Help struggling readers flourish in your classroom

Minimise the amount of time spent on apostrophe worksheets and spelling posters and start maximising your pupils’ potential.

Leading on literacy can be a thoroughly thankless task. It can often feel like you’re working incredibly hard to produce resources and strategies which colleagues at best ignore and at worst resent. The problem is often that we’re expending effort in the wrong place and trying to persuade teachers to do the wrong things. Frustratingly, there’s very little guidance about how best to spend your precious time and it can be hard to find clear information on what approaches are likely to be most successful.

Our advice is to minimise the amount of time spent on apostrophe worksheets and spelling posters. It’s not that these things are unhelpful, rather that they often attempt to solve a problem that’s much more deeply rooted.

The vast majority of literacy difficulties trace their roots back to problems with reading.

What Every Teacher Needs to Know About Reading

Module 1 sneak peek: The Matthew Effect (video)

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What’s included

Get instant access to 4 modules featuring 8 HD training videos, each averaging 7 minutes in length.

You’ll also get accompanying reading material to go more in-depth on each of the subjects. The reading is available as a PDF download so you can access it offline.

Throughout the course, you’ll find quizzes to test what you’ve learned.

Course Content

  • The Matthew Effect video lecture
  • Reading
  • Quiz
  • Fluency basics (video, reading material, quiz)
  • Working memory (video, reading material, quiz)
  • Fluency testing (video, reading material, quiz)
  • Interventions (video, reading material, quiz)
  • Listening (video, reading material, quiz)
  • Video: Reading Comprehension – the basics
  • Reading material: What is reading comprehension?
  • Quiz: reading comprehension
  • Video: Reading Comprehension Strategies
  • Reading material: Skimming, scanning, and zooming
  • Reading material: The promise of just reading
  • Quiz: reading comprehension
  • Video: Is reading for pleasure enough?
  • Reading material: Is reading for pleasure enough?
  • Reading material: Do we really values passing on a love of reading?
  • Reading material: Silent reading
  • Quiz: Silent reading
  • Video: The barriers to independent reading
  • Reading material: A whole school reading project

Before implementing any of the ideas in this course it is vital to have a plan for evaluating the impact of your decisions. This guide will give you a number of tips on how to implement changes in your classroom.

About your instructor, David Didau

In 2011, frustrated by the current state of education I began to blog. Since then I have expressed the constraints and irritations of ordinary teachers, detailed the successes and failures of my classroom and synthesised my 15 years of teaching experienced through the lens of education research and cognitive psychology.

I’ve also spent a lot of time working in schools to improve the way teachers approach students’ literacy. In my book The Secret of Literacy, I urged teachers to ‘make the implicit explicit’. Teachers are highly literate but often have little idea how they are able to do what they do. Often teachers just assume students can do what they can do. Breaking down and codifying what teachers are able to do, allows them to teach reading and writing more effectively.

It was a real ‘coup’ for us to have you and the staff were unanimous in their praise of you. It’s the best feedback I’ve ever had (both anecdotally and on formal feedback forms); staff described it as the best morning’s CPD they had ever had.

Gillian Fergusson
Deputy Rector, Hutcheson’s Grammar School, Glasgow

Thank you for delivering a fantastic series of very thought-provoking and genuinely stimulating sessions. Feedback has been universally positive and it is undoubtedly the best teaching-focused INSET we have had here. The meetings afterwards produced a slew of excellent ideas inspired by what you said, and you have engaged staff in a manner that is really exciting for future teaching and the learning prospects for our students.

Sean Dunne
Deputy Head (Academic) Wycliffe College


Course pricing

  • Lifetime access
  • Free downloadable course book
  • Bonus 1-month membership