Phonics: when singer rhymes with finger

I love conversations about how people pronounce words differently and knew I was onto an entertaining twitter thread when I saw a few responses to this tweet. However, reading through the thread made me feel more and more depressed about how people view phonics.  Almost every comment was about whether the girls were wrong or right rather than how we can use what they know to improve their reading and spelling. So here’s my (way too long for Twitter) response. … Read More

Post-16 Phonics in the youth justice system

I’ll be reposting some relevant blog items in light of the launch of post-16 phonics for functional skills in England. Phonics in this context often involves a lot of “unlocking” knowledge the learner already possesses but doesn’t know how to use. Sometimes they need to get past their anger and shame over past school experiences. Here’s one such young person. **************** Why would you work on reading with a young offender? There are plenty of reasons not to. Being in … Read More

Literacy Conversation – start with spelling

What shared language do you use with your students to talk about a word they’re struggling to spell or read? We’re limiting this post to four terms: sound & spelling phoneme & grapheme Because of changes to the curriculum, your students might need phoneme and grapheme. However, I prefer to start with the familiar because older students who’ve struggled with reading and spelling in the past can feel anxious about learning terminology and recalling terms can waste precious memory in … Read More

Do you have ‘Literacy Conversations’?

That Reading Thing is still our gold standard one-to-one programme for older struggling readers who need a boost before they feel confident enough to engage in more formal lessons in a group or classroom. That Spelling Thing is much less prescriptive and is home almost anywhere as long as students (of any age) are beyond the emergent reader level. When you combine the two you have a whole school vision for improving literacy across the curriculum. What is a ‘literacy … Read More

Guest Blog: Post-16 Phonics Changed my Life

posted in: Secondary literacy

This is a guest blog from Jo Byrne a member of the marvelous Claire Collins team. It’s beautiful, funny and wise in it’s own right, but maybe someone else will recognise themself and book their own appointment. Over to Jo:   Way back in July 2018 I embarked on a project with Claire Collins Consultancy Ltd and the UCL Institute of Education to design and pilot phonics approaches for post-16 learners (see Bit.ly/Post16Phonics). We had a cross team residential to … Read More

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