New Year honours: Pioneering reading teacher “flabbergasted” at MBE

Sue Lloyd has been awarded an MBE for services to education

Sue Lloyd has been awarded an MBE for services to education - Credit: Contributed

A teacher who has pioneered the use of sound to help teach children to read has said she is “flabbergasted” at being awarded an MBE for services to education.

Sue Lloyd has travelled the world and written numerous textbooks on synthetic phonic teaching methods - methods that were discovered during a 20-year career at Woods Loke Primary School in Lowestoft.

Rather than the traditional look-and-say technique, where children would memorise whole words and repeat them, Mrs Lloyd and her colleagues began teaching children the individual sounds that letters make, giving them the ability to “crack the code” for words they did not know.

Having started her career in the 1970s, in 1990 she met publisher Christopher Jolly, with these two and other leading teachers pioneering a series of books and resources that has revolutionised the way children learn to read around the world.

Mrs Lloyd, who lives in Haverhill, said: “I didn’t think in my wildest dreams I’d get something like this. I just think I was in the right place at the right time. I’m absolutely flabbergasted.

“It’s the only way to improve reading standards for all children. Whenever I see a child struggling with reading, it’s because they haven’t been taught how to work the word out. Everywhere it’s been tested, it has improved performance.

“It’s a great honour and I’m very happy to have this honour for all the teachers who have realised how good this is.”

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