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Thank you for visiting this private page. I would like to share just some of my work, as it is difficult to describe! 

I have a track record of supporting whole school literacy improvement in Australia. Phonemic Awareness Mastery (Phase 1 of the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach) is taken very seriously there.

Phonemic awareness is the leading cause of reading difficulties, and we identify the 'at risk' children in Phase 1. They receive extra help early.

As synthetic phonics is used in the UK, I am (at present) only releasing PAM for school-aged children. This will enable most to then learn with synthetic phonics.

My main focus is the screening of 3-year-olds, with plans to roll this out nationally.

Alf reminds me of this fabulous 5-year-old autistic child I had the pleasure of meeting while supporting a school many years ago, in Australia. He was able to develop phonemic awareness (Phase 1) and learn to read before the end of the year. He became obsessed with my Spelling Cloud Keyring, so I have left one with Kath to use with Alf.

However, since they are not trained in my approach, they may not be sure how to use it with him. I will address this within the 4-week package and also guide his teachers and support staff on how to use it effectively.

Phonemic Awareness Mastery in Reception: Before Phonics 

In a classroom setting in week 1, the Phonemic Awareness Mastery (PAM) Programme (no letters) is introduced. By the end of the week, Phase 1 is completed for most. This focus changes everything—they are now ABLE to learn phonics. As children taught in government-funded schools have to use synthetic phonics, my goal is to send all children to school ABLE to learn to read and spell with synthetic phonics programmes.

By implementing 'Discovery Screening' at ages 3 and 4, we can start to collect and analyse data for the education department and begin to ascertain trends—e.g., how this data aligns with their phonics screener check results and later SAT outcomes. Simply by being aware of what phonemic awareness is, parents and teachers can take action after the first session, regardless of whether they choose PAM.

This shows it in action in a classroom setting. I supported hundreds of teachers.
Some testimonials can be seen here.    

Teachers in Australia using the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach take this Phonemic Awareness Mastery phase really seriously. Duck Hands, Lines and Numbers (the spelling routine) becomes part of daily life, and continues throughout the primary grades.
Although 20 - 40% start reception (Prep) without the phonemic awareness they need to learn phonics by the end of week 1this has reduced dramatically. Trained TAs then give those 'learners of concern' extra support. Mastery is monitored by a specialist and data tracked. We have been doing this for over ten years. We introduce graphemes at the end of week 1. This makes the transition so much easier, and we really get to know the children as individuals!

Tracking PAM data.

Hundreds of teachers getting ready for PAM in Week 1 of Reception! Learning to use 'Duck Hands'

I was honoured to have been invited to support so many schools over the years.

The approach is embedded school wide
(KS2 equivalent)

Used for intervention in high school 

I trained thousands of teachers to use different strategies eg to  improve the fluency and comprehension of slow decoders.

Phonemes have unlocked language and literacy learning for young people with learning disabilities. Up to that point, these gorgeous teens had been failed in so many ways, but when their teachers knew more, they could offer them more. They still send me 'monster messages' :-)

Oops some of the monsters are wrong here. Naughty Speech Sound Frog 

The 'learning to read for pleasure' journey starts with PAM, with a focus on reducing cognitive load ie phonemes first (before graphemes) For some children only a few hours are needed, some (like Alf) need a lot more.  

To bypass the lack of teacher training and awareness around phonemic awareness (and why this specific aspect of phonological awareness matters) and the IPA, I am developing a range of tech solutions that children can quickly use independently after working through PAM with me. They will be able to go from 'speech to print' and also from 'print to speech'. Phonemic awareness is key.

At this point, I am not training anyone to deliver PAM as it is so specialised. For a 1:1 PAM package over 4 weeks with EHC-funded students, this equates to at least 20 hours of my time and includes the resources used. My doctoral work centres around 'Orthographic Interference': most skilled readers (who may be teaching phonics) cannot accurately map an alarming number of everyday words that children use in KS1. This skill is vital if they are to help children develop phonemic and orthographic awareness and transition towards orthographic mapping. My doctoral work also focuses on 'Screen and Intervene' strategies for teachers tasked with teaching phonics. To train teachers to deliver PAM, I will need them to learn alongside me and also understand the latest research relating to why so many children struggle to learn to read. I am looking for some very special people to help me support more school-aged children. This is why early screening of 3-year-olds matters so much: we can avoid the issues Alf has faced.

The journey towards 'orthographic mapping' (reading without conscious effort) is different for each child because we are building on their schema. It starts with Phonemic Awareness Mastery and transitions to Orthographic Awareness and the development of Orthographic Knowledge.

Avery (just turned 3) would understand the content in the clip shown below, but not necessarily an 8-year-old who has been learning with print-to-speech (synthetic) phonics. After phonemic awareness 'Discovery Screening', children work through their own Phonemic Awareness Mastery Program, which transitions to include Sound Pics (graphemes). Miss Emma designs this program based on each child’s needs. Clips like this (below) are also used to train adults. Even though they may seem as if designed for children, she prefers to train in this way as it is easier for adults to apply new learning directly to their child or student. She gives them what they need when they need it, just as parents need to do with their child.

Many children simply need the Phonemic Awareness Program and will learn to read with a traditional phonics approach. Phonemic awareness—the ability to identify, segment, and blend speech sounds—is the magic ingredient.

The learning journey is designed around the child, and their age (and any learning differences) impacts this design. It is easier to start when children are babies as there is no 'rush' to phonics or to read fluently.

This is, in part, why we are seeking grant funding to roll out phonemic awareness Discovery Screening sessions with 3-year-olds, whom we again check at 4 before they start school. By identifying at-risk children, we can give parents (and their EY teachers/childminders) the information and support they need as we predict they will have difficulties learning to read when they start school and are going to have to learn with synthetic phonics (if they attend a government-maintained school). As 1 in 4 children start Reception without phonemic awareness, and 1 in 4 leave primary school unable to read at minimum levels, this early prediction of difficulties is vital. 

Young children with EHC plans can request Phonemic Awareness Screening to identify a range of related factors and a Phonemic Awareness Mastery program if there are identified risks. We offer both. All children later diagnosed with dyslexia have poor phonemic awareness. Identifying this deficit early and sending them to school with phonemic awareness changes lives for children who learn differently. This is also applicable to autistic children, as they will gravitate towards Miss Emma and the monsters, and those with ADHD as it is fast-paced and multisensory. The Speech Sound Monsters are also used across Australia by speech therapists as standalone therapy for children with speech delays and verbal dyspraxia.

We recommend Discovery Screening for any children with EHCP funding who are struggling to learn to read with synthetic phonics (e.g., Alf).

Within the 3 x 50-minute sessions (in one week), Miss Emma screens, teaches, and then writes a risk report. This costs £1200.

If warranted, the child continues for a further 3 weeks—with an anticipated 3 sessions per week—to work through the Phonemic Awareness Mastery Program with Emma Hartnell-Baker. This costs £2500, including the initial £1200.

The sessions are recorded and referred to within the final report (and are intended to offer 'getting started' training). Miss Emma can continue to support the child, or parents/teachers can take over and book catch-up sessions as needed. The I Can Read Without You (ICRWY) lessons app has 300+ step-by-step linguistic phonics lessons and includes everything in a synthetic phonics program but with more scaffolding and a greater emphasis on discovering connections from a 'speech to print' approach (synthetic phonics tends to focus on print to speech).

However, the goal of the Phonemic Awareness Mastery Program is for children to then learn be ABLE to learn with synthetic phonics in UK schools. Phonemic awareness lifts the learning block that was preventing them from understanding it.

The Speech Sound Mapping Theory posits that with a visual hook for a phoneme (Speech Sound Monsters) and accelerated phonemic awareness, along with visual and linguistic phonics (Speech Sound Pics), all children will be motivated to reach the 'self-teaching' and, therefore, 'orthographic mapping' phases earlier and with greater autonomy.



In the UK 'synthetic phonics' is mandated, and as phonics, taught explicitly and systematically within the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach is 'linguistic and visual' (not synthetic) I am therefore ONLY launching the Phonemic Awareness Mastery Program here, to focus on Phoneme Articulation and Phonemic Awareness. However, by knowing each 'monster sound' and with phonemic awareness (they can blend them together and also choose the right monster sounds when spelling words) they can continue at home with the 'monster mapped' tech and resources, figuring out unfamiliar words and THEN mapping the correct graphemes to those speech sounds. This will supplement their classroom learning experiences. 

The phonemic awareness developed within PAM facilitates this new learning of phonics - however taught. Not just because they develop phonemic awareness but because they quickly understand that the 'sounds' are specific ones (the Universal Spelling Code) - they are the Speech Sound King's 'sounds'.
 If they play different sounds the written word will not appear. They can 'see' and also 'hear' the connections that may not be as obvious when learning at school.

In Australia the teachers have the Speech Sound Puppets in classrooms

Says 'sdop' 

Says 'monsdz' 

Demonstrates learning
(voice now British)

If children only really focus on /æ/ as in 'sat', then what happens when it maps with the other 8 sounds? With good phonemic awareness, it only takes 1-4 exposures to store the word in their orthographic lexicon for instant recognition (reading) and retrieval (spelling). They are shown the spelling, know the sounds, so just make sure they know what the word means! Simple. This is why we are working on a 'clickable' library: children can click to access this information as and when needed.
Note: within the PSC only 2 are checked (/a/ as in sat and /a/ as in father)


Monster Map and Drag
Please use this to click and hear the sounds (eg to check the words above)
With the full version the words can be edited and names added etc.
Email to ask for any red words to be added here:-)

Autistic children and those with ADHD find this way of learning exciting.
They WANT to read!
They become 'readies' 

A Message from Rory's Mum.

When our eldest son was in Grade 3 he was diagnosed with dyslexia. Unfortunately by then the damage was done, his reading age was assessed as being below the age of six (he was 8.5 at the time). The most heart-breaking part of his journey was the devastating effect it had on his self-esteem.


The educational psychologist at the time introduced me to the Speech Sound Pics SSP approach, which turned out to be life-changing! Under Miss Emma's guidance, we cleared the slate and started his journey again at home after school. He warmed very quickly to the approach and in just five weeks he had increased six reading levels. I am extremely proud to announce that he is now in Grade 6 and reading at grade level!! In fact, he is doing so well that in his LP meeting recently I was questioned whether he even had a learning disability.

This brings us to Rory, our youngest. From a young age, he showed signs of possessing the same strengths and weaknesses as his older brother. Not willing to sit back and watch him suffer the same fate we jumped at the chance to be part of the ICRWY 'Monster Mapping' pilot, he was two months shy of his fifth birthday at the time.

Now at six, he is doing so well, this video is proof of that. This is Rory reading his home reader to me. So proud and so very grateful for Miss Emma and her innovative ideas and approach.

Speech Sound Monsters in classrooms (huts) with no electricity, internet or qualified teachers.
Monster Mapping is fun anywhere!  I am working on tech that enables children to learn to read and write in English anywhere. 

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