Toothill School, Bingham, nr. Nottingham
Another innovative literacy scheme is in operation at Toothill School in Bingham near Nottingham, UK. They have been running a highly successful Toe By Toe scheme for more than a decade. Teachers, parents, teaching assistants and fellow students all act as Toe By Toe mentors. The scheme was instigated by Deputy Head, Wendy Nelson, but is now run by Senior Teaching Assistant, Sue Bird.
The scheme has now been expanded to use both Stride Ahead and Stareway To Spelling with excellent results. Keda Cowling visited the school to see the scheme in action in January 2008 and was highly impressed. Please click on the following link to see a newspaper article about the visit. Keda Visit 30/01/2008
Glebe School, West Wickham
Glebe School in South-East London, UK, is a large special school for students aged 11-19 recently classified as a ‘Specialist College for Cognition and Learning’. Originally, the school catered for students with moderate learning difficulties but it now meets the needs of a more complex, educationally diverse student group.
Glebe originally began using Toe By Toe on an ad hoc basis. But when Sue Barrell joined the school as an English teacher in 2003, she realised that a school-wide systematic approach was required to help the many students at Glebe with low reading ages.
She considered that Toe By Toe would be an ideal fit for the school and students. Sue had the invaluable support and encouragement of Keith Seed (Head) and Chris Collins (Assistant Head). This wider scheme was an instant success and the number of students using it continues to grow steadily. At present there are more than 40 students working through the manual. Four teaching assistants and Sue herself work with students every day during the school ‘literacy hour’ with sessions lasting 15-20 minutes on a 1:1 basis.
Sue attended two Toe By Toe training courses in the South-East. So impressed was she by the training, she invited Keda’s son, Frank Cowling, to provide a literacy workshop for local schools and interested parents in November 2009. This too was a great success. As a result, a handful of parents now give extra Toe By Toe sessions to their children at home. Sue has also started a ‘Buddy System’ at the school and has plans to involve more and more students over time.
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