The Importance of Vocabulary for Reading Comprehension – John Kenny Blog @JohnKenny03

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Reading Crisis? What Crisis? | Dianne Murphy

The reading problem in our secondary schools is serious but solvable.

I have long been pleased that the Minister for Schools, Nick Gibb, is a fan of the knowledge curriculum and a promoter of effective early reading instruction through systematic synthetic phonics, informed by the use of the Phonics Check – so I was looking forward to hearing him speak yesterday at researchED 2017 in Stratford.

The introduction of the Phonics Check is important: not as it is often wilfully mis-described, but as a check on the impact of our ‘teaching’ (not the teacher, and certainly not the child). The…

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Developing a research-informed literacy strategy | James Murphy

How to develop a research-informed literacy strategy at secondary school

Here is a short summary of the key points from my talk at researchED London, with slides.

The talk focused on three main areas:
Gathering reliable, valid data about student needs through a multi-layered screening system;
A three-tiered strategy for increasingly intensive intervention;
Some possibilities for research-evidenced strategies or programmes at each level.

The central problem identified is this: 20% of students arrive at secondary school reading significantly behind. However, the types of needs thee…

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Six Ways to Help Struggling Readers in Your Classroom | James Murphy

How we treat reading problems in the classroom affects student outcomes – and our stress.

There is often an expectation at secondary school that if students haven’t learned to read well by the time they begin Year 7, it’s probably indicative of a lack of ability.  This may be related to a hangover from the 11+ exam, or it may simply be prejudice. It’s certainly not based on anything factual. There is plenty of evidence – some of it on this blog and on our website – that students can catch up remarkably quickly when given explicit, systematic teaching.

However, this sort of teaching is…

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