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Welcome to my latest newsletter. I'd love to hear what you think – get in touch here

Portal films

Are you using our portal films?

We have a series of teaching films for you to watch in your weekly practice sessions and on your phone at home. Please don’t miss out on these.

This is the best way to keep up-to-date with my latest ideas to help your children progress more quickly.

(Plus, they're free for schools booking Development Days.)

Low accuracy means no fluency

Do you have children ‘stuck’ at Yellow storybooks because their reading isn’t speedy enough to progress to Blue books?

If so, it is likely you need to do more work on Day 1 activities.

Every group has ‘coat-tail’ children: they ride on the coat-tails of others who put in the effort. Coat-tail children read a millisecond behind the others and are hard to spot! So, let’s get all children working harder when they read new Story Green Words.

Story Green Words for Yellow, Blue and Grey storybooks

1. Energise the whole group:
  • Check all children are sitting in the ‘V to see’ and can see the words easily.
  • Introduce ‘magnet eyes’: children should sit up and look intently into your eyes.
  • Explain that you are going to challenge them to read the words – they are going to work very hard indeed.
2. Select two suspected coat-tail children for your ‘spotlight’. This is the prime position, sitting at the front of the carpet: they can see your cards and you can see them read the words.

3. Start hard: select the hardest Story Green Words first (root words and suffixes/multi-syllabic words and trickier single syllable words).

4. Ask children to read each word using ‘Fred in your head’.

5. Watch one ‘spotlight’ child as they do this. Only push the card forward when you think they can read it.

6. Praise all children for working hard to read the word – but give a special nod/wink to the spotlight child, if successful. If not, ask the whole group to read the word/syllable in Fred Talk – without using MTYT – again focusing on the spotlight child.

Partner reading

1. Explain that you are about to choose children to read the hard words as you walk around.

2. Go to the 'spotlight' children first. If they can read the hard words, praise them for their effort.

3. If they can’t read the words, you know you have more work to do before you move onto Day 2 activities.



Hope all this helps,
Best wishes 


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