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TES Special Needs Exhibition, London

 

16th and 17th October 2009

 

(TES - Times Educational Supplement)

SEN Picture
SEN Exhibition 2

This exhibition provided a welcome opportunity for us to show people the scope of the Phonics International programme in hard copy. We didn’t take all of the 30 + files and numerous laminated games and posters - but certainly we took plenty of samples to show the comprehensive and systematic content, progression, flexibility and support afforded to teachers and learners (and learners’ parents) through using the programme!

We had some exhibition display material made especially for the occasion and this proved to be a great success. We set up two back-to-back pull-up screens which were central to our display. One screen faced ‘outwards’ and this listed all the amazing free resources in unit 1 of the PI programme. Click HERE to go to the free unit 1 resources.

SEN Exhibition 8
SEN Exhibition 3

The other screen faced ‘inwards’ and illustrated my two favourite Alphabetic Code Overview Charts which are totally central to the both the organisation and contents of the PI programme - as well as providing a good visual understanding of the nature of the English alphabetic code. Well - this screen created an enormous amount of interest - and many people found the time to have a very good look at the charts! Over and again we were asked, “Is this for sale?” - and when I told people that these charts, plus many more variations, plus many other start-up resources were free to download from the PI website (click on the unit 1 button), you can imagine the surprised response!

Mr H set up a projector with around 600 slides of resources taken from units 1, 6 and 12. We had three sets of shelves to lay out the files of resources in an organised way with labels such as, ‘Introducing the core alphabetic code knowledge and skills’, ‘Games and Activities’, ‘Cumulative Posters’, ‘Word Level’, ‘Sentence Level’, ‘Text Level’ with the third set of shelves displaying the folders of resources from the ‘Early Years Starter Package’ (now a programme within a programme!).

SEN Exhibition 4
SEN Exhibition 5

I directed parents of younger children and parents with Downs Syndrome children to the ‘Early Years Starter Package’. This is only £11 as a separate package for parents and yet it has a very comprehensive range of everything you need for a full synthetic phonics programme introducing around 90 letter/s-sound correspondences! It is also great for teachers new to synthetic phonics teaching who want to ensure they can rely on ‘which’ words to provide for reading and for spelling at any point in the programme. There are also six additional choices of the Alphabetic Code Overview Charts available in the ‘Early Years Starter Package’ illustrating fewer graphemes than in the full programme.

No matter what the age or needs of tutors’ and teachers’ students, I was able to readily show how the programme fitted together and how it taught reading, spelling and writing from the beginning - and how it progressed to a spelling programme for older students.

Several people actually introduced themselves to me describing how they, or someone they knew, were using the programme to great effect, or that they ‘knew me’ from my contributions to the TES early years online forum - or from the PI website - or from previous UK Reading Reform Foundation conferences! Fantastic - it was great touching base with these people and having a good chat about literacy! Thank you to all those people who took time out to say ‘hello’ and who were so encouraging - this was much appreciated.

SEN Exhibition 6
SEN Exhibition 7

I worked hard to draw attention to the forthcoming RRF conference on Friday 19th March 2010, when not only am I providing a workshop on the Phonics International programme, but there are also workshops on other phonics programmes plus Sue Lloyd (of Jolly Phonics fame) talking about the need and role of cumulative, decodable reading books. Click HERE to learn about these workshops plus the keynote speakers at the RRF conference - and please tell others who might have an interest in attending.

We can highly recommend the service and quality of materials for exhibitions provided by Rick Jervis of The Image Group. Click HERE to visit their website.