POPAT Programme of Phoneme Awareness Training

POPAT Client Area

SEN Advisors

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council

"Staff were invited to attend a POPAT Seminar in April 2001 in order to raise awareness of the importance of developing cognitive processes at an early stage.

The focus on listening and attention, and the processing elements of the programme, proved extremely interesting.

From a strategic viewpoint it was evident that the programme could also provide a diagnostic element, with a growing list for therapy; it was felt that a sieve for the recognition of speech/language/communication difficulties would prove an invaluable resource.

Many staff have been amazed by the impact that POPAT has already had on attention and listening skills, some schools have noticed improvements in writing , and all pupils involved are enthusiastic about POPAT sessions.

To date all infant/primary schools in the Authority have at least one staff member who has completed the training and several schools have had whole school training.
Initially the training attracted Early Years staff but POPAT is now one of the programmes in use throughout Key Stages 1 and 2, Special Needs Units and Special School, and recently there has been the involvement of staff from the Secondary Sector."

Phil Bowker, SEN Advisor

Neath Port Talbot Education Authority

"POPAT was initially introduced to the Neath Port Talbot LEA in September, 2001 to enable school staff to work more effectively with pupils with Special Educational Needs. Schools found it beneficial to train both Teachers and Learning Support Assistants, thereby maximizing the number of pupils able to have access to the programme. POPAT proved to be extremely successful with these pupils for whom other phonic programmes had failed.

Following this initial success many schools decided to train members of staff with the intention of introducing the programme at Reception level to mainstream pupils as part of their literacy curriculum. Their long term aim is to establish it as a whole school initiative through a rolling programme of training.

As news of POPAT’s success spread, we experienced an increasing demand for POPAT training from all over the Neath Port Talbot area. Within the Authority we now have established our own accredited Trainers who deliver POPAT courses twice a year.

Two Educational Psychologists, currently working in Neath Port Talbot, have trained as POPAT users and their Service now recommends POPAT as a programme for school staff to follow with individual pupils.

The Speech and Language Therapists and Assistants working within the Neath Port Talbot area have also trained as POPAT users. They too recommend that school staff follow the programme to complement the work they are carrying out with specific pupils.

It is envisaged that within the very near future we will have qualified Trainers to deliver the Welsh version of the programme, POPAT Cymraeg.

Since POPAT was introduced to Neath Port Talbot four years ago, all reports from school staff have been extremely positive with regard to pupils’ literacy development. POPAT is increasingly gaining credibility within the Authority and the numbers of staff trained to deliver the programme continues to rise."

Gaynor Proctor, Speech and Language Advisory Teacher

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