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Whole Schol - Primary:
Whole-Day INSET
Who should attend?
  • Primary headteachers, managers, teachers, teaching assistants
  • Supply teachers, tutors and student-teachers
  • Literacy and Special Needs co-ordinators, specialists and advisors
  • School governors, parent volunteers
  • Inspectors
  • Anyone in Key Stage 3 with an interest in feeder-school practice
Summary of training

Discussion of the questions and issues arising for phonics and literacy/language basic skills provision (including spelling progression and handwriting) for three to eleven year olds: –

  • findings in the bigger national picture
  • addressing varied training needs of staff members at your school
  • addressing the needs you have identified of your individual school and context in specific and practical ways, for example:
  1. organisation, management and effectiveness of phonics teaching and learning of children in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1
  2. gaps in individual pupils’ alphabetic code knowledge
  3. ongoing intervention for slower-to-learn pupils and/or pupils for whom English is a new or additional language
  4. management of planning, preparation and staffing to address differentiation within phonics and spelling provision
  5. revisiting the alphabetic code for spelling progression – focusing on the notion of spelling alternatives, spelling rules/patterns, spelling word bank knowledge and specific words
  6. ensuring consistency and continuity in approach and content from adult to adult and year to year
  • looking at the potential to increase the effectiveness of teaching and learning including training and support for staff leading to a common understanding and approach, maximising learner-engagement and informing parents routinely (based on Debbie’s approach to phonics and spelling progression exemplified in the Phonics International programme and general guidance)
  • developing a specific and positive ethos for supporting spelling and marking for spelling as a continuum across the curriculum
  • focusing on manageable and effective assessment practices – methods/results/questions/issues arising
Practical methods to manage:
  • phonemic awareness, introducing lower case and capital letters and phonics for three to five year olds – when to start a systematic phonics programme and suggestions for practice prior to the planned programme
  • how to assess and plan for phonics and spelling lessons when pupils’ knowledge of the letter/s-sound correspondences of the complex alphabetic code is so varied
  • differentiation (addressing: groups or whole class organisation; the widening divide; special needs; time scales and ‘little and often’ provision; pupils for whom English is a new or additional language; ‘two-pronged systematic and incidental phonics provision’; supporting and extending pupils as they need based on different speeds of working and learning)
  • simple resource preparation and use to ensure a balance of teaching or revisiting the letter/s-sound correspondences of the alphabetic code and of pupils practising (as individuals) the three core skills (reading, spelling, handwriting) and their sub-skills – applying and extending to text level and spelling word bank knowledge routinely
  • inclusion of vocabulary enrichment, dictionary work, language comprehension, grammar as appropriate, and building up knowledge of spelling rules/patterns, spelling word banks and specific words as listed in the English national curriculum
  • seating arrangements and grouping within whole class provision
  • simple incidental phonics teaching methods to support reading and spelling/writing across the wider curriculum supported by the use of Alphabetic Code Charts
  • informing parents via parents information events and as a continuum through pupils’ personal phonics folders in the school’s book-bag routine - working in partnership where possible
  • teachers, teaching assistants, support teachers and volunteers working in partnership with a common understanding, shared practices and ethos
  • consistency and continuity from teacher to teacher and year to year
Professional Knowledge:
  • A fearless and high-expectations ethos for approaching the teaching of reading, handwriting and spelling, and for marking spelling, based on a shared appreciation with the pupils of ‘the history of the English language’ and of the subsequent complex nature of the ‘English alphabetic code’
  • The Systematic Synthetic Phonics Teaching Principles – what they are and what they’re not
  • A change of perception of the role of phonics for long-term adult spelling and reading and raising awareness of the possible habits/dangers of silent reading
  • The Teaching and Learning Cycle for phonics and literacy basic skills provision including a simple approach to assessment and rigorous approach to teaching and supporting spelling capability
  • The Simple View of Reading diagram – its use to clarify the two main processes involved in reading acquisition (word recognition and language comprehension) and reflecting on pupils’ reading profiles (plus a look at a similar diagram for the Simple View of Writing)
  • A critical evaluation of ‘miscue analysis’ – the ‘running record’
  • Guided and group reading – varied approaches based on the Simple View of Reading to complement reading activities of the cumulative material provided within the phonics programme
  • A detailed analysis of the opaque English alphabetic code and its three complexities
  • Saying the vowel sounds and consonant sounds as close as possible to the sounds in natural speech – and knowing why we need to teach some units of sound as ‘combined sounds’ consisting of more than just a single phoneme
  • The advantages of the Alphabetic Code Chart as: an organisational aid; a training, teaching and learning resource; and an informative accountability tool as part of the school’s literacy policy
  • Evaluating mnemonic systems (aids to memory) for teaching the sounds and spelling alternatives of the complex or extended alphabetic code
  • The relationship between the alphabetic code and the alphabet – distinguishing their roles
  • The Phonics Routines – simple hand routines for reading, spelling and handwriting (currently the phonics hand routines used in many schools to support reading and spelling are often varied, muddled and misunderstood) – and how to modify the routines as pupils progress and get older
  • Multi-sensory teaching (VAK) and what this looks like for progressive phonics provision; understanding the difference between ‘core/focused’ activities and ‘extraneous’ activities taking age and stage of learning into account
  • The power of pupil-engagement and the need for permanent visual resources for the learner (from code to word to text level, for letter formation and for specific words and spelling word banks) to maximise learning; the importance of the personal phonics folder and the phonics exercise book (and the dangers of mis-use or over-use of mini whiteboards and marker pens)
  • Effective and easy-to-manage assessment practices per pupil using the core resources (Say the Sounds Posters, Multi-skills Activity Sheets, Cumulative Texts, Spelling word banks): informal and detailed assessment as a continuum; periodic formal assessment for teachers’ records
  • Essential fit-for-purpose charts and posters for high-quality visual display – permanent, cumulative, ‘as required’ - for teaching and learning purposes
  • Support and expectations for learning common tricky words for reading and spelling
  • Building up awareness and knowledge of spelling alternatives and spelling word banks – effective practices including mnemonic illustrations, drawing and acting, and spelling story themes
  • Building capacity for teachers to assess for themselves the usefulness of various phonics and spelling resources, spelling and handwriting programmes and practices
  • Auditing and enhancing phonics, handwriting, basic skills and continued spelling provision under the auspices of a phonics/spelling or literacy manager

Training costs (fully inclusive of materials and expenses*)  
Whole-Day INSET (min 6 hrs training time required) £1395* plus VAT
Two full days of lesson observations, lesson modelling with staff training at 'twilight sessions' following each of the two school days. (min 2 x 2.5 hrs training time required for the twilight sessions). Days must be consecutive. £2300* plus VAT
*Note: Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland and non-mainland UK will be subject to additional travelling costs.
Prices are based on maximum of 50 staff attending. For numbers over 50, a surcharge of £30 per person will apply.
To check availability and for all booking enquiries, contact us on 01635 8000 33 or fill out our online enquiry form.
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