Tag Archives: systematic synthetic phonics

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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Preparing for Battle: This is my Fight Song

Next week (Thursday 9th November) I will be giving evidence at a hearing in the Scottish Parliament on the petition that I submitted over the summer. Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to i) provide national guidance, support, and professional learning for teachers in research-informed reading instruction, specifically systematic synthetic phonics; […]

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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 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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Why Upstart is a Nonstarter

Upstart Scotland is actively campaigning to introduce a Nordic-style kindergarten system between the ages of three and seven, with learning being undertaken through ‘creative play’ rather than ‘formal’ learning. As a campaign that sits outwith Scottish education, I was shocked to see very full and positive coverage in the current issue of Teaching Scotland magazine. […]

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Tackling Inequality Through Teaching: A Letter to the Prime Minister by Dr Marlynne Grant

I am delighted to be able to post this letter from Dr Marlynne Grant, to the Prime Minister, on the subject of tackling inequality through education.   The Rt Hon Theresa May MP Prime Minister 10 Downing Street London SW1A 2AA Dear Prime Minister Tackling Inequality Through Teaching While the debate about grammar schools hits […]

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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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