Motivation comes first!

Catch up readers

Stanilas Dehaene, a leading neuroscientist, has researched how the brain learns. He has summarised his findings with the ‘Four pillars of learning’. The first pillar is attention. Without attention we can’t learn. We need to focus on what is being learned in order to absorb it. BUT – before attention – comes motivation. We need […]

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“Sound it out”

Reading decodable book

What do we mean by “sound it out” and what does it entail? When a child gets stuck on a word we often remind them to “sound it out”. As fluent readers, we assume this is very straightforward. We recognise these words automatically and skip all the stages that beginner readers need to go through […]

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Phonics is just part of the story…

I love the way Christopher Such writes about teaching reading, and if you haven’t read his book The Art and Science of Teaching Primary Reading – do.  I have found it is very accessible and really useful for busy teachers to keep up with recent research into reading instruction. What I like most about his […]

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Moon Dogs Extras – Independent Review

Md extras covers fans uk 790x900

Ann Sullivan of Phonics for Pupils with Special Educational Needs, is an experienced SEND teacher, who has created her own phonics programme specifically for SEND children.  This is what she has to say about our latest set of Books: Moon Dogs Extras for Catch-Up Readers. If there is one question I am asked more than […]

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What is the point of pointing?

Mother and Daughter reading

Often when I read with a pupil, I need to remind her/him (and myself) to point to the words.  As fluent readers we don’t point to words on the page, but sometimes if we come across a difficult or new word we are trying to work out – we will use our finger to work […]

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Exciting, engaging and relevant reading books

Another lovely review from a happy customer… “Phonic books provide an exciting, engaging, relevant and real reading opportunity for pupils at different stages of their reading journey. The books are carefully tailored to provide meaningful reading content that remains of high interest but matches the individual’s ability with just enough challenge to move reading forwards […]

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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 forgotten what they learned or do they just need a quick revision?  As kids return […]

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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 letters that represent the 44 sounds of English fluency – ability to read with pace, […]

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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 odd, but is has never occurred to me that the Year 1 Phonics Check is […]

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Why do older, struggling readers need age-appropriate books?

Older, struggling readers often have gaps in the their phonics knowledge and skills.  They find alternative spellings particularly confusing.  Many suffer from low self esteem so offering them decodable materials that are age-appropriate is vital.  Vital because if the reading materiasl can engage the disaffected reader, his/her motivation to try and read will grow.  Without […]

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