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The Speech Sound Connection - Speech Sound Monsters
Readies! Reading for Pleasure Program from The Reading Hut

Some love food - foodies! - we love books - we are 'readies'! Readies! is the new KS1 program from The Reading Hut and launches in November! Miss Emma will share her secrets for guiding children to the phase of not only being ABLE to read (use the ReadABLE library!) but to LOVE to read. We are READIES! And some of us are NeuroReadies!!

Readies Program from The Reading Hut, developed by Miss Emma, The Neurodivergent Reading Whisperer®

We are Readies! Reading for Pleasure by 6 - The Reading Hut

We are Readies!
Many of us are NeuroReadies

NeuroReadies! The Neurodivergent Reding Whisperer - Emma Hartnell-Baker

Reading for Pleasure by 6: Readies Program from The Reading Hut

When you saw the word 'readies' how did you say it? If you live n the UK you likely thought about it as a word that rhymes with teddies! IPA: redi:z
The word 'readies' is used in the UK to describe money! 'I'm a bit short of the readies today (innit)'
Those who love food - like me! - call themselves 'foodies'. But what if we love books and reading? Are we not 'readies'?!

The reason I also love this word for the new reading program (within which outstanding vocabulary knowledge and spelling skills emerge) is that you apply something at the heart of the approach - GSF (graphophonological-semantic cognitive flexibility) as a result of orthographic knowledge! You switched around the grapheme to phoneme correspondences - the 'speech sound connection' - because of the meaning /context.   Competent readers are able to simultaneously manage the orthographic, phonological, semantic, and syntactic information available in a text, and flexibly integrate this text-based information into prior knowledge ( Cartwright, 2014 )

Despite the phonics hype this does not happen for a lot of children learning to read in the UK, because of the mandated instructional approach to teaching phonics: I am a HUGE advocate for the explicit and systematic teaching of phonics as a kick-start to the learning to read and spell journey, as seen with my 'Code Level' resources but there are other ways to do this - that aren't 'synthetic' - and that actually speed up the learning of the GPCs tested in Year 1 to get this element out of the way earlier.  Over 90% should be able to instantly give  the words from the Phonics Screener check - but ALSO give the assessor OTHER possibilities, based on their orthographic knowledge - understanding of 'the whole code'! - as seen by Spencer (4) who explored nonsense word 'sut' with his sister and Mum (not a teacher) to give all possible pronunciations. There are 2 'expected' responses by those children learning phonics with a DfE validated 'systematic synthetic phonics' demonstrate what children have been TAUGHT - but there is no attention to orthographic learning. If we actually check the pronunciation options for /sut/ using the Spelling Clouds there are over 100 'orthographically legal' possibilities. 

Children are tested 'print to speech, which is limiting. 'If children were given a speech sound (phoneme) and asked, for example, the possible (legal) GPCs this would give a greater insight into each child's orthographic awareness - eg if asked for spelling choices for /I/ - phonetic symbol - they may say /i/ as in 'insect' /a/ as in  'orange' /e/ as in 'forest /u/ as in 'busy' /o/ as in 'women' etc. That chid will demonstrate their orthographic knowledge when writing - they already know when words 'look right'. I check if they can do this too:-)

The UK testing revolves around the synthetic phonics programme content - scope and sequence - and not orthographic knowledge.
Orthographic knowledge is needed if children are to become independent, skilled readers. We can check this daily by observing children exploring words - and only need to add an extra minute to check how well orthographic knowledge is developing by the end of year 1 (when they should be reading independently) As I tell people on a daily basis - if we 'teach' phonics differently, with a focus on phonemic awareness and orthographic knowledge (and on 'self-teaching) we get the children actually reading and writing earlier.

The Phonics Screener check does not 'fit' within my approach - other than if we give them the nonsense words to look at and explore (print to speech) we give them the nonsense words to write in as many different ways as possible (speech to print - they must be orthographically legal of course) or create comprehension texts based on the GPS we think they know :-)     

We need to focus on phonemic awareness (the speech sound connection) vocabulary knowledge (understanding of the meaning of words) and orthographic knowledge - when correspondences are stored in 'brain dictionary' - the orthographic lexicon- and children began to see when words 'look right' - or not. Part of this development occurs because we are exploring words , like puzzles! For fun. If we use words that excite the children it is even easier as 'engagement' is crucial. We can connect 'learning to read' with 'reading for pleasure' far earlier, and from a more 'spoken language to written language' perspective: this lifts many of the restrictions put on teachers with regards to the content. I touch on that here when discussing decodable readers (I write Braintree Forest decodable readers - before you jump to any conclusions! They definitely do have a place)


The kick-start to phonics element of the learning to read (and spell) journey can be a much smaller part: even though 'phonics' it is of course essential for all and vital for some. It's like having the keys to a car. They rev up the engine and allow for the car to drive - but there is then so much else that goes into the driving experience (on the part of the car AND driver!) It's important to understand what doesn't happen when systematic synthetic phonics is used as an approach; many may be presented with the keys and learn to turn the engine - but far too many actually have no interest in seeing exactly what that car can do! Even if they CAN 'drive' they don't equate driving with freedom and joy!

Readies! - from the Reading Hut - has the eye on that drive.

Children can then choose their own car, and make the journey their own.  
Toot toot!

Miss Emma X
Emma Hartnell-Baker
The Neurodivergent Reading Whisperer.      

Miss Emma - Emma Hartnell-Baker - Neurodivergent Reading Whisperer
We are Readies!

Spencer and his sister Dottie look at PSC words but then explore other pronunciations (extending orthographic learning) by cross-referencing the graphemes with the 'whole code'  (all spelling choices)  

As English has an opaque orthography is it important that we explore words from print to speech (grapheme to phoneme) AND speech to print (phoneme to grapheme) - and when we do specific 'mapping' activities these become stored in brain dictionary (orthographic lexicon) Readies do these activities within reading and writing activities (meaningful context) and there is a focus on what the children are interested in. 
So Readies offers a road map.  

Spencer learned the 100 or so GPCs taught via the Speech Sound Pics Approach - and included within systematic synthetic phonics programmes - really quickly (using the ICRWY Lessons app and hard copy resources) and is therefore exploring orthography far earlier than most 4 year olds. This is not only engaging (as he is being a 'Sound Pic' detective) but is reinforced when he sees words orthographically mapped, using the Orthographic Mapping Tool. 

The phoneme (speech sound) 'concept characters' offer a visual representation for something he can't see, without using IPA phonetic symbols (as it would make the concept of speech sounds too difficult in the early years - and not very exciting)  


Then explore these, in this order.

They are mapped in the ICRWY Interactive library.  

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