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Why Us?

The Fitzroy Method has a unique history: unlike other reading programs it was not designed with sales and profit in mind. Rather it was created with only one intention – success in the classroom.

Not surprisingly, the early versions of the Readers (there was no supplementary teaching material at the time) were not fancy. There were no glossy pictures, there were no typeset pages. Instead, they were a highly pragmatic, hand written, hand drawn, collection of stories that aimed to develop reading confidence and mastery as simply and effectively as possible.

If the Fitzroy Readers (later to be expanded into a complete literacy course, the Fitzroy Method) took time to develop, that is only natural. All good literacy programs need a good deal of hands-on testing in the classroom before they can be deemed fit for publication.

It’s like computer programs: no programmer would ever consider sending his work out into the public without first exposing it to to hundreds of hours of testing, and probably several free demo-versions. It’s too risky. You cannot foresee all of the problems that will inevitably arise. No system that will work in practice can be created in an Ivory Tower. To do so is to court disaster. The world is always more complicated in practice than on paper.

Amazingly, however, most reading programmes make this very mistake: money restraints, publishing deadlines, everything conspires to see them out in the marketplace as quickly as possible, without adequate classroom testing.

In fact, not only have most programs never had any classroom testing whatsoever, many of them have been created by people who have not even set foot in a primary school classroom!

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of them fail our children dismally. They have been created by people with little or no experience of how children actually learn. They have been created for cardboard figures.

The Fitzroy Readers had sixteen years of classroom exposure before the first edition was made available for the general public. Since then another 17 years have gone by, and always they have been proven to work. In the classroom, at home, wherever they have been used they have always achieved extraordinary results.

Now, over three decades since the first Reader was written and many new editions later, a complete literacy course has been developed which includes work books, audio CDs, computer software, letter sound packs, letter formings games and the like.

What's more, the Fitzroy Method has created an entire teaching methodology based on solid phonics principles and 30+ years of classroom exposure in thousands of Australian schools and countries around the world (most importantly: Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan , Korea, New Zealand and Malaysia). It is this method (ology) that has provided the foundation for the newly formed Fitzroy Learning Centres.

The Fitzroy Learning Centres (FLCs) go beyond anything previously seen in the Fitzroy Method, however. They develop it. They add to it through new worksheets, games and the like. They pull it together into a coherent and easy-to-follow teaching package.

Indeed, this is the first time in the Fitzroy Method's history that individual lesson plans have been created for each and every Reader level. This has enabled us to create a program that can replicate the methods and success enjoyed by Fitzroy Community School, the testing ground for the Fitzroy Method..

Over the years this school has won many educational awards and was recently recognised by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (an independent authority that is responsible for publishing nationally comparable data on Australian schools) as being in the top 1% of Australian schools for literacy standards. It was also singled out by the Herald-Sun, Australia's largest selling newspaper, for its excellence in education.

It is therefore an exciting development in the Fitzroy Method's history. Now, for the first time, students all over the world will have access not only to the full range of Fitzroy Method teaching materials, but also to the teaching techniques and system behind them.

This, we believe, will help us demonstrate that many children struggle with reading not so much due to their innate ability, but rather due to the quality of the educational material and teaching they receive.

With quality teaching and the right approach, almost any child can learn not just to be a good reader, but a great one.

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