The Story so far...
My name is Katherine. I qualified with a BEd Honours in Education, specialising in English and Physical Education.
I have over 20 years experience of teaching children ranging from Reception to Year 4 in small first schools and larger primary schools. During these years I have been a subject leader for both Literacy and PE. I am currently teaching part-time whilst also managing Backpack Phonics.
I first began exploring developing phonics through physical activity when working in Reception, by devising activities to engage the children through their specific schematic learning behaviours.
I feel very passionately that learning should be fun, active and engaging.
My name is Jason. I qualified in Sports and Coaching studies with English Language and Linguistics BA (hons). My specialism in coaching stretches across work in Nantes as a specialist sports coach and in the U.S.A as a soccer camp director for UK International. My work in Italy as an English Tutor gave me inspiration for all-immersive physical activity to grasp words and sounds, whilst creating a holistic environment for guided discovery and learning.
I am a qualified HTLA and personal trainer and have experience as a PE Coordinator and assistant SENCO.
I strongly believe that children achieve best when they enjoy the learning experience itself.
The idea for Backpack Phonics began in 2016 when we started working together. A desire to allow our Year 1 children to consolidate their classroom-based phonics learning through fun, active activities led to us devising some PE based phonics games. Immediately, we noticed how much the children enjoyed the games and how they were practising and consolidating their phonic knowledge whilst also developing their PE skills. It became apparent that the children who found the classroom-based approach to phonics more challenging, thrived in these sessions. In fact, all the children were blossoming through the use of the physical phonics games and our pass rate for the phonics screening test was exceptional.
As a result, we began to devise more games and decided to put together a comprehensive set that would cover all aspects of Phonics. It has been a steady process, trialled firstly on our own students and then through trials with other schools. These schools have found similar results and we have received excellent feedback from both teachers and the children. We began selling the product to schools in September 2019 and have welcomed several nurseries and schools into our Backpack Phonics family. We work closely with our schools to ensure that they can use the product to it’s maximum potential according to their specific setting.
We run several courses on the use of physical phonics in schools through the company TCR, who run a wide variety of educational courses for schools. Click the link to browse available courses: www.teachcr.com
In January 2020 we were excited to become associated with the company ‘The Teach Hub’ who provide a wide range of fun and engaging primary resources. ‘The Teach Hub’ is run by the Hubbard family who are primary consultants and practising teachers. Visit their website theteachhub.co.uk where you can receive 10% off your first order of £6 or more with the code BACKPACK.
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“My heart beats faster and I feel happy inside.”
Billy aged 5
“I get really excited when I know we are going to play a game because they are so much fun!”
Harry aged 6
“Pacey and fast, perfect for consolidation.” Miss Fitzgerald – KS1 teacher
“I love reading and I love these games because I get to read lots of different words.”
Ellie aged 6
“A vast range of activities to excite and engage the children.” Mrs. Moult – Deputy Headteacher
“I loved it because it helped me practise aiming and reading new words all at the same time.””
Lily aged 8 (talking about the Phase 5B game Mud!).