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© 2015 Teach to Read

Are you looking for up-to-date training in teaching reading?


Elizabeth of ‘Teach to Read’ provides training and advice about synthetic phonics. Courses for the initial teaching of reading and writing comply with the National Curriculum for England.


Is synthetic phonics really the most effective way to teach reading?

Elizabeth's answer is 'yes'. However, as professionals, many teachers are asking themselves why they should change their methods. Others, who have been teaching phonics for years, wonder if they need to know more.



If you would like answers to any of these questions, please contact Teach to Read. Elizabeth will tailor her training according to your circumstances and the questions raised by your staff.


Training can be about the initial teaching of reading with a short session about progression, or helping older children or adults with reading difficulties, or preparing children to read in a pre-school setting. It can be adapted for advisers, headteachers, teachers, student teachers, teaching assistants, preschool staff, carers and parents.



For the past forty years, many teachers have been told that children should learn by discovery and problem solving. With this philosophy, the role of the teacher is not to teach, but to organise activities and provide the right learning environment. There is no doubt that this is effective in some situations, but for learning how to read and spell words, direct teaching is more effective. Certainly a few children are able to work out the alphabetic code by themselves and some manage when they are trained to guess from a range of clues. However, many children fail to learn to read without direct teaching. In fact, all children benefit when their teacher’s role is to teach to read.

Elizabeth is an experienced teacher who specialises in synthetic phonics teaching methods, the methods now prescribed in The National Curriculum in England for the initial teaching of reading and writing.


Training can be generic or illustrated with Jolly Phonics, Sound Discovery or Letters and Sounds. It can be for mainstream, catch-up or both.


Elizabeth advises teachers and governments around the world, especially in Africa and the Caribbean. She has led a project to introduce synthetic phonics to islands in the Caribbean. To find out more, click here:


Read testimonials from a range of schools and experts: Sue Lloyd, Ruth Miskin, Debbie Hepplewhite, Marlynne Grant, Susan Godsland ...



More about Elizabeth.

In June each year, all children in Year 1 in state-maintained schools in England are asked to read a list of words. The aim is to find out which six year olds have learned to decode to an acceptable standard and which will need extra teaching in Year 2. (Find out more from the DfE website.)


See Elizabeth’s presentation from her talk about the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check.






Listen to a range of experts talking about the teaching of reading  at the Reading Reform Foundation Conference 2015.

See how Jolly Phonics fits with the Phases of Letters and Sounds.

No Nonsense Phonics is a series of 24 non-fiction books written by Elizabeth Nonweiler and published by Raintree. The books provide practice in decoding words at the same time as developing language and curiosity about the world. The colourful photographs and interesting facts make them attractive to children and adults alike.


They are suitable for all age groups. In addition, they have a special use for children who are going to take part in the English Phonics Screening Check. The two levels in No Nonsense Phonics closely match the sections of the Check and there are no exception words. With these books there is no need to teach nonsense words. Unfamiliar real words provide all the practice children need to read the nonsense words in the Check.