The Story of the Fitzroy Readers
The Fitzroy Readers were created by Faye Berryman and Philip O’Carroll for use in the classrooms of Fitzroy Community School, founded by the pair in 1976 in Melbourne’s inner north. Faye, formerly a secondary English teacher and social worker, and Philip, previously a university lecturer in logic and linguistics, designed the program to promote reading confidence and mastery of English using a phonic approach. Philip and Faye have published a book about their experience of starting and running Fitzroy Community School. You can purchase the book here.
It is over forty years now since the first Fitzroy Reader was written. In addition to the readers, currently in their thirteenth edition, the Fitzroy Program now comprises fully integrated workbooks, software, audio materials, educational games and the Fitzroy Maths series.
The Fitzroy Readers and support materials have gained a reputation for sound learning principles, logical structure and impressive results, and are used in thousands of schools and other educational settings in Australia and around the world.
The Fitzroy Readers and support materials are a complete P-6 phonic literacy resource. Nine sets of ten sequential readers form the core of the program. The accompanying Word Skills workbooks provide worksheets to match each reader, focusing on the new sound and/or digraph introduced in the reader as well as spelling, grammar, comprehension and creative English exercises.
The Fitzroy Readers gradually introduce the 50+ most common special words (non-phonic). Some phonic words are called special words when first encountered but become sounding words later, when a reader focuses on their digraph.
The Fitzroy Maths workbooks were also developed in the test-bed of Fitzroy Community School, by Philip O’Carroll, Tim Berryman and Clotilde Bersac, to build competency and confidence in young mathematicians.
Fitzroy Maths is made up of six sets of five workbooks, from beginner up to middle primary level. The accessible and appealing workbooks use minimal English and are designed to allow students to work at their own pace.
The Fitzroy Maths workbooks use the same step-by-step principle and logical sequencing as the Fitzroy Readers, laying strong foundations at the primary level.
Fitzroy Readers distribute Bien-dire magazines – a French language-learning resource.
Bien-dire Initial, for intermediate learners, and Bien-dire, for more advanced students, are magazines produced specifically for English-speaking learners of French. They include colourful articles about current affairs, history, recipes, travel, and contemporary French culture. The articles come with lists of vocabulary and there is an optional Audio CD or MP3 to aid with pronunciation, as well as interactive exercises available online via Bien-dire Plus.
There are six issues of each magazine per year, with Bien-dire Initial and Bien-dire published on alternate months.