What Comes Before Phonics? By Dr Sally Neaum

I enjoyed Sally's book What Comes Before Phonics? so much when I read it that I asked her to write me a guest blog post. It makes a great deal of sense and has a REALLY important message for the teaching of phonics. She has also offered to giveaway some copies - more info on that at the end of the post. We all share the aim of enabling children to become literate with ease and success, and the importance of phonics as one aspect of this process is well established. However, there remains significant disquiet about what this means for early years, in particular, how the strong focus on phonics has led to increased schoolification of both content and pedagogy...

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Filed under: Giveaway, Phonics

ABC Does…Uganda with Act 4 Africa.

I have just taken my first malaria tablet because tomorrow, I will be leaving a wet and rainy Manchester to set of on an adventure to Africa! I am going to support Act 4 Africa in establishing Kathy's Kindergarten in the village of Mayuge. Act4Africa is an award winning health and education charity aiming to promote gender justice for women and girls, equip them with life skills to be free from poverty, and combat HIV. They want to change attitudes, transform communities, and save lives. The charity was set up in 2000 by husband and wife team Martin and Kathy Smedley. Their holistic approach prioritises the needs of women and girls and poor communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. Working at grass roots...

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Filed under: Uncategorized

Are we really supporting children’s language development during child-led play?

This week I am really pleased to have a guest blog by Catherine Jackson. I first came across Catherine via her really informative speech and language blog Wise Old Owl. For a while we were social media buddies and then managed to meet up in 'real life' at the Child Care Expo where Catherine was speaking and exhibiting. I know you will find her work useful and thought provoking. I would urge you to have a look at her blog - there is lots more info to get your teeth into. Catherine is a speech and language therapist with over 20 years experience and has worked in both the NHS and the private sector in both the Northern and Southern...

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Filed under: Child Initiated Learning, Environment, Talk