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

Inclusion – deep, wide and welcoming

This is a post about inclusion in schools, not just the inclusion of policy documents but the inclusion of real-life school, the inclusion that states explicitly, “you belong here regardless of how hard you find this”. At the start of each That Reading Thing training, participants read the following: 1. What did Cal tell that big man at the pub? He was mad! 2. Bliss is in the galaxy of Blob. When you reach Blob, you have to stop at … Read More

Traditional or Progressive? A new narrative

Following is a post I wrote way back in 2007. I’m re-publishing because the right/left polarisation of education keeps cropping up. It’s appalling to think that teachers will reject a useful educational tool because it is perceived as “right wing”. It’s a tool – not a political statement. Let’s create a new narrative of literacy. I’ve edited a little for this 2020 version. August 2007 Over on the Reading Reform Foundation site, there’s been a discussion, in part, about what … Read More

An alternative to scripted teaching

Direct Instruction, the umbrella under which scripted teaching sits, is set up as the antidote to Discovery Learning, the Traditional answer to Progressivism, the Behaviourist reply to Constructivism. What one side has done for the word “phonics”, the other has done for the word “script” but, at the risk of coming across all 1990s, there is a Third Way and we’ve been walking that alternative path with all sorts of educators for many successful years. I think we’ll call it … Read More

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