When Phonics Isn’t Enough – Learn How to Help the Struggling 20%

20percentThis is an article and video from the Empowering Learning Master Trainer in Ireland. These programmes are also run in the UK and on-line throughout the world, see details below.

According to The 2014 National Assessments of English Reading and Mathematics, over 20% of both 2nd class and 6th class students have literacy of Level 1 or below. Between 20-25% of students are at Level 1 or below in mathematics. Although it shows that results have improved since the 2009 report, where they were in the 30’s, it still shows that many students are leaving primary school without even the basic literacy and numeracy skills necessary to succeed at secondary level and beyond.

Yes, there are many factors that may explain this, however we know from working with thousands of students over the last number of years that there are two key factors that play a major role in poor literacy and numeracy performance:

  1. Stress: many studies have shown that stress reduces the efficiency of our Working Memory and therefore short term memory and cognitive processes. It also reduces the ability to recall information effectively from our Long  Term Memory. ‘Going Blank’ is common in tests and exams, interviews and being put on the spot, but when stress is present most of the time, learning becomes extremely difficult. This can affect all students, not just those with labels.
  2. Mental Imagery:students who have not developed their mental imagery skills, or adapted them sufficiently, will struggle to learn, understand and remember things. Training and coaching students in this skill has been shown to be the missing link for many students, particularly those diagnosed with Dyslexia and Dyscalculia. The well-structured phonics programmes that most primary schools use are great for the majority of students, however there are those that simply do not get it. Remedial phonics can help but this is slow, laborious and disheartening for the students, the teachers and the parents! As Einstein quoted, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!’ Let’s do something different!

So, if you are a parent, teacher or Principal, and you have seen your child/students struggle and wondered what can you do to really help them become independent and successful learners,  then you will be interested in the Jumpstarting Literacy & Numeracy Programme. Sign up to for the FREE webinar on Friday 8th April at 9.30 am (you can sign up and access the recording later if you can’t listen live). 

Check out this interview with Se McCarthy of St Joseph’s N.S. in Rathwire. This school has been using this for 3 years and have seen dramatic improvements across the board AND the school of 240+ students is one of the calmest places I have ever been!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiuyuRl9LeU&feature=em-share_video_user. This is Part 1 of 5 of a 10 min interview on how effective the process has been at the school.

The next Jumpstarting Programme for Schools is running Monday 18th April and Friday 29th April at St Joseph’s N.S. in Rathwire. You will get to see first-hand, the process in action with a class twice, once for spelling and once for times tables. Check out the website www.empoweringlearning.ie for more info and call +353 (0) 860775452 to book.

This is also being offered as an EPV course from July 4th – 8th at Froebel College, Maynooth. Hurry though as places have already started to fill up.


About olivehickmott

I am a Forensic Learning coach, showing people how they can improve their own learning and change their health. Working with creative neurodivergent students is a joy, as they learn new skills to overcome many of their learning challenges.
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