About the 'I Can Read Without You' (ICRWY) Project. 'Every Child Reading for Pleasure by 6'
Miss Emma managed two successful day nurseries for 8 years, and was appointed by the UK government to inspect the quality of EY education. She is passionate about play based learning, and concerned that the number of children and young people who read every day and the percentage of those who read for pleasure have declined, according to research carried out by the National Literacy Trust (NLT) for World Book Day (WBD) Previous academic studies have shown that reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success – more so than their family circumstances or their parents’ educational background and income.
Miss Emma has a Masters Degree in Special Educational Needs (with a focus on dyslexia) and is currently undertaking a doctorate at the University of Reading. The ICRWY project was developed in part to ensure that children do not get caught up in the 'Reading Wars' and also to excite and empower children about language and literacy. A very special element to the project is that the children who have been through the project then create videos to teach others! They also watch and learn from each other.
Miss Emma mentors parents and EY educators within the Kit Support group.
Spencer and I feel extremely fortunate to have been a part of the I Can Read Without You pilot program. We knew about SSP before the pilot commenced because my eldest daughter has learnt to read using this approach in her preparatory year of school. I was amazed at how the monsters caught her imagination and how quickly she was progressing. By the middle of the year, she was reading us bedtime stories!!
So, of course, I jumped at the opportunity for my son to have some exposure to the speech, sound pics approach before he started school. I already had some knowledge and resources, but I thought being in the pilot would be a good prompt for me to actually do some learning with Spencer.... I had no idea how valuable it would be to have Miss Emma working personally with us. She is incredible. Her brain is just so in tune with the pre-schoolers. She knows how to spark their interest and exactly when they are ready to introduce a new concept. She challenges them, yet never pressures, which was very important to me. The pilot was very much play based for us. Spencer wakes up every day asking what fun SSP games we have planned for the day. He now loves learning, which just makes me so grateful. He is chomping at the bit now to get to school and sad that he has to wait another whole year!!!
Even more surprising for me, was the learning journey that I have taken during this process. What I knew about SSP had only just touched the sides. Miss Emma has generously dedicated her time to help me work on my accent issues when helping Spencer blend words. She explained the silly schwa to us in a way that made it so simple for us all to understand and; so many little phrases along the way that I know, have sped up Spencer’s development. Never again will I say; “sound it out” or “this letter says....” But most helpful of all, Miss Emma has helped me to discover how my child learns best. How to engage him and what his strengths are. This is so powerful.
Spencer had only just turned 4 years old, a few days before the pilot started. Spencer was fairly shy and very much overshadowed in the reading department by his big sister. After just 7 weeks with Miss Emma, Spencer is building secret cubby houses and reading with her! I must admit his sister was a bit put out by this at first, she was very protective of ‘her’ monsters (haha). Now, it is wonderful to see them bouncing ideas off each other and sharing in this learning journey. Spencer’s speech has even improved! It’s a new way of life for our family.
I actually had trouble writing this. It’s hard trying to put into words, how grateful we are to Miss Emma for what she has done for our children. Spencer has had the best possible start to literacy and will be so ready for school. We will be forever grateful for this gift Miss Emma and we could never have done it without your help. I would definitely say, without hesitation, if you have the opportunity to work with this amazing lady... do it! Be prepared to be busy and receive constructive feedback, but the rewards are priceless.
I can't thank you enough Emma for the support you have given Brody (aged 4) and I.
I have loved SSP since the second I found it 6 years ago and immediately implemented it into my teaching. Watching my own child engage with the monsters and start blending them to read words has been very special. His confidence grew during the duration of the Preschool Program. We were able to identify some blocks in working memory and phonemic awareness and you gave me instant support with ideas to overcome these problems. Brody is singing the green level rap walking around the house and reading environmental print.
Brody and I will continue using all the strategies we have learnt from SSP to get him reading confidently before school. Thank you for sharing your expertise and also kicking me up the bum when I needed it.
'Join as an ICRWY Kit Support Member, and let me show you how to make best use of the ICRWY Teaching Kit'
Miss Emma X
The ICRWY Project is the 'early years' version of the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) Approach.
'The only way to successfully learn to read in English is to know the 'speech sound' values of the letters. We call them 'pictures of speech sounds'
ie 'Speech Sound Pics'.
The written code was created to represent speech sounds, not the other way around, so a 'Speech to Print' approach is taken. Phonics is essential for ALL readers, but students will struggle to learn phonics without good phonemic awareness.
We use our unique patented technique 'Code Mapping' to SHOW students how all words are segmented into sound units (graphemes).
Even when children have good phonemic awareness and are taught 'phonics' they can struggle to know how to pronounce the graphemes they see in unfamiliar words. Many teachers would use phonetic symbols, but these are less appealing to young children. Miss Emma, therefore, created 'Speech Sound Monsters' as an alternative. She 'Code Maps' and 'Monster Maps' texts and books for them, so that they can actually read unfamiliar texts without any help, and reach the stage of 'orthographic mapping' far earlier!
All but two English words are decodable (can be Code Mapped) When there are graphemes only used in that word, eg the /wo/ in the word two or the /ach/ in the word yacht, they are put on the outside of the Spelling Clouds. There are very few.
Children explore these using the SSP Speech Sound Wall and Spelling Clouds, along the journey to becoming 'orthographic mappers'