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

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. This little post seeks to clarify how we use the term, ‘script’ and assure you (at the risk of coming over all 1990s) that there is a 3rd Way when it comes to literacy lessons. I think we’ll call it Directly Indirect Scripted Discovery Learning. Suggestions for pithier titles are welcome.   Here’s what we don’t mean … Read More

Correcting b/d Reversal

The tendency to reverse b and d is a huge embarrassment for older students who struggle to get the mirror image letters straight. On dyslexia discussion boards, the question keeps coming up, “How do we help our dyslexic students stop reversing b and d?” Letter and number reversal is something that tripped me up for years and I have evidence still in a scrapbook which I started at the age of 6 or 7. (Apologies to middle aged Canadians who … Read More

Spelling words with ough

This is a slightly modified excerpt from That Spelling Thing, a book of spelling strategies for the classroom, offering an alternative to look/say/cover/write/check. It’s written for teachers of any subject from middle primary to adult education and doesn’t require any literacy expertise. However, I’m assured there’s lots of content for teachers who are already teaching spelling. Buy the book – takes you to thatspellingthing.com. Bundling by tricky code <ough> isn’t a common grapheme but it occurs in very common words … Read More

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