Pass the KS1 PSC in weeks (not 2 years)
At least 85% of children are capable of passing the UK Phonics Screener Check before the end of their Reception Year, or earlier if using the ICRWY 30 Minute Routine at home. Most of our pre-schoolers start school able to pass this test and are reading independently before they turn 6. They LOVE Code Mapping.
This rapid rate of learning constrained skills (letter formation, phonemic awareness and phonics) is not possible for 85+% of children if being taught in a UK school using one of the DfE validated Synthetic Phonics programmes - unless the teacher is skilled enough to adapt it, and offer differentiation. The programmes are designed to be used with a whole class and small groups and rely on in-person teaching of each child in the group in the same way, at the same time. Such an approach to teaching beginning reading conflicts with the basic principles of differentiated instruction because it fails to recognise that the individual literary learning needs of children vary greatly depending on their specific levels of development across the set of reading component skills. Most commercial synthetic phonics programme developers also incorrectly assume that children can only acquire knowledge of letter-sound patterns through direct instruction in which the teaching of letter-sound correspondences is explicit and systematic. The result is that a huge percentage of children in the UK will not master these constrained skills quickly and easily in KS1, they will not reach the 'self-teaching' phase or read for pleasure before grade 2, and the gap between those children and others gets wider and wider. Over 25% will move into high school unable to read at grade level and keep up with the demands of the secondary school curriculum. Being failed in KS1 can be devastating to children - and is avoidable. Parents can help their children at home, even if they cannot themselves read or speak English, and tutors can use our routines and resources to fill the gaps.
Use the Code Level Texts in the ICRWY Lessons app, and download the free Code Level readers being created for the ICRWY Project! Use the Coding Poster video lesson. Order A3 Coding Poster (ideally the starter pack if not full teaching kit) and use the Fry home booklets from the SSP Shop, and the Fry video lesson in the app. Go to 30 Minutes a Day section
Learn the words with the video lesson and the booklet - the words are Code Mapped to show the 'Sound Pics' and the Speech Sound Monsters show the sounds that map to these graphemes.
SSP kids do this at home.
Use with the SSP Spelling Piano app at home or in class, separate to the 30 Minute Routine.
‘We are living in a digital world with technology transforming the way we live our lives – both at home and in the workplace. But we must never think about technology for its own sake. Technology is an enabler and an enhancer. For too long in education, technology has been seen as something that adds to a teacher’s workload rather than helps to ease’. (DfE 2019)
Increased accessibility to digital technologies in schools has meant that teachers have been provided with alternatives to teaching that have paved the way for possible changes to their pedagogical practices (Hedberg, 2011). Learning the most common grapheme to phoneme correspondences is considered a constrained skill (Pfost, Hattie, Dörfler, & Artelt, 2014) given the closed, correct-or-incorrect nature of this knowledge. This knowledge of the alphabetic code is critical in the development of reading and spelling.
Digital technologies can therefore be used in reception classrooms to facilitate self-directed learning of lower order, “closed” knowledge; a practice that frees teachers to not only more easily track individual learning of target grapheme recognition and blending skills, but to spend time with individual children who might otherwise not get the 1:1 attention they need.
Research results and teaching practice indicate that the best instruction is explicit, systematic, sequential, active, and engaging. Effective teaching emphasizes discovery and understanding and is aided by frequent opportunities to practise spelling, writing, and reading skills in meaningful contexts. The technology we are implementing offers this to the children, with the teacher taking on a supervisory role, able to step back and observe the learning journey of each child. Traditional drill and practice is an effective avenue through which to acquire and retain closed knowledge in memory (Joseph, Eveleigh, Konrad, Neef, & Volpe, 2012; Musti-Rao, Lo, & Plati, 2014.
Start at home 6 months before they start KS1
Spencer, who was in our 2020 pilot (he had just turned 4) explored the nonsense word 'sut' from one of the PSC papers, about 6 months before he started school. Spencer's Mummy had initially looked at the Speech Sound Pics Approach in Australia to better support his speech, language and communication needs. His speech pathologist was highly supportive of the ICRWY project pilot. Numerous school-based speech therapists are now using the Speech Sound Monsters to support children with SLCN You can watch his journey here.
SLCN is the most common Special Educational Need (SEN) identified by primary schools (26.5%2 ) and is a feature of many other areas of SEN, such as hearing impairment, learning difficulties and autistic spectrum difficulties. SLCN is also the most common childhood disability: 10% of all children have SLCN as a long-term need. Evidence also shows that in areas of social deprivation 50% of children may enter school with delayed language. SLCN affects educational outcomes including literacy; there is a direct link between SLCN and literacy. This is in terms of difficulties with speech sounds and phonemic awareness skills as well as broader language difficulties, particularly weaknesses in vocabulary knowledge and grammatical skills, which may put children at risk of reading comprehension difficulties. By using the ICRWY project activities, for example, the 30 minute a day routine, the phonemic awareness deficits are overcome, they develop the essential phonics skills needed to 'kick-start' the learning process, and there is less working memory being used up trying to figure out single words - they can decode with fluency, and focus on comprehension. Our teachers use the Speech Six Spelling activities and LinguaLit.