Page 1 of 1

England: researchED & Oxford University Press 'English & MFL' conference, April 2017

Posted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 8:42 am
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
It was a pleasure and an honour to be invited to speak, amongst many others (fantastic speakers all), at the joint researchED and Oxford University Press 'English and MFL' conference held in Oxford on April 1st 2017. One of the great pleasures for me was meeting Dianne and James Murphy 'face to face' for the first time. We've known each other a long time via Twitter of course!

Here are the PowerPoint slides Dianne and James have posted via their excellent blog:

https://thinkingreadingwritings.wordpre ... and-waste/

Re: England: researchED & Oxford University Press 'English & MFL' conference, April 2017

Posted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 4:47 pm
by Debbie_Hepplewhite
Here's a link to my blog post about the researchED event including my PowerPoint slides: ... pril-2017/

There is some cut and thrust discussion taking place via Twitter regarding two 'English' conferences that took place on the same day - noting that very few people from the primary sector chose to attend the researchED conference. This has led to a debate about phonics versus mixed methods. The paper below was tweeted as part of this debate as some people defend mixed methods and multi-cueing. I thought this was an interesting paper to add here, particularly as I myself mentioned the advent of the National Literacy Strategy when it was rolled out and found the need to challenge the 'Searchlights reading strategies' that were central to the NLS but still persist despite a move away from multi-cueing word-guessing. This is tying in with my talk at the researchED conference:

Ready to Read?

Anastasia de Waal and Nicholas Cowen


• Systematic synthetic phonics will now be the first and prime method used to teach reading in state schools.
• The decision to drop the chaotic National Literacy Strategy method of teaching reading is a direct response to the grave level of illiteracy which the New Labour flagship literacy model has failed to impact on.
• The move to ‘first and fast’ synthetic phonics signifies the government’s final rejection of so-called ‘child-centred’ methods.
• Poor achievement and related poor behaviour in secondary schools as well as the vast increase in the number of young people not in education, employment or training connect directly to poor literacy teaching at primary school level.
• Weak reading lies at the heart of both the educational apartheid between the advantaged and disadvantaged and stalled social mobility. The inability to read properly is the single greatest handicap to progress both in school and adult life.
• Systematic synthetic phonics is likely to be a highly effective way of tackling both our educational and social problems today. Evidence from longitudinal academic research as well as from Civitas’ own Supplementary School project has shown that teaching children to read via systematic synthetic phonics can bridge the gap between readers from disadvantaged and advantaged homes better than any other method has so far managed.
• However, having witnessed the nation-wide enforcement of the flawed National Literacy Strategy, we warn strongly against central prescription which, by definition, does not allow for individual differences in context and classroom and erodes teacher professionalism and responsiveness to pupils’ needs.