to everyone who wants children to succeed in school.
We all want children to succeed in school and yet millions don't, making them and their parents unhappy and limiting their chances of success in life. The reasons why some children succeed and others fail have until recently been seen in terms of the "nature" (inherent ability) v "nurture" (social context, encouragement and opportunity) debate. Our understanding is currently being altered by brain research, which is beginning to show us what is actually happening in a way that enables us to influence it more directly. Nobel Prizewinner Eric Kandel's In Search of Memory (2006) gives a wonderfully clear and succinct account of the work from its beginnings in the late nineteenth century. Put simply, our brains consist of billions of cells that make contact with each other, building networks and connections that are the basis of memory, thought and mind. What builds these networks, builds success. Whatever we do that does not do so, impedes it.
Successful teaching builds networks, and that is the basis of the work on literacy, language learning and basic maths set out on this site and its associated publications, which are currently under review. Children who fail in school almost always have problems with reading, spelling and basic maths that can be tackled once the underlying systems and patterns in language and mathematical procedures are understood, and once teacihng is closely matched to the individual's current knowledge and thinking.
Teaching outlined in this site is free. It can take place at my home in Linton, Cambridgeshire, at your home or school by arrangement, by telephone or by Skype. A parent (or grandparent), sits in on every lesson with children, so that they can follow up the work between lessons.
Books and reviews
I've written two books, Using Phonics to Teach Reading and Spelling (Sage) and The Literacy File (available from me). The Teaching Assistant's Edufax publication may be downloaded free, here. Reviews on this site represent my honest opinion. I have no financial connection with any publisher, and there is no paid content. The site has just passed its first 100,000 hits.
I have extensive and highly successful experience of training teachers and assistants in literacy (including dyslexia), languages and basic mathematics. All training is closely matched to your needs. I offer specialist advice on staff appointments, contracting and legal matters, where my experience includes work with the late George Carman QC. I am a member of the UK Department for Education's Expert/Reference group on teacher training, and of its ministerial steering group for languages. I am technical adviser on languages to the Hackney Learning Trust, have recently joined an advisory training group, based at the French Embassy, and my notes on small-scale research have been circulated by the National College for Teaching and Leadership.
My work was featured at the Sunday Times/Wellington College Festival of Education in 2012 and 2013.
2013 Presentation: Download Helping your child with spelling.
This conference was sold out. I'll post shortly on assessing languages without using NC levels.