Comments and feedback about the course

This is the forum for participants of the 'PHONICS TRAINING ONLINE' course written by Debbie Hepplewhite. Participants are welcome to add their own comments. Debbie will contribute any relevant up-to-date findings, issues and developments. To find out about the course, go to: www.phonicstrainingonline.com .
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Post by debbie »

Hi Debbie,

Hope all is well.

Just coming to the end of the course which I have found very informative.

I just wondered how long I might continue to have access to all of the recordings and resources? From my perspective as long as possible, in order to go through it all again as there is so much good stuff.
Great to receive this message about how informative this person has found the course.

The course material is available for as long as people would like it to be accessible.
Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by debbie »

This is much appreciated feedback from an advisor in Australia:
Debbie, I absolutely loved the online course and have been recommending it all over the place. I have had a few teachers/leaders sign up to complete it and a few of my schools are considering asking all teaching staff to do it. Very exciting. I think my enthusiasm and passion is beginning to become contagious. I now have a little network of Literacy Leaders who have been following the research and are keen to learn more. We are hoping to embed 'No Nonsense Phonics Skills' into some of our junior classrooms next year and we may seek your support as we progress. Thank you so much for being such an inspiring resource. I’ll keep in touch!

Emma Rutherford
Education Officer, Learning and Teaching
(for Catholic Education Ballarat)
Here is information and training material for the 'No Nonsense Phonics Skills' referred to in the message above:

https://phonicsintervention.org/no-nons ... cs-skills/

The publisher 'Lioncrest' supplies 'No Nonsense Phonics Skills' in Australia. Please note that although the programme is advertised 'for targeted support', it can also be used for mainstream for children aged 4+ onwards:

https://lioncrest.com.au/our-range/lite ... lls-detail
Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by debbie »

All the hard work of David (Hepplewhite) and me over the years feels that much more worthwhile when we get these kind comments via Twitter and other methods of networking and feedback. Thank you so much when people chip in to Twitter chats and contribute in this way - always appreciated:

Mathias Maurer
@MaurerMathias
Replying to
@debbiehepp

@MrStanfordTeach

I am studying your online course at the moment,
@debbiehepp, and can confirm it is excellent.
This tweet generated later this tweet above:
David Williams
@davowillz

Teach him phonics through spelling. Go on
@debbiehepp s site for a £20 online course. She's awesome and has loads free on her site.
Interestingly, these gentlemen are teachers in Wales and David and I now live in West Wales (for the past two years at the time of writing this message). I have recently been invited to speak at the forthcoming researchEd Cymru to be held in Cardiff February 2020. I feel incredibly honoured and excited and look forward to meeting lots of professionally curious teachers - the kind who turn out wanting to learn about research findings and current developments in education!
Last edited by debbie on Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by debbie »

I'm always really pleased, as you can imagine, to read feedback such as this via Twitter! Thank you to anyone who provides feedback via any route:
It is a huge shift in personal practice for everyone. It is only through digging much deeper and studying
@debbiehepp
's online course that I was able to constructively reflect on my own practice, and on the further difficulties of achieving consistency across school.
Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by debbie »

Having answered a query sent by this Open University Graduate who is part of the way through the Phonics Training Online course, I then received this great follow-up message which I have permission to share:
Hello Debbie,

Thank you so much for responding. This course is providing the knowledge I know I don’t have. I enrolled on the course after this twitter convo with Anne Glennie. https://twitter.com/mikpeck/status/1228 ... 27072?s=20

Anne advised she’s providing training to my LA next month so I’m hoping that SSP will eventually become the policy.

I’ve recommended this programme to friends who were at uni with me (and feel as ill-equipped as I do) and to a colleague who is also a our literacy leader in school (immense experience but open-minded).

At £20 this course in a no-brainer. I wish my local authority would pay for everyone to go on it, or better still, the Scottish Government should make it a national policy and make provision from university through to schools.

Thanks again for your response.
For anyone with a particular interest in what it takes to campaign for teachers to be trained in evidence-informed systematic synthetic phonics, check out the amazing effort of Anne Glennie in Scotland via the International Foundation for Effective Reading Instruction forum:

https://iferi.org/iferi_forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=911
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Post by debbie »

Please note - in light of the dreadful coronavirus pandemic, we have immediately made more of our resources not only 'nearly free', but free and easy access to anyone who thinks they may be of benefit.

This includes the Series of 8 eBooks 'Alphabetic Code and Phonics Skills' which we compiled from some existing core Phonics International resources into a more 'linear' pick-up-and-go body of work (with home-schooling in mind). You will also find further useful resources including some 'joined handwriting' material provided with this package but I don't recommend teaching joined handwriting, or single letters with lead-in joins, until around 7 years of age (Y2 in England). The material in this particular series is suitable from 4+ (beginners) but may also be suitable to children throughout primary as needed. This is the site:

https://teachyourchildtoread.co.uk

This original video footage below refers to material in the Phonics International 'Early Years Starter Package' but is equally relevant to the Series of 8 eBooks as the phonics routines are always the same, and much of the material in the eBooks is from the Early Years Starter Package (so it provides some good information and modelling):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKMYQ8VJwQQ&t=49s

We have also made our pre-school 'nursery' material available for 'free'. This includes the two sequential 'Phonics and Talk Time' books (available as pdfs) and the 'Teeny Reading Seeds' range of resources. These are designed for the three to five year olds - and they may be useful BEFORE embarking on a full, systematic synthetic phonics programme:

https://phonicsinternationalpreschool.com

PS: David has now created a special page with all our free bodies of work and also a pre-recorded webinar just over an hour and a half long:

https://phonicsinternational.com/cv-lockdown-resources/
Last edited by debbie on Fri Apr 24, 2020 11:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by debbie »

A few people tweeting today asking about recommendations for phonics training received this response about our Phonics Training Online course which made my day!
MrDunford-Crozier BEd (Hons), NPQH
@MrdunfordC

I finished the course today. Loved it!
Thank you as always to any feedback - long or short! :wink:
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Post by debbie »

This fab message was sent to David today about our Phonics Training Online course:

PS I have contacted as many headteachers as I can to suggest that they put teachers and LSAs onto Debbie's training asap. I think all teachers and LSAs in all subjects at all key stages nationwide should be doing this right now! 🙂
Gosh - at a stroke wouldn't that raise levels of professional knowledge and understanding about what is possible for phonics provision!!! :wink:
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Post by debbie »

A primary headteacher gave me this feedback via Twitter DM:

The whole staff are enjoying your online course very much.

And as I write this post, David just received this comment:

Hi
I am enrolled on your phonics training course and I thought it was so good, I've recommended it to a couple of colleagues.
During this pandemic 'lockdown' period, there is a marked uptake of the course from whole schools and, in England's context, even whole 'MATs' are signing up (meaning, several schools at the same time under the guidance of the MAT leadership).

Note: A MAT is a Multi-Academy Trust.
Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by debbie »

It was great to get this feedback via Twitter DM (Direct Message) - thank you!

Hi Debbie. I am new to EYFS (20 years in Juniors) but I wanted to do develop my phonics understanding so I completed your course. Thank you it has been amazing and the impact on the children has been amazing.
When I asked if I could copy and paste the feedback, I received this further comment:
Please do use my comments. I just wish they would implement more of your training in university! My son's in Y3 and I am using your scheme to try and help him with his spelling! Thank you again ��
This is the conversation we shared about when to correct a spelling:

Question from this teacher:
When should you correct a child’s spelling? One of my parents has contacted me and said they drew a picture and spelt the word 'plain' instead of 'plane' and she didn’t know whether to correct or not. Would you wait until it is covered in your phonic units of work and then discuss? Thank you so much for any advice.


My suggestion:
You ask a really good question. There are times when it is not appropriate to address a child's spelling. For a teacher, I usually give the example of when a child brings in some writing that they've voluntarily done at home which is often neither very neat nor well-spelt. This is not the time to start picking out individual wrong spellings.

But, ideally as a teacher, you make it the culture of the school that, together, you and the children are working on improving spellings and everyone accepts that the children 'need plenty of help with that'. So it's all about the teachers constantly 'helping' the children with spelling.

Any common words commonly spelt incorrectly, even if they're easy such as 'with' and 'went' which are often spelt 'whith' and 'whent' , need to end up as examples on the display board to remind the children - and for the teacher NOT to accept such mistakes.


With the situation of a child being at home, support the parents to know that the English alphabetic code is the most complex alphabetic code in the world. If you can, alert the parents to my https://alphabeticcodecharts.com site so they can see versions of the charts and perhaps choose one of the 'mini' charts - or perhaps the school can provide the homes with charts.

This sets the parents up to be able to constantly 'help' their children with spelling. So, in the right context, the parent would say, 'What a fab plane, you're drawn that so well, now let me help you with the spelling of plane as it has a different spelling alternative. You've got the sounds right but in that word, you need the split digraph spelling so it looks like this 'plane'. In fact, that is actually an abbreviation for the full word 'aeroplane' which is a really unusual spelling. We spell it like this......'

So you see, it's about the culture for spelling being in it together not a 'right or wrong' scenario where the child feels bad about the parent or teacher 'correcting' the spelling. (Or the adult feeling bad about pointing out the spelling.) It's not about 'correction' so much as 'helping'.

You could provide parents with this link or this poster to support spelling even at home - or to explain how you are going to support spelling in the school with reference to alphabetic code charts: https://phonicsinternational.com/Let_me ... l_that.pdf
Thank you so much. This is so helpful. It is so difficult when we are learning through online learning. I have shared your website and resources with my parents. I have 3 children myself 2 of which had no phonics input and one did. I really noticed the difference and this is one of my reasons for being so passionate about phonics. The most amazing thing is the little girl who spelt 'plain' is deaf and has cochlear implants and her mum is amazed with the progress she has made. Thank you so much for all the amazing work you do and for replying to me ��
Fantastic to hear your circumstances and the little deaf girl's. Once teachers and parents get on board with the use of the alphabetic code charts, they can teach any spelling, or alternative pronunciation, as required, as constant 'incidental' phonics teaching.


I think I make it really, really clear that my programme design, core resources design, and guidance, is very much based on sharing with parents and carers. I don't believe in patronising them or keeping our teaching methods secret or belonging to teachers only. It seems to me you have embodied this ethos already. I'm still trying to persuade some schools this should be the approach but often teachers don't engage with the sending of the school's book bag home with the children's phonics folders. But why don't they? It just takes a bit of getting used to - but not that much!
Note: Words that sound the same when spoken but have different meanings, and sometimes they are spelt differently such as 'plain' and 'plane' are homophones. The English language has many such words and both teachers and parents can explain this to children as needed.

Here is another useful poster for incidental help with reading:

https://phonicsinternational.com/FR_PI_straight.pdf
Last edited by debbie on Thu Jul 02, 2020 4:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by debbie »

Here's another simple bit of feedback which really makes my day.

It's a great relief that another person felt the course was worthwhile. And of course I hope this translates to so many more children being set up with strong foundational literacy!

That was a brilliant course. I learned so much. Can I ask how long the entire course was?
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Post by debbie »

It's very good to receive this comment from a student-teacher:

I just want to let you know how informative I found this course. There are elements that have made me think and reflect on my teacher training placements. I will use what I learn in my NQT year.

Thank you!
I wish I knew as a student-teacher what I know now, many decades later!!!
Last edited by debbie on Mon Jun 29, 2020 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by debbie »

As always, lovely to see this message below via Twitter this morning - thank you as always for the kind and public feedback. The 'public' bit matters as no doubt many other teachers could benefit from the Phonics Training Online course - even if only equipping them with some wider knowledge and understanding to compare and evaluate their current provision:

Miss Mees
@DepHeadMees
·
13h
@debbiehepp
I must say the more I do your Phonics Online Course, the more I wish I had have had access to this at the beginning of my career. A large investment made in to Floppy Phonics and can’t wait to see the impact it has on children’s reading at our school
I'm really hoping that my approach, 'Two-pronged systematic and incidental phonics teaching' grows beyond my own programmes and practice. I think this is the way forward - always with the ever-present Alphabetic Code Charts in tangible format to support systematic phonics provision and any reading and writing in the wider curriculum.

It also supports self-teaching and right from the get-go (the beginners)!

Further from Miss Mees after a few messages regarding the level 1 books and their best use, I received this update:
That’s great, thank you. Really looking forward to rolling this out from September. I have had all staff, including teaching assistants doing the online course so really trying to increase everyone’s knowledge on phonics and why it is so important. It’s such a good course, thank you!
Last edited by debbie on Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Debbie Hepplewhite
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Post by debbie »

LOL - This was nice to hear from an admin person....!

Good afternoon,

Firstly, our teachers have completed the course and are very complimentary - they found it very useful.

Could we please have an invoice for 1 more member of staff?

Thanks,
:wink:
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Post by debbie »

I'm really pleased that my training is understood to supplement, or complement, other phonics training provision. In my view, this is how it should be. At some point, then, teachers (and others) are more fully equipped to decide how they will teach, or which phonics programmes they might prefer for their circumstances - knowing more fully what their alternatives are and what is available:

I'm about halfway through the phonics training online and it has been so good that I've also signed up a couple of others in the team. It is an excellent supplement to the training we have received elsewhere.
In any event, so much of the content and suggestions in my training is so highly practical that I hope it is perceived, or becomes, 'generic' to all general phonics knowledge and understanding - not just linked to my own programmes.
Debbie Hepplewhite
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