The brain looks for patterns and consistencies. Hebbian Learning attempts to connect the psychological and neurological underpinnings of learning.
‘neurons that fire together in time will wire themselves up. And the more often a set of neurons fire together, the more likely it is that they will fire again together and form an easier and easier representation so it will be easier and easier to get that set of neurons to fire off together and wire up together.
It's believed at this point that the firing together of information in time will bind that information together and say, 'okay this is a chunk of information which is occurring on a regular basis statistically in your environment, it must be important - pull that together and make it easier for your brain to respond to it'. And we think that has something to do with the basic units in which the brain is going to perceive the phonological building blocks of language.
It is frustrating that over 1 in 4 children in the UK leave primary school unable to read at the minimum expected levels, or able to cope with the literacy demands of the secondary school curriculum.
Almost all could have thrived within a different learning environment. The negative impact is wide-reaching and avoidable. For example, it would be foolish to deny the possibility that children who cannot read vent their frustration through delinquent behaviour. Their behaviour becomes the focus, not their feelings, their impacted self-esteem - or right to learn.
Programmes are designed for the neurotypical classroom, for children who have normally developing speech, language and communication skills, are physically and emotionally healthy, regularly attend school and have parents or carers who can and do support their children at home.
After over a decade of supporting teachers in both the primary and secondary school sectors, I have realised the best focus of my time is the early years - to prevent these issues, and protect these children even before they start school. I can't change the education system, but I can do far more to raise awareness, support those caring for young children, and protect them from failure. As a nation we immunise children against illness, but not against illiteracy. For however long I have on this earth, this is my life's work; my calling.
I want every child, teenager and adult, to be able to say 'I Can Read Without You'. Reading independently is empowering because you can then do what you like with it - it can't hold you back - what you do with it becomes your choice. Not having that choice is unforgivable, when it is possible for almost everyone.
The first thing we MUST do in the early years (3-5) is to check EVERY child to find out if they have a brain 'wired' for orthographic learning, which is essential if they are to learn to read and spell; around a third of children won't, and some of these may be dyslexic. We check this as part of their daily play-based activities using our unique Phonemic Awareness Screener (PAS) which does not include looking at, or naming, letters or their 'sounds'. It is quick and easy, and we can get to work wiring ALL brains for 'orthographic learning' ie to understand written language! Our aim is also to make this screening FREE.
We will be training Learning Whisperers to deliver the 6-week' Reading Ready Brains' program for
2 - 4-year-olds.
Could you be a Learning Whisperer, and improve global literacy by sending children to school with
Reading Ready Brains?
Miss Emma MA SEN
Proudly Neurodivergent. Training, Supporting & Mentoring ICRWY 'Learning Whisperers'
Unashamedly passionate about kids, inclusion and early intervention.
Come and learn about 'Duck Hands', and join me for a cup of tea!
About Miss Emma ICRWY Project Lead
I graduated as a primary school teacher with a specialism in 'the early years' many years ago!
Since then I've set up and managed two 'outstanding' day nurseries, have been appointed as an OFSTED Inspector (Early Years) and supported a range of organisations supporting families (eg Sure Start) and children in care with regard to positive behaviour change.
I graduated with a Masters Degree in Special Educational Needs from Nottingham University before emigrating to Australia for ten years! Although I initially intended to support those working with children in the early years, in Queensland, my youtube videos and youtube clips soon caught the attention of primary school teachers and then amazing things started to happen!
I initially intended to return to the UK to support my son, who had decided to do his degree here, but then connected with some fantastic folks at the University of Reading and decided to undertake doctoral studies. The plan was to keep travelling back and forth to Australia to continue to support and train teachers, and perhaps even conduct my research there, but then Covid arrived! It gave me the opportunity to reflect on whether what I was doing really was the best use of my time and skills. I needed to decide which battles to continue to fight - if we are to send 95% of children to secondary school able to say 'I Can Read Without You'.
I'm honoured to be delivering training for PATOSS with Dr Elliott, offering a series of four lectures on the most up-to-date, evidence-based research to inform best practice in the assessment and intervention of children with literacy disorders for primary and secondary age students, and am connecting with brilliant minds, to tackle some of the difficulties that arise when children don't learn to read. Children's behaviour is inextricably linked to their level of reading.
Through the I Can Read Without You (ICRWY) Project we can PREVENT issues, by developing a simple, easy-to-implement intervention approach that can be rolled out nationally, and within which every child is assessed for their ability to isolate, segment and blend speech sounds, as this is needed to map those small sound units to 'pictures of speech sounds' when reading and writing (graphemes) We can then overcome these deficits even before they start school - and even if no English is spoken, or the child is non-verbal.
This, quite literally, 'wires' their brains to be 'reading-ready'! They are more easily able to read and spell - even with those one-size-fits-all programmes! Teir parents and carers will know more, as they will be fully supported - even if they can't (yet) read themselves, or speak English as another language.
To deliver the Learning Whisperers Early Learning System and ensure that children start school with Reading Ready Brains please get in touch. You will learn to identify those at risk of experiencing reading difficulties, and give them what they need; brains 'wired' for orthographic learning. It is far easier if we do this before they enter the school system (ie before Prep/ Reception) The approach is also IDEAL for children who speak English as another language!
ICRWY EY Pilot Testimonials
A few comments from ICRWY Early Years ONLINE Pilot for Parents and Carers.
The Icanreadwithoutyou program is an amazing and helpful program for those wishing to teach their child to read. The videos and resources are fantastic, however, what was more helpful was the individual support Miss Emma gave to both myself and my child. She directed me with what steps I needed to support my child as an individual. She really looked at the child and their personalities, creating resources to match. Her mentoring throughout the program helped me to grow as my child's teacher.
Alexis really enjoyed the personal messages from Miss Emma and would send her back messages. Alexis really connected with Miss Emma and enjoyed the lessons. She has grown so much (and so have I) over the course of the program. Alexis has gained confidence in her learning and has developed very strong spelling and reading skills for her future. I can not thank Miss Emma enough for her time and patience with me. She was supportive and able to give constructive feedback which helped me so much.
Thank you xx