An 8-Staged Structured Approach to Reading and Spelling 

Written and illustrated by Mary Saunders

This booklet is designed to re-inforce young learner’s growing knowledge of how to match their speech sounds with single or groups of letters of the English alphabet. Some children have deep difficulties with this, are dyslexic and in need of full multi-sensory training. Which means they learn best when their main learning channels are involved, ie seeing, hearing and feeling in the sense of doing, which means using muscles, in speaking as well as creating. These worksheets will most likely be used in the final stages of consolidating the children’s familiarity with any one sound-to-symbol(s) matching for spelling and symbol(s)-to-sound matching for reading.

Although primarily written for children whose special needs in this area have been identified early (probably about 6 years old), they have proved very effective with older children whose difficulties as readers and spellers have persisted. The structure is in 8 stages, with each stage logically following the previous one. No stage ever includes a spelling convention introduced at a later stage. This means that earlier stages appear in later worksheets, thus giving opportunities for revision. All children benefit very much by structured teaching; their confidence increases as they understand clearly what they are being taught and trained to remember and use. Structure alongside revision is central to building confidence.

Mary Saunders is a life-long teacher of children with reading difficulties. Now retired, she was Area Tutor leading a team of specialist teachers at the Reading Centre, Bristol and running courses and workshops for teachers in Avon, Gloucestershire and Somerset.