"Unlocking the power of exceptional phonemic awareness, orthographic proficiency, and an enriched vocabulary accelerates our journey to a world of early reading pleasure."
Hard Copy Books, Interactive Library
We are Readies! Our focus is on reading for pleasure. 1,2,3 and Away!
Utilising 'Ortho-Graphix Tech'
Mapped Words: Code the Word, Show the Word, Know the Word
In the United Kingdom, systematic, synthetic phonics has been a mandatory part of the curriculum for Reception and Year 1 for more than a decade. However, despite this, the number of children struggling with reading remains stubbornly high, with approximately one in four children failing to reach the expected reading levels by the end of Year 6.
A significant shift has occurred, with less than half of UK children choosing to read at home, marking the lowest level in 18 years. As a strong proponent of a phonics-based approach to kick-start the journey of learning to read, I believe in establishing the crucial connection between speech sounds and written language. This approach fosters phonemic awareness and orthographic learning, as exemplified by the four 'Speech Sound Pics' Approach Code Levels and decodable readers. While children are exposed to the grapheme-to-phoneme correspondences assessed in the UK Phonics Screener, the way phonics is taught by Speech Sound Pics approach teachers and synthetic phonics teachers varies greatly.
This distinction holds great importance because the manner in which phonics is taught largely determines whether 'at-risk' children are identified and their specific learning needs are addressed. Typically, around 30% of children fall into this category upon entering Prep/Reception, facing challenges related to poor phonemic awareness and limited vocabulary. Regrettably, a lack of phonological awareness and orthographic knowledge is prevalent among teachers, which may explain their reliance on commercial phonics programs that offer a scripted approach, often without a deep understanding of how children learn to read and why so many don't. If educators were better informed, they might think twice about following these programs, given the varying degrees of alignment with both the science of reading and the science of learning. I talk about the teaching of phonics as a neurodivergent educator here!
It's a free webinar:-)
Having spent over a decade attempting to shift mindsets and improve phonics instruction in Australia, I have come to realize the formidable challenges involved in effecting change. My primary focus remains on the welfare of the children, and as such, it becomes imperative to look beyond these programs. We must separately ensure that children develop a robust vocabulary, acquire orthographic knowledge, and cultivate a genuine passion for reading. This is why I have secured the publishing rights to the One, Two, Three and Away! series. I firmly believe that we cannot achieve our goals without books that facilitate easy reading acquisition while also kindling an emotional connection. Children should not only be able to read but also be eager to continue reading each book.
I am well aware of the impact of quality early literacy materials, as my own mother - an exceptional early years teacher - used the Village with Three Corners series to send at least 95% of children into Year 1 as enthusiastic readers. I recall a time when traditional 'reading schemes' (of which this was included, even though markedly different to others around at the time and included phonics instruction) were falling out of favour, and I was encouraged (ordered) to simply "immerse the children in rich literacy". However, I chose to quietly employ the series, and the remarkable results, with over 95% of my students progressing as readers, astonished my new boss, who had not realized I had diverged from her directive. It became evident that I could not be an effective teacher if I had to conceal teaching methods I knew were more effective for my students. Consequently, I left to establish my first nursery school, where we consistently sent children to school with strong reading skills and were graded as 'outstanding' by OFSTED. I later became an OFSTED Inspector.
It's disheartening to see that many of the challenges I faced as a new graduate still persist today. How can this situation still be prevailing? But spending time trying to understand it was one of my issues!
So now I'm going around it:-)
As long as children are starting at the Yellow Code Level / Letters and Sounds Phase 3, within their phonics sessions, they can begin the Readies program. The Readies program does NOT include 'phonics instruction'; in fact the targeted 'orthographic learning' - utilised with Ortho-Graphix tech - centres around the correspondences NOT taught within synthetic phonics programs. If you aren't sure about the difference between phonics knowledge and orthographic knowledge please do attend training with PATOSS here!
It's user-friendly for everyone who loves kids and reading! Select teachers or TAs who are passionate readers themselves; they grasp the essence of 'deep reading' and are already 'readies.' Don't underestimate the importance of this. Ensure that those leading Readies sessions have a genuine love for reading and cherished childhood reading experiences. Ask about their favourite books, and watch for their eyes to light up. Those are the people who will take the Readies program and single-handedly improve your literacy levels - as children will WANT to read, will read at home. Once in the driving seat, choosing what they want to read...there is no stopping them! They will still 'skim' but as and when needed; their brains wired as 'readers' who experience cognitive patience.
That is HUGE!!!
Miss Emma X