Ruth's First Top Tips of the Year
Welcome to my new look newsletter. I'd love to hear your feedback – get in touch here

Dear reading teachers,

I hope you've had a flying start to the new term.

I'll start with my first top tips.

Stop failure from day one
You're on fire (best 'm' lesson ever), but Adam's more interested in Jimmy's new shoes.
He's already behind. There's only one way to get Adam to learn 'm', and that's to give him your undivided attention every day for five minutes. He'll learn 'm' quickly and the next letter, and the next...

Hollie and Rhian Reading Set 2/3 Sounds. In each newsletter, I'll be highlighting a video. If you need a School Portal login, contact us at 01275 331 230 or

PSC panic
Avoid end of year PSC panic by using our Year 1 Phonics Assessment.
  1.  Get tutoring now so children meet these goal posts:
    • November 19/42 (All Set 1 and Set 2)
    • February 25/42 (+Split digraphs)
    • April 35/42 (all Set 3)
  2. Teach a whole-class Speed Sounds lessons for reading every afternoon. Teach a focus sound, read words with the focus sound and a mix of words using 'Special Friends, Fred Talk, read the word'. (Teachers who did this last year raised their game.) 
Watch Shelagh teaching a Speed Sound lesson to her Year 1 class on the School Portal homepage.

ELGs Alert
Pilot schools across England are using the new draft Early Learning Goals. Note the ELGs for Literacy, and Language and Communication. So much more focused now! Read more here

Fully-funded PD in phonics and early reading for priority schools

£14,700 free support
If your school is in an Opportunity or Priority Area and is Ofsted rated 'Requires Improvement' or 'Inadequate', you could be eligible for 18 months of training and continuing support. Worth £14,700, fully funded by the Teaching and Leadership Innovation Fund

This CPD programme includes two days of whole-school Read Write Inc. Phonics training, two days of literacy training for the Headteacher and Reading Leader, and 16 in-school Development Days.

The final 36 primary schools are being recruited now. Please pass this information on to the SLT at schools you think may be eligible. Find out more.

Ruth says:

Don't confuse grouping with setting

Unlike setting, grouping allows us to whisk children through stages, irrespective of age. Read more.

Hope all this helps
Best wishes 

Training in your area

We're bringing more training to you, including trips back to Peterborough, Glasgow and Monmouthshire. Click the map or the button below to find your nearest Regional Training session.
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