On this page we have some articles which were never published in our newsletter, links to some useful resources for assessment and a link to the RRF Superlinks, pages of links on all aspects of the teaching of reading and the reading debate.

If you have an article which you would like to contribute to the website or news of interesting developments , both in the UK and internationally, send them to the Website Editor for consideration for inclusion on the site. (Please note that the editor reserves the right to decide what may, or may not be published).

If you have something you would like to discuss, or a question to ask, why don’t you join our message forum, where new posters are always welcome.


RRF Response to the Draft English Curriculum

Response document

Response document (with explanatory notes)


Alphabetic Code Chart

A handy reference chart which provides an overview of the simple and complex English Alphabetic Code letter/sound correspondences which children should have been taught by the end of their first two years of formal schooling. It does not include rare correspondences unless they occur in very commonly used words. We think that parents and teachers will find this a useful resource for both brushing up their own phonic knowledge and checking on the progress of their children.

Burt Reading Test

For non-commercial use only, by permission of the copyright holders.

Instructions for administering the Burt Reading test

Schonell Spelling test

Simple Code Phonics Assessment.

This ‘simple code assessment’ covers one way of representing each of 40 phonemes (‘sounds’). Synthetic phonics programmes may use different vowel digraphs (digraph; two letters representing one phoneme) for the initial teaching of ‘long’ vowel sounds. Parents using this assessment to check their child’s progress should be aware of this. However, if a child does not recognise these digraphs after two years of initial reading instruction (when all the most common spelling alternatives should have been taught) there may be cause for concern; particularly if the school has not provided any extra support for reading and writing.

Ruth Miskin’s Nonsense Words Test

Children who have memorised words as ‘wholes’ are likely to find this decoding test a challenge!

Guidance for Parents in how to support early reading

Tips on how to help your child with their early reading.

UK Government Reports

Two important milestones in the RRF’s ongoing campaign for evidence based initial reading instruction..

Report of the House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee Evidence Check: Literacy Interventions. December 2009

A report of the Science and Technology Select Committee’s evidence check on the national rollout of Reading Recovery, and, Dyslexia interventions.

Rose Report on the initial teaching of reading 2006


Report on the British Dyslexia Association Courses for Reading and Spelling 2012

It is usually recommended that dyslexic pupils are given structured, multi-sensory phonics instruction to help them to improve their reading and spelling skills. Synthetic Phonics appears to fulfill these criteria but is SP teaching in line with established practice in the teaching of reading and spelling to dyslexic pupils?

Elizabeth Nonweiler from the RRF attended BDA courses in teaching reading and spelling and reports on how the two methods compare.

Newsletter from the Nigeria Stepping Stones Project

The RRF has always taken an interest in this project through the involvement of NAomi and Gary Foxcroft, founders of the charity. We were pleased to welcome the Commisioner for Akwa Ibom State Nigeria.at our 2010 Conference, along with academics and teachers from the State. This Newsletter gives an update on the Stepping Stones 'Read and Write Now' project.

ITT Reading Lists

One of the RRF’s key concerns is that, even after publication of the Rose Report (2006) and the introduction of the Synthetic Phonics based official guidance on the initial teaching of reading (Sept. 2007), student teachers are still not being trained to teach synthetic phonics effectively.  Indeed, teacher training organisations have been identified as a major obstacle to the implementation of effective practice.  In 2010 Tom Burkard of the Promethean Trust obtained the reading lists of 46 initial teacher training (ITT) courses (these had to be obtained through the Freedom of Information Act) which show an institutional bias towards mixed method and whole language practices.   He has very kindly allowed us to publish these on our website.

"Matched Funding for Teaching Phonics - Opportunity or Straightjacket?"

Dr Marlynne Grant reports on the positive findings of a study of Reception children taught to read with a systematic, structured synthetic phonics programme

"Follow-up Study to the above"

Dr Marlynne Grant reports on the results of the children in the above study at the end of Y1 and gives a summary report on an earlier longitudinal study 1997 - 2004

"Dr. Grant's 2014 report on her longitudinal studies"

Dr Marlynne Grant reports on the end of Y2 (2013) results of the children in the 2010 - 2012 study and summarises the earlier longitudinal study 1997 - 2004. Her report includes detailed analysis of groups which are usually thought to be at risk of underachievement .

“Spelling Rules OK”

Jenny Chew’s 1992 pamphlet published by the Campaign for Real Education. Still relevant today.

“Wasted Lives” - Jim Curran

A view of Education in Northern Ireland.

RRF ‘Super Links’

Click here to open

Part of our message forum holding a large additional collection of links to research, resources and articles covering just about every aspect of the teaching of reading and evidence based reading instruction.




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