Ruth’s Blog: S-A-L-E-S: Strategies to increase children’s love of reading

There is considerable research on the strategies advertisers use to persuade people to buy things. We’ll look at some of the common persuasive strategies that work on us and consider whether we might use similar ones to encourage children to read.  We’ll use the acronym SALES to guide us through five suggested strategies.  S is […]

Ruth’s Blog: How to build the best book corners at Key Stage 1 

Bang for our book  In building the best book corner, focus on the things that will make the biggest difference. Imagine you have a clean slate, an empty classroom. Let’s get bang for our book. Do the things that will truly make a difference and stop doing the things that will not. Every book that […]

Ruth’s Blog: Understanding the impact of book banding on children’s love of reading 

Decodable books  Decodable books are necessary for children who are learning to read because they should read books that match the sounds they already know. To make steady, confident progress in decoding, they need to build cumulatively and systematically on their earlier learning. Decodable books, therefore, are specifically organised to match the order of the […]

Ruth’s Blog: Live the story

As a teacher, in the days when we listened to individual children read, I’d often say, ‘Try to put a bit of expression in your voice.’ But, in fact, what I wanted was for the child to bring the story alive through their reading, to show me that they understood it. If we want children […]

Ruth’s Blog: Readers can control their learning

Let’s say that you’re preparing a lesson on Caesar’s invasions of Britain. Maybe you don’t know much about them, so you read around the subject, pick out bits that might be helpful, make notes.You decide to prepare a narrative about the secret expedition to Britain before the invasion. You check out the vocabulary your class […]

Ruth’s Blog: The explanation effect

I’ve just listened to a podcast about UPFs. I say to my partner, you’ve got to stop eating ultra-processed foods. They’re hijacking your hormones. They’re bad for your gut… and then, I stumble. (I thought I’d remembered.) I listen to the podcast again. I order Chris Van Tulleken’s book, Ultra Processed People. I make notes. And then… […]

Ruth’s Blog: FRED’S PAL – Ofsted acronym

Is FRED’S PAL strong?This might help you remember what inspectors will be looking for! Fidelity to an SSP programme, from sounds to fluencyReception – make a strong startExpertise – build a strong team to teach phonics and early readingDecodable books – carefully matched to children’s phonic knowledgeStories – the bestProgress of lowest 20% – strongandLeaders […]

Ruth’s Blog: Don’t take the ‘write’ out of Read Write Inc. Phonics

I wrote Read Write Inc. Phonics to teach reading and writing. I wove the teaching of reading and writing together into one programme: each reading activity supports the next, each writing activity builds upon the one before. The reading and writing activities intertwine to make Read Write Inc. greater than the sum of its parts. In Read Write Inc. schools, teachers teach their […]

Ruth’s Blog: Headteachers who book Development Days are ahead of the game

My obsession with the teaching of reading grew out of failure. In the 1980s, I switched to a reading method that backfired. Never again. Over the next 10 years, my obsession intensified: I wanted to find the quickest way to teach children to read and write, and to show that children from Tower Hamlets could […]

Guest Blog: Speech sounds – when to be concerned

By Nicola Grove, Honorary Senior Lecturer at University of Kent and Sarah Barnett, Independent Speech and Language Therapist in Somerset We express our ideas to each other through speech. It’s a complex process that takes time. Children develop their ability to articulate sounds and coordinate sequences of sounds into longer words until they are over […]