Yes, our resources provide a strong grounding in reading, comprehension, spelling, grammar and punctuation.
We can confirm this by referring customers to the NAPLAN results released in 2013, according to which our test-bed school* scored first in reading for the state of Victoria. (That is, 1st amongst the 1834 primary schools.) The school is entirely non-selective and all students participate in the tests.
In the previous year's NAPLAN test, our test-bed school rated first in the state for spelling, grammar and punctuation. *Fitzroy Community School
Reading can be tested by comprehension questions, because comprehension is the ultimate purpose of reading.
As could be expected, the right age varies from child to child. As a general guideline, most children will be able to start with the Fitzroy Method after four years of age. By then their spoken English is usually of a sufficient level to understand the program.
The Fitzroy Sounds, our pre-reading sing-a-long program, introduces the letter sounds and is excellent preparation from 3 or 4 years of age.
But if you are considering starting your child on reading before school, he or she needs to be both mentally and psychologically ready.
Some children might find learning to read and write too difficult if they begin early, while others - who might intellectually be capable - are not emotionally ready to sit still and learn.
If your child is not ready - for whatever reason - it is best to wait a while longer. Don't let reading and writing become a negative experience for your child. It should always be approached as an exciting adventure into a wonderland of words.
The entire course is designed to be completed by the end of primary school: that is, after six or seven years. However, there is of course individual variation, with some students finishing sooner and others needing the first year or two of secondary to complete the entire program.
By Reader 30, children can move on to selected wider literature. Around Reader 50, they can read a vast range including Harry Potter, etc. (This can take place while finishing off the final set of Fitzroy Readers and matching Fitzroy Word Skills books 51-55 and 56-60 that contain most of the grammatical component of the course.)
The first step in phonic learning is for the student to learn the basic sounds of the letters, but it is not necessary to learn every letter before starting the early Fitzroy Readers. Learn the letters on a need-to-know basis - as they come up in the readers.
The Fitzroy Method has two main resources for teaching letter sounds: the Fitzroy Sounds (with audio demonstration and response) and the Alphabet Book (for recognising and forming written letters).
Both of these products teach every basic letter sound, but the letters will be learnt more quickly and effectively using Fitzroy Sounds and the Alphabet Book together.
Depending on the student's level of literacy and phonic knowledge, however, the program can be entered at any level. Entry Level Tests can be used to work out the best place to start.
Since every Reader in the Fitzroy Method builds on those before it (i.e. Reader 32 presupposes all the material found in the first 31 Readers), you can't skip ahead or read them out of order.
It is therefore essential that you have covered and understood the new material found in one Reader before moving on to the next.
If you have a student with gaps in their phonic knowledge, however, and don't have time to go back over all the earlier Readers (something we strongly recommend), you can consult the Master List. Here you can find out what new elements (new letters, new sounds and special words) have been covered in each of the Readers preceding the one you intend to start with. Make sure your student knows the earlier sounds and special words before proceeding with the next Reader.
The wonderful thing about a phonics literacy program is that as soon as you have learnt the basic letter sounds and the simple act of sounding out, you can already start to decode and spell all the thousands of simple sounding words - including those you have never seen before.
The Fitzroy Program contains no unnecessary teaching materials. This means that you will never pay for anything that doesn't add real educational value to the program. Our program produces outstanding results. There is a strong argument that it is the most systematic phonics course available to primary school students in the world today. In easy, confident steps it will take your child to a high level of literacy.
Spreading the cost of our complete program over the seven primary school years, it represents very good value for the outcomes that are achieved.
The Fitzroy Program is built on decades of hands-on experience in the classroom, and has a highly systematic approach to literacy acquisition. This means that your student will always feel on top of the reading-and-writing learning process, not overwhelmed, since every step of the way is carefully calibrated. There are no surprises.
The result of this is that every Reader appears easy to read. This brings a series of success experiences that boost confidence and encourage your child to continue learning.
Just as importantly, the systematic approach ensures that your student will learn to read and write regardless of their starting point. We have proved this over many years at our test-bed Fitzroy Community School.
We have created the series of 10 Fitzroy Word Skills workbooks precisely to meet this need. Writing goes hand in hand with reading. For each pack of 10 Readers, there is a comprehensive workbook providing several sheets of written activities to go with each story. The highest level of the Fitzroy Readers (51-60) require two workbooks, 51-55 and 56-60.
At the early levels of the Word Skills books, there is practice writing letters, recognising different fonts, labelling pictures with known words, filling in missing letters, finding known words in puzzles, topics for discussion, and topics for creative writing. At this level, the student writes directly into the Word Skills workbook.
At the higher levels, there are many grammatical points - introduced in small steps. There is also vocabulary development - synonyms, antonyms etc. These questions, using the known vocabulary, ensure that students comprehend what they are reading. There are exercises in English idioms and in good English expression.
The x series have been developed to provide extra practice and consolidation at the early levels of the Fitzroy Readers before moving onto new learnings in the next level.
x is for extension!
The x Readers have the full complement of support materials - Word Skills, Answer Books etc.
We recommend working through all levels including the x sets to provide strong a literacy foundation and knowledge.
The Fitzroy Program works very well for children with learning difficulties including dyslexia. Thousands of Australian schools have invested in our teaching materials, for use across their mainstream and specialised classrooms.
The Fitzroy Readers are logical and systematic. Students need only learn the sounds of letters and they can read a vocabulary – including many words they have never seen. Since phonics methods teach students to sound out words, this makes it far easier to remember the correct placement of letters in words than it is with other systems. To spell a word correctly, you just need to sound it out from left to right. The brain learns to move from left to right - not to jump around the text.
The Fitzroy Program is gradual. This creates an environment where learners readily understand what they are being taught, because no step in the learning process is ever too great.
Because of their regular successes, they will grow in reading confidence.
The Fitzroy Readers and their support materials are distributed throughout the world and EAL teachers and students appreciate the logical step-by-step approach to decoding a new language.
We are proud to offer MP3 Audio for all the Fitzroy Readers. These are spoken in clear and beautiful English by Mary O'Carroll. The same natural speech is featured in the software packages available for individual literacy support.
The letter name is what we normally say when talking about a letter or spelling out a word.
For example: c, a, t (“see, ay, tee”) spells cat or t, h, e (“tee, aitch, ee”) spells the.
The letter sound is the basic sound the letter makes. For example: D! O! G! says dog.
Instead of reciting the name of the letter, you actually make the sound of that letter. For example:
D! is the basic sound of the letter d. To say D!, do this: begin saying dig and stop before you say ig.
O! is the basic sound of the letter o. To say O!, do this: begin saying ox and stop before you say x.
G! is the basic sound of the letter g. To say G!, do this: begin saying get and stop before you say et.
Putting these three sounds together, we can say D! O! G! says dog.
We sound out a word by making the sounds of the letters in order from left to right. This is how we decode a sounding word. For example: D! O! G! says dog.
This procedure does not work with all words, but only with sounding words. Examples of sounding words: on, cat, wink, slept, wombat, sprints, fantastic, etc.
Most other words can also be read by sounding out, if we learn our new sounds. Each letter has its basic sound, but groups of letters also give us new sounds.
For example: the letters t and h, when put together, represent a new sound, th. We learn a new sound with each Fitzroy Reader. Examples of new sounds, ch, sh, or, ar, er, all, ous, tion, etc.
If we have learned the new sound sh for example, we can sound out the word shop. We can say: SH! O! P! says shop. Similarly, A! C! TION! says action.
So as we progress through the Fitzroy Program, we find that we can sound out more and more of the English language.
There are some words whose spelling does not conform to rules of pronunciation - words like yacht and eye. They usually contain some phonic clues (like the s and d in said), but we call these special words so the learner understands that they must be remembered by sight. This does not mean we have gone back to the “whole word” method, in which every word is a special word! Indeed, disregarding the 50 most common special words (to, was, who, etc), only a very small percentage of words fall outside the range that phonically-educated students can easily read.
The Fitzroy Program can easily be taught at home, thanks to its strong phonic base and systematic structure. There is no jargon in the materials or the instructions.
The method stays the same from beginning to end, so that once you have learnt how to approach any of our teaching materials, you will always be equipped to use them - no matter what level you reach in the program.
Teachers, tutors and parents may be interested to read the Teacher's Guide, which explains the Fitzroy Program in plain English.
Students who have completed our course will be able to read local newspapers, children's novels and secondary school text books.
Most students start reading wider literature while they are still on the Readers. Some branch out from the 21-30 level, more from 31-40 and most from 41-50. They can move on to Harry Potter and a vast range of other books at the conclusion of the course.
The Fitzroy Program is systematic and complete. As such, there is no need to mix it with any other programs.
If you do wish to mix it with another program - you must still make sure that the sounds are introduced in the same order. If you do that, then you can mix in other courses while still being confident that your child will get a complete literacy education.
The best sources of information for the Fitzroy Program are the product descriptions. To view them online, simply go to the appropriate product page and follow the links.
The Teacher's Guide not only has a full description of our teaching methodology, it also contains teacher resources, such as spelling tests, entry and exit tests for each Reader level, lesson plans, and more.
Professional Development Courses are held in Melbourne, and on-line. To find out when the next course is, go to the training page.
We have received much praise for our materials from schools, teachers, tutors and parents. The Fitzroy Program is easy to understand. The results are rapid. The method has a long track record of giving all readers confidence and capability!