’t learned yet because they are present in even the simplest of […]

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Spelling helps reading more than reading helps spelling

In my previous blog post I mentioned I was lucky enough to listen in to a much sought after webinar given by the Reading Ape.  Well, I came away with another rethink: “Spelling helps reading more than reading helps spelling,” […]

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Why sorting words is an important activity

I recently listened to the much anticipated webinar given by the Reading Ape.  (If you haven’t heard of the elusive Reading Ape, do check out the website which has fantastic research-based articles about reading.)  Anyway, the Reading Ape discussed the […]

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Build solid foundations for reading success

Now that kids are back in school, teachers must make sure that they have solid foundations for reading.  These foundations will ensure reading success throughout their education and beyond.  Who knows what exciting opportunities lay ahead for our young readers?  […]

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Scope and sequence – what does this mean?

All phonics programmes should have a ‘scope and sequence’ but what does this actually mean? ‘Scope’ means what you are teaching When teaching reading with systematic phonics, ‘scope’ means teaching the alphabetic code. English has 44 sounds and more than […]

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Do kids need to read decodable books to become fluent readers?

Decodable books build ‘reading muscle’ – another great post from Spelfabet. If you are wondering why kids need to read decodable books in order to become fluent readers – here is the answer! All adults can find listening to beginner […]

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Back to school – where to start with struggling readers

Many children will have failed to reach their reading attainment last year due to missing school and the inevitable patchy learning during periods of lock-down.  On top of that, we now have the ‘summer slump’ when pupils seem to have […]

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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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