Home Edition FAQ
Who is the author of CodeBreakers® and what is their experience?
CodeBreakers® has been developed over the past 10 years by Georgina Smith, who is an experienced dyslexia tutor. Georgina is a member of PATOSS.
Georgina has run an independent practice for over 10 years working with students of all ages referred by their family and through both mainstream and non-mainstream schools. Georgina has provided inset training to schools and is the co-founder of SEN Jigsaw Conference.
As members of her family have struggled with dyslexia over the years, she is passionate about supporting children and adults with dyslexia, ensuring they maximise their potential and develop literacy skills to enable students to become independent, confident readers and spellers.
Georgina has completed CPD in various overlapping SEN/SPLDs and has a particular interest in Visual Processing (VPD), Auditory Processing (APD), Complex Language Difficulties, Sensory Processing (SPD), Autism (ASD), Pathological Demand (PDA), Dyspraxia and Retained Primitive Reflexes.
How does CodeBreakers® work?
CodeBreakers® is a systematic synthetic phonics, multi-sensory, structured, cumulative literacy programme. Your child will learn to sound out and blend words. They will work on sounds/phonics but also the logic and patterns. They will learn how to build words to help read and spell. The step-by-step approach to building knowledge ensures your child is only asked to read and spell words using sounds they have been introduced to. Using My Dyslexia Tutor you will receive a video tutorial of your CodeBreakers® workbook, and animated explainer video to help you complete the downloadable workbook.
You can now purchase CodeBreakers® workbooks.
My child doesn’t have a dyslexia diagnosis can I use CodeBreakers®?
CodeBreakers® is for students with dyslexia and those who want to improve literacy skills. Your child does not need to have a diagnosis of dyslexia to use the programme.
How will I know where to start on the programme?
You will receive a FREE baseline test which does not require any qualifications to use. The forms are quick to complete and are mapped directly to the programme and curriculum.
How much time per week do we need to spend practising CodeBreakers® at home?
Work with CodeBreakers® as little or often as you wish in the week. You can repeat games on a daily basis if you like. If you prefer, don’t study one day and just play a game, that’s great. Don’t worry if you miss a day or two, hobbies are important.
Overall we would expect it to take 90 mins on average to complete a workbook but we would strongly recommend that this is not completed in one sitting. Students need time to absorb information. Think quality, not quantity. Practice 2-3 times a week for 20-30 mins.
CodeBreakers® is all about taking things at your own pace. Don’t compare to other students. Over learning is the key to learning.
Which age group is CodeBreakers® for?
CodeBreakers® is aimed at students of all ages and abilities from 5 yrs to post 16. It successfully helps children of all ages, it’s written in a way that appeals to both younger and older students and gives you the freedom to adapt games to suits your child’s needs and interests.
CodeBreakers® maintains the interest of primary school students as you can include learning through play.
CodeBreakers® is excellent for secondary school students and post 16 students, its plain text format without the pictures removes the stigma often attached to developing literacy skills.
CodeBreakers® is also used with school leavers in FE and apprenticeships. Many adults may have not received the opportunity to develop reading and spelling skills. This is a comfortable way to do so at home.
Who can deliver and use CodeBreakers®?
CodeBreakers® has been designed to enable parents, carers or partners to support learners. It is highly structured and provides all worksheets, answers and flashcards.
The tutorial videos in My Dyslexia Tutor will explain all you need to know.
There is an optional easily laid out Instructor’s Manual guide also provided. So that the person supporting is aware of how to best complete the worksheet or game, which principles it develops and how to make the most of the multi-sensory experience. This ensures information is stored and retrieved. This helps to develop independent and confident learners.
Will my child engage with CodeBreakers®?
Students have used this programme for 1:1 tuition and repeatedly attended lessons and had fun! There are lots of games to engage younger students and have fun learning. It removes the feeling of doing homework at the dining table. You can even include all the family in games if you wish. Younger and older siblings can join in and this helps all the family, allowing parents to manage time and removes the stigma of feeling ‘extra work’ needs to be completed.
The programme can be adapted for older students, with less emphasis on play, although even our older students love a game of bingo! As there are no pictures, this removes the sense of ‘additional support’ which stops some older students engaging in some programmes.
Is CodeBreakers® successful?
Each workbook is structured and cumulative which means that students are only asked to read and spell sounds they have discovered at previous levels. Therefore they have a positive experience completing each workbook.
The spelling rules and sounds are provided with every workbook to enable a full understanding of the sound and how to select the correct spelling pattern. Each chunk of sound is also isolated to enable students to understand how to identify and say a chunk of sound.
The animated videos give a step-by-step guide to each sound, which is mapped to each book in the series.
My child doesn’t attend mainstream school, is CodeBreakers® suitable for them to follow?
CodeBreakers® has been used with students who have dyslexia, students without dyslexia, students who attend mainstream school, students who do not attend mainstream school and students with additional and complex SpLDs.
Due to the multi-sensory approach, this ensures that students have the best opportunity of retaining the information.
CodeBreakers® has been used with children of all ages who have Global Development Delay, Autism, Dyspraxia, ADHD, Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), developmental language difficulties, audio and visual processing difficulties. The great thing is, CodeBreakers® works at their pace and gives lots of opportunity for over learning.
Will it stick?
The principles behind CodeBreakers® are;
- A multi-sensory programme
- Learning is delivered in a structured and cumulative way
- Allow plenty of opportunities for over learning
- Includes language and vocabulary work to give semantic representation and word meaning at a personal level
These principles ensure that students will store and retrieve information effectively and become independent readers and spellers, not reliant on whole word recognition.
There are many synthetic phonics programmes available, however, I firmly believe the success of the programme is in the delivery too. My Dyslexia Tutor provides video tutorials ensuring the principles of delivery are maintained.
My child has visual processing difficulties, sometimes they don’t read words accurately, does it help?
CodeBreakers® is written in a dyslexia-friendly font and can be printed on a specific colour paper to reduce visual stress. Visual stress can sometimes cause letters to be swapped or text to ‘dance’ when reading, resulting in words being read incorrectly.
My child has difficulty with phonics and sometimes can’t hear sounds in words correctly, does the programme help?
CodeBreakers® works on phonics, however, gives a significant opportunity for over learning which is often missed. CodeBreakers® also works on a logical method, enabling students to understand where to use patterns in spelling and understand how letters change sound in relation to other letters in reading and spelling.
Students are asked to proofread and check work as part of a task and describe the rules to help them understand why words are spelt incorrectly, worksheets also help students understand morphology and etymology which looks at how words are built and how to understand their meaning. They’ll also develop vocabulary skills providing a semantic link and personal meaning of words, ensuring learning takes places on a number of levels.
My child has not had a positive experience of learning to read and spell and finds it difficult to engage in learning, does the programme help?
CodeBreakers® builds confidence and keeps students of all ages engaged. It is also a fun way to learn. CodeBreakers® has bite-sized worksheets, tasks are quickly completed with immediate feedback.
The consistent layout of the workbooks means your child will begin to anticipate how to complete the works, as they are solely working on one sound/pattern they can begin to build their skills using this pattern/sound and have a positive experience.
CodeBreakers® workbooks constantly swap between visual, auditory, analytical, discovery, spelling, reading, writing and games tasks ensuring when learning different parts of the brain are stimulated, this ensures the sound/pattern is learned and remembered.
My child struggles to read whole words, will this help?
Students who have followed CodeBreakers® don’t simply learn whole word recognition of high-frequency words, they develop knowledge of words through the patterns, learning how to add suffixes and understanding the root word. Students are able to analyse sounds and the patterns of letters which make sounds, to apply logic and transfer this knowledge to other, less familiar words. This enables students to access a wider word bank and so are not solely reliant on trying to recall high-frequency words.
My child struggles each week to recall words in spelling tests, how will CodeBreakers® work?
Traditionally, students are asked to learn 10 spellings per week from the National Curriculum. Usually, these are taught by “Look, say, cover” methods. Students are essentially recalling what the whole word looks like rather than understanding each ‘component part’ of a word and how a word is made up of sounds, syllables and possibly suffixes. Students using CodeBreakers® will learn how to encode words by sounding out words and making a written response for each sound.
Do I need additional resources?
Unless you want to use your own games to add to the play sections, resources are included. The pack includes printable flashcards and games. You will need a set of wooden letters to build words, a dice for games, coloured pens and paper and card for printing workbooks and games.
How does CodeBreakers® transfer into school work?
We always suggest when completing reading and spelling for schoolwork, you try to identify the key sounds you and your child have worked on together in CodeBreakers® and identify/highlight them in text.
I have no knowledge of dyslexia, can I use CodeBreakers®?
The Workbook, tutorial videos, explainer videos and Instructor’s Manual provide all the information on how to successfully deliver CodeBreakers® programme and therefore requires no training.
The optional Instructor’s Manual discusses the principles of the programme and how to successfully deliver the multi-sensory programme for each task in the workbook.
All the preparation has been completed, so there is no need to find resources from various programmes. You can simply pick it up and start to use once you’ve read the brief manual. Each workbook will offer regular worksheets, which enables you to gain confidence in how to deliver the programme and your child will be encouraged by their success, due to the familiarity of the work.
Is there a lot to learn for me to use CodeBreakers®?
If you opt for the Instructor’s Manual, it is supplied in PDF format which means you can read it on your laptop/tablet and even use text to speech software to read the manual to you if you like. You’ll enjoy learning the principles of how to support your child. It’s written with parents in mind, so it’s friendly and accessible. You’ll find all the jargon detailed too. My Dyslexia Tutor means you and your child will be guided through each workbook, just like having a home tutor.
What should I tell my school about CodeBreakers®?
Students of all ages enjoy using CodeBreakers®.
The structured workbooks quickly build confidence as students become assured, knowing how to complete workbooks and quickly are able to become independent learners. Students are able to successfully complete workbooks with instant positive feedback, which provides both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. This means you can reward your child through positive praise and feedback. Your child can also self motivate by identifying themselves, that they have been successful and realising their own progress and how they can begin to build their knowledge of words and apply to schoolwork.
What equipment will I need to use CodeBreakers®?
You will need access to a printer to print your workbook.
CodeBreakers® is suitable for students with dyslexia and those looking to boost literacy skills.
How can you buy it?
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