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Phonics pilot helps students read up on core skills

Phonics pilot helps students read up on core skills

Helping students to master the basics of literacy is at the heart of a new trial at Redcar & Cleveland College.

The College has been selected to act as a pilot centre for new post-16 phonics approaches.

The project aims to help those who may have missed out on some of the fundamentals of literacy at the start of their education.

Dr Catherine McPartland

Leading the initiative at Redcar & Cleveland College, Course Leader for Teacher Training Dr Catherine McPartland said: “A lot of people may have missed out on some of the basics of reading, such as decoding text. This can include things such as the different sounds that letter combinations make.”

For these people, she explained: “It may be that when reading, some things don’t quite make sense but they don’t always know why.

“Just giving them the tools to make the whole reading process easier can make a massive difference.”

But, she said, the phonics approaches for post-16s are not like those used in early years or school. This is where the post-16 phonics pilot comes in.

The initiative by the Education and Training Foundation and Institute of Education (University College London) gives teachers and student support assistants a post-16 phonics toolkit with a variety of techniques to help students brush up on these skills.

At Redcar & Cleveland College four teachers and four student support assistants are now taking part in specialist training with consultants Tricia Miller and Dr Andy Convery.

As a pilot centre of the scheme, the College team will explore which tools and techniques are the most effective and feedback their results.

Redcar & Cleveland College’s Learning Support Lead, Gill Greenwood, said: “There can be a whole range of reasons why students might not have mastered these skills at the beginning of their education. It can happen to anyone of any ability.

“It is about putting the building blocks in place that have been previously missing. Putting these blocks in to place can be that little piece of the puzzle that has been missing. It can make a huge difference.”

Teacher training course leader Catherine explained: “Looking at reports on people’s literacy, there are thousands of people that struggle with literacy. It is an issue that needs addressing.”

Delighted to have Redcar & Cleveland College chosen as a pilot centre, she said: “It is wonderful for the College and a massive pat on the back.”
She added: “As teachers we always need to keep developing and learning.”

Maths & English

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How much will it cost to study? If you are aged 16-18 you will not have to pay tuition, registration or examination fees.* If…

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