Category Archives: Literacy

World Book Day Reflective Reading Lesson Download!

As most of you will be busy planning exciting reading activities, extreme reading photo competitions, and dazzling fiction-related fancy dress costumes for World Book Day tomorrow, I thought I’d share a reading lesson to help alleviate the workload… This Reflective Reading lesson is all about World Book Day and analyses facts and opinions, ultimately asking […]

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TESS Article: Do I have to spell it out? Synthetic phonics works

The following article appears in this week’s copy of TES Scotland (8th December)   Do I have to spell it out? Synthetic phonics works Last month I gave evidence at the Scottish Parliament on my petition to improve literacy standards in schools through research-informed reading instruction. It calls for national guidance, support, and professional learning […]

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Reflective Reading Book

Reflective Reading: Engaging and Practical Ideas for Teaching Reading Comprehension in the Primary Classroom by Anne Glennie This long-awaited title finally publishes the Reflective Reading methodology in print form, which is used in many schools and authorities across Scotland. This book provides the ideal accompaniment to in-service training and also serves as a ‘teacher’s manual’ for […]

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I’d like to teach the world to read… but I’d settle for every child in Scotland.

You can feel it in the air. The end of term. Proms, prize-givings, leavers’ assemblies and celebrations for all that’s been achieved in another full-to-bursting academic year. As schools close their gates for the summer, many involved in Scottish education – the teachers in particular – will be glad to see the end of the […]

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A Journey to the Dark Side: from Phonics Phobic to Phonics Fanatic

A Journey to the Dark Side: from Phonics Phobic to Phonics Fanatic I am delighted to have a feature article published in the summer edition of the NATE Primary Matters magazine. It's quite a personal one, but it will hopefully provide some background for those who think I've always been a phonics fanatic… Indeed, it's […]

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The Library That Blew My Mind

During the Easter break, as part of my other day job, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. I had a fantastic two days at the fair, met lots of wonderful people, saw loads of fantastic children’s books, and ate the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted. I […]

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The Winner Takes It All

As 2016 drew to a close, Strictly Come Dancing, X Factor and The Apprentice all crowned new champions, as the losers clapped to hide their misery in the side-lines. In PISA, the biggest education tournament of them all, Scotland recorded its ‘worst scores ever’ in reading, maths and science. The news seemed to shock many, […]

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TESS article: When it comes to literacy, let’s start at page 1

Today Nicola Sturgeon officially launched the 'First Minister's Reading Challenge'. Here is an article that I wrote for TESS about the challenge. It was published in TESS on 1st April 2016. TESS article: When it comes to literacy, let's start at page 1 First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently launched a competition aimed at nurturing a lifelong love […]

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Education Scotland and the Mystery of the Shifty Document Swap

KIA Briefing 2: Early Reading Back in February, Education Scotland published this: A Knowledge Into Action resource for practitioners and education staff Briefing 2: Early Reading. I blogged about the document and how it was a small step in the right direction. And although the document was flawed in places, the importance of phonics in […]

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My Verdict: Education Scotland’s ‘Early Reading Briefing’

Well, it has been just over a year since I started writing angry letters to the Scottish Government and campaigning about the need for proper phonics teaching in the classroom and in teacher training in Scotland. So today gave me cause for a little, tiny celebration, when Education Scotland published some new guidance on the […]

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