The same teachers when equipped with the right kind of guidance and a fit-for-purpose body of work for teaching and learning make remarkable differences in short periods of time.
9th February 2017
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My PowerPoint presentation delivered at the researchED/OUP English & MFL conference, April 2017: “What’s ‘holding back’ research-informed foundational literacy from reaching all teachers and learners?”

I was very pleased to be invited to speak again at another researchED conference (jointly hosted by Oxford University Press) featuring English and Modern Foreign Languages. Thank you Tom Bennett, founder of researchED, for my invitation!

Here are the guests who spoke at this conference.

Here is the topic of my talkWhat’s ‘holding back’ research-informed foundational literacy from reaching all teachers and learners?

I used this opportunity to raise awareness about the parlous state of general knowledge, teacher knowledge and teaching provision for reading instruction – such that it still remains ‘chance’ as to the content and way in which children are taught to read. This is simply not acceptable with ample research-findings on reading instruction, and leading-edge practice, to ensure virtually every child is taught to read. In England in 2016, for example, teachers in 1,138 schools taught 95% to 100% of their children to reach or exceed the benchmark of 32 out of 40 words read correctly or plausibly (in the case of the 20 pseudo-words) in the statutory Year One Phonics Screening Check. All teachers need to aspire to this 100% figure if we are to truly address illiteracy and weak literacy in English-speaking contexts.

I designed my PowerPoint presentation to be understandable (hopefully) if viewed without any additional ongoing explanation as I always planned to add it to my blog. You will see via my PowerPoint that influential organisations continue to be culpable for providing guidance which is not based on the findings of a body of research nor leading-edge practice – guidance that can be very damaging to at least some children (particularly those with the greatest challenges for learning to read) – and that this is a very worrying scenario.

In other words, teachers continue to get very mixed messages from various sources – therefore they are unlikely to be able to evaluate their provision well enough – nor understand how it is they can teach so hard and yet not reach the standards of other teachers.

Here it is:


For better quality or flexibility of use, you can click here to download the actual PowerPoint – and if anyone would find it helpful, you are very welcome to use it of course.
I was unable to stay for the whole day – my apologies – but it was good to be able to meet some old friends, to make new friends and to meet face-to-face for the first time, Dianne and James Murphy who have an excellent blog and who also spoke at the event. They have made their PowerPoints available here. Please note that I have given the Murphy’s site via the International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction forum in case I am able to add more PowerPoint presentations from other speakers at the event to the same thread.
I provided those people attending my talk with a hard copy tabletop Alphabetic Code Chart similar to this.
And I also provided them with a pdf of my ‘Simple View of Schools Phonics Provision‘ based on my observations.
Since delivering my talk, I’ve actually added an extra slide with mention of two articles I wrote for SEN magazine. Although I provide links via the slides, here are the links to these two articles:
You can also find more of my articles at the bottom of the homepage of this site.
I’m also adding Dr Kerry Hempenstall’s ‘The Three Cueing Model: Down for the Count?’ piece with reference to people’s beliefs perpetuating the multi-cueing word-guessing strategies that can be so damaging to children’s reading profiles.