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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2469
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

David sent out an eNewsletter with news about the development and launch of the series of nine (x6) phonics and language comprehension Pupil Books, plus nine Teacher Books, plus USB Stick with additional resources, plus six mini Alphabetic Code Charts: 'No Nonsense Phonics Skills' Starter Kit (Raintree Publishing). We received quite a lot of very kind and encouraging emails in response of which here is one:


Quote:
Hi Debbie,

Congratulations and thank you for all you have done for children, parents and teachers! I am pleased to say that in our highly non-phonics school I am now teaching, as a specialist, phonics to Class 1 and their teacher is enrolled in your online training. Small steps enabled by your hard work.

Thank you


Please note that subsequent to the launch of the 'No Nonsense Phonics Skills' series, teachers have had so much success using them for 'targeted support' or 'intervention', that they then adopted the series as their whole school mainstream programme. We have added some information about the quick and tangible impact that adopting paper-based content-rich material has on teaching and learning - for example, see some results from an infant school in England on our latest flyer for the 'English Hubs' literacy initiative:

http://phonicsinternational.com/Hub_Flyer.pdf
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Last edited by debbie on Tue May 07, 2019 9:13 am; edited 2 times in total
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my! Thrilled to get this comment written by a Principal in Australia via a tweet:

Quote:
best course I've ever done in my entire career!

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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The following comment and a couple of questions were sent to me via our course 'messages' facility.

I asked permission to copy and paste the message and my response to it because these may be relevant to other people taking the course.

The original message:

Quote:
Thank you for developing such a useful and practical course. In Australia we are required to complete 100 professional learning hours each five years. Would you mind confirming that this course takes 20 hours to complete so that I may submit my claim?

Additionally would you advise if the posters and student sheets are available in different fonts. The UK letter formations appear are quite different to our NSW Foundation Font, e.g. no tail for f, no kicks for a, capital J does not have a 'hat', etc.


My response:

Quote:


Thank you for your very kind words about my course. I do hope that you have found it really useful and practical as that is the most important objective I have!

I am very happy to account for even more hours than the 20 hours you mention. If you have done any additional reading and perusing the PI resources, you must have spent far longer.

It may be that you don’t want the course to account for more than 20 hours but if it would serve you to claim for more hours than 20, please can you suggest the total time you have realistically spent on the course and additional study related to it.

Re the font style – I’m afraid I have not produced the resources in different fonts although I have been asked this a number of times. My suggestion is that learners have to read content in different fonts so it does not hurt them to ‘read’ in the Sassoon Primary Infant that we have mainly used.

With regard to handwriting, however, may I suggest that you just tell your learners that, in your region, you teach a specific style – and then modify any resources where specific letter formation is required to the style you prefer to use or have to use. You can model your regional style on the board, in exercise books at the size that is better for the learner, and direct onto sheets such as the core Sounds Book Activity Sheets.

So, there are ways to get round the font issue without thinking that the resources cannot be used in your context.

I do hope these suggestions help.

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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 2469
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In a conversation via Facebook, I received this heartwarming feedback:

Quote:
Hi Debbie, Yes I have been able to access everything and am using the materials with predominantly Australian Year 1 students and a few children from years 2 to 6 in a private tutoring setting, often only once a week.

The students I see are struggling readers often with a background of phonological speech disorders.

We have had some terrific success after some intensive work last term and I'm seeing students changing from being completely overwhelmed and anxious regarding reading to confident and proud readers. Just fabulous!

I will definitely email you with any questions directly and also check into the forum. Many thanks again.


David and I launched a new website in January 2017 'Phonics Intervention.org' and through this site, we have provided a Tutors' Directory, see here:

https://phonicsintervention.org/tutors/

Sari, who sent the message above, is listed here:

https://phonicsintervention.org/tutors/name/sari-parkinson/

For anyone who is interested, I am writing a very informative and challenging blog via the www.phonicsintervention.org site, see:

https://phonicsintervention.org/phonics-intervention-blog/
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I couldn't resist adding this (part of a) message with its comments about the Reading Recovery Teacher! My online course is as cheap as chips and yet very comprehensive and doable - and highly practical - without paying a fortune as required for Reading Recovery training (which promotes flawed multi-cueing word-guessing strategies) and taking a year or so to get (mis)trained!

Quote:
Dear Debbie

Thank you for all you do to try and get Australia on track. It is so depressing here and the refusal of teachers to teach phonics is so harmful for the children...

...You ‘ll have to come to Australia and somehow get teachers to change!!!

A good thing; a friend who also helps TTR4L has just finished your course and she was a Reading Recovery Teacher. She has loved it and gets better results now!!

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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is very welcome feedback from my 2-day face-to-face training event held in Newbury in July 2017. The lady who sent it had already completed my Phonics Training Online course and I had advised her that the online information is very detailed and she would not need to attend the 2-day course which, because of time constraints, cannot be as detailed or in-depth. Nevertheless, I found that a few people still chose to attend the 2-day course even though they had completed the online course!


Quote:
Dear Debbie,

I've been wanting to write to you since we finished the course but haven't had a minute. I arrived in Buenos Aires only last Monday and went straight to school that morning!

I'd like to thank you whole-heartedly for the course. I remember that some months ago you wrote to me that I might not learn much, having already done the online course. I fully disagree. It was so useful! There is so much to learn, to grasp! It's endless and seeing you helped a lot. Now, of course, I have to re-read all my notes, download some of the material in Phonics International that you so generously shared with us all, and decide what's more appropriate for our students.

Your generosity is something I simply cannot stop thinking about and can't thank you enough for. There aren't many people who are willing to share their knowledge and vast experience as much as you are. You are certainly an example to follow, for your generosity and your passion.

Now I hope I can meet the challenge and transmit not only what I learnt with teachers in my school but also at least a bit of this passion.

Thanks a lot once again, Debbie! It was really great meeting you!


Imagine being the recipient of such a wonderful, thoughtful message. I'm so very appreciative.

I may well provide the training courses and various resources, but it is the individuals who make the decision to undertake these courses and then they have to work hard to implement the programmes and guidance in their settings - according to their particular contexts and the needs of their learners.

In other words, this is about 'teamwork' in every sense of the word. I am just one part of this bigger team!
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debbie



Joined: 08 Oct 2007
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the main issues at the heart of many schools that I'm asked to provide consultancy for is the lack of 'continuity and consistency' of phonics provision of their staff members. It could well be that teachers and teaching assistants are working hard and providing good phonics lessons, but it is not uncommon for them to be inconsistent in their teaching language and they may lack coherence and structure in the phonics content they provide.

This is particularly challenging in many international schools which are often staffed by teachers from across the world. These teachers may have very different professional understanding about how best to teach foundational skills in literacy (as the reading debate persists).

Below is a snippet from an email exchange of questions and answers with a teacher in an international school in China who has completed Phonics Training Online. I have flagged it up here because I think there is a lot of sense to undertake the same professional development course (such as Phonics Training Online) so that all staff members can share a common understanding and practices.


Quote:
Good day,

Thank you so much for the detailed response. It is very exciting to communicate with you.

I should note that - upon showing the course to my respective bosses - they may make it the 'unifying' professional development that all teachers at our school must complete. It is in this that I am especially thankful for the course.


I think this is a very good idea!
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Debbie Hepplewhite
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a firm supporter of teachers knowing about different phonics programmes and their accompanying guidance so they can make truly informed choices about their provision.

Essential information includes knowing about the underpinning rationale for the programme content as it should be informed by research and leading-edge practice. I'm always happy to support students undertaking further studies in this field and was very pleased to receive this feedback:

Quote:
Hi Debbie,

Wow, indeed. I am starting to enjoy the phonics training. sad it had to come to an end. The lesson content is invaluable, easy to understand and on point. Thank you so much for taking the pains to research extensively on the subject. The good thing is that I can afford to adopt your methods in comparative study for my master thesis with your permission of course.

Thank you for having me in your programme.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely to receive messages like this - thank you so much for those people who contact us to say they've enjoyed/appreciated our online course:

Quote:
Dear Phonics Int Team,

Thank you for this educational phonics course. I have greatly enjoyed learning with this program and am proud to have received my training certification. I work as a Literacy Coordinator with my school and would like to start Implementing your Early Years Phonics package...

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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reminding someone that Phonics Training Online is a gateway to 20 level 7 Masters credits...

Quote:
Hi... thanks Debbie. I have done the phonics international online course and found it most informative and useful. I had forgotten that it could be a credit to further study! Will look further into that.

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debbie



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PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm cross-referencing this thread to the thread below on a different forum.

This is to the feedback following our decision to reduce the cost of our online training and other online resources even further. You can see our explanation including the hope that anyone having paid the higher prices will not feel aggrieved in our new approach to make our work even more affordable:

http://phonicsinternational.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2744#2744

We are a company who has produced material intended for world-wide use with (believe it or not) altruistic (caring) reasons. Not everyone in the world has equal resources and we have not produced and intended any of our material to be just for the better-off (people from richer countries).
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Imagine how heartwarming it is to receive feedback such as Geoff's below - but also heartbreaking to know that there is still such a big job to be done with regard to teacher-training and provision of quality foundational literacy all over the world.

I contacted Geoff to thank him for his very kind and actually inspirational feedback - and asked if we can use his comments for a testimonial on our Phonics Training Online site.




Quote:
A huge thank you...


Dear Debbie,

I have now completed all of Module 5 of the PI online training course.

It is an incredible course, especially for a teacher of English both in England and internationally as well as being a Head of School internationally until recently.

I resigned my position as Head of School at an international school in March this year as I knew that I wanted some time away to reflect and find my passion again.

I took a month to look at what I really felt passionate about and I kept gravitating to the learning of reading. As part of my research and a contact I have with Ms Coral George I looked into PI again. At that time your online course was discounted and, as I am now officially between jobs, I made the decision to invest in your course.

And it is probably the best professional development decision I have ever made.

I am finding myself learning about the systematic synthetic phonics in true detail for the very first time. At some stages of the course I am almost in tears when I think back to all of the NLS training and teaching in the late 1990s that I had to experience but never believed was correct.

I left the UK after being a Head of Secondary English at a terribly failing secondary school in 2012. Initially it was very refreshing to work internationally but, again, over time I saw that the international system of teaching English is, indeed, in crisis.

As a qualified NPQH Head teacher with a love and passion for learners learning to read (and spell and write) I am now in the position where I feel I have found out the way forward but don't know where that will lead me.

I am starting to post links to the research, important persons and your posts on my twitter feed (@GMVInspire) and hope you may also connect with me there. I think it is a starting point for spreading the essential message of getting the teaching of systematic, synthetic phonics right.

The education system needs a wake up call because you are right, in my experience 90% of teachers are blissfully unaware of the reading research and are continuing with a whole range of approaches to the teaching of reading - and generations are left suffering.

I do hope this course may be the beginning of a whole new direction for me. I am currently based and living in Hungary and I have a sense that I may be able to pioneer something here with regards to learning English properly through SSP.

With you as a guide I am sure I will be in very safe hands.

It would be great to be in touch and connect.

Thank you again for the course and what you have been doing. It is appreciated very deeply by me and I am sure by many others.

With very best regards,

Geoff Vaughan


'NLS training' = National Literacy Strategy training in England from 1998 that promoted the multi-cueing word-guessing 'Searchlights' reading strategies that are discredited by the research findings. In 2006 Sir Jim Rose recommended the adoption of the 'Simple View of Reading' model accepted by the Government for official guidance moving forwards (Gough and Tunmer, 1986).

I have to say that since we reduced the price of our self-study course to £20, it is clearly more affordable for individuals and whole schools (including Key Stage 2 and Secondary Schools) as we have seen an increase in registration accordingly.

If anyone really knows me, they will know that I would far rather reach as many people as we can than charge more for the course. In modern times people naturally gravitate towards 'free' training, teaching and learning material - so we decided that we needed to become 'nearly free' with the aspiration of reaching more people with the truly practical kind of help and support we provide.
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debbie



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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2019 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again to Geoff who, on completing the course, has tweeted this very gratifying message:

Quote:
Really proud to have completed @debbiehepp Phonics Training Online course. Probably the most impressive training I have ever done and led by such an outstanding and passionate expert of systematic synthetic phonics. Do this course and become a pioneer!


I am very grateful that Geoff has now provided me with a formal testimonial of his experience with Phonics Training Online and given me permission to use it for encouraging people to register for the course:


Quote:
As a teacher and teacher leader for 25 years I have always been heavily involved in the issue of youngsters learning to read and getting the benefits of being fluent readers. In my experience the teaching of reading has been a minefield for teachers at all stages, often because they did not have the right tools to teach reading systematically.

It has taken me a long time and many failures to try to find the best approach to teaching reading but I am convinced that the systematic approach to teaching reading, spelling and handwriting that is taught by Debbie Hepplewhite through her 3 main programmes – Phonics International, No Nonsense Phonics Skills and Floppy’s Phonics Sounds and Letters (as part of the Oxford Reading Tree series) are the answer to the problem that has been faced by the teaching profession for a very long time.

As a teacher leader I would recommend any school to invest in the training of phonics through the Phonics Training Online self-study course as this will provide professionals with the very highest quality training that can be translated directly into the classroom.

I would also urge school leaders to invest their time in researching Debbie’s SSP programmes as an excellent educational investment for the future of the children they are responsible for.

Probably the most important factor in recommending Debbie’s programmes is that it is obvious as soon as the training is undertaken how passionate and dedicated Debbie is to the goal of getting every child to read. Her research is precise, her understanding of the pedagogical and practical challenges faced by teachers and schools is rooted in experience and the resources that accompany all the programmes are sensible, practical and designed with the learner in mind.

Above all, Debbie focuses teachers, trainers and those involved in education on the fundamental question of how to teach all children to read and become a pioneer for this essential life-giving skill. I could not recommend Debbie’s phonics work highly enough.

Mr Geoff Vaughan

BAHons, DipEd, NPQH

May 2019

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