SharpReading Teacher Training

From Phonics to Advanced Comprehension

What do I teach and How do I teach it?

SharpReading ONLiNE Courses will provide you with evidence-based answers to these questions.  

What do I Teach?
Each of our courses represents steps in a developmental progression, breaking down the complex teaching AND the learning of reading into manageable chunks. The result - clear learning pathways for everyone.

  • Students gain mastery of each step before moving on to the next challenge.

  • Teachers easily identify the appropriate stage a student is ready for and focus just on that.

How do I Teach it?
The learning for each stage is clearly set out with all the teaching templates at your fingertips, and video models of all aspects of the routines.

Learning the Code - Getting Started with Reading


PURPOSE: To learn the letter sound relationships.

This is our own contribution to Phonics instruction - a collaboration with Yolanda Soryl Literacy. Video models and resources are included to get you off to a flying start in Phonics instruction.

SharpPhonics is not an essential part of the SharpReading approach to reading instruction. If you have any robust phonics programme in place, our SharpReading stages will dovetail easily into that.


SharpReading Stages 1&2 ONLiNE Course

PURPOSE:  Transference of phonics skills into the reading of authentic texts.

Once phonics skills have been taught and practised (maybe using decodable texts) students need the opportunities to transfer these skills while reading authentic texts. The challenge needs to be just right so that they can problem-solve one or two difficulties per page. Students make rapid progress if they can experience SUCCESS without lots of teacher interventions.


  • 10-12 minute routine, one focus teaching point, structured processing of each page

  • 'The 5 Bits' - 5 opportunities to experience success on every page, clear guidelines for the teacher to ensure the text is 'Just Right'.

BUY NOW Options from $99 NZD

Constructing Meaning - Sentence Level Comprehension

SharpReading Stage 3 ONLiNE Course - Sentence Level Comprehension

PURPOSE:  Develop the ability to quickly and accurately unpack sentences.

'Reading Comprehension is the skill of simultaneously extracting ideas from a sentence and putting those ideas together to construct meaning.' (Snow 2002).

Most readers just skate over the surface of text, grabbing an idea here and an idea there resulting in a very superficial level of understanding. The starting point for effective comprehension instruction is at a sentence level.
Stage 3 slows them down and forces them to combine all the Language Comprehension strands in Scarborough's Rope.

Please Note: Stages 1&2 is NOT a prerequisite for this training.

BUY NOW Options from $139 NZD                            

SharpReading Stage 4 ONLiNE Course - Sentence Level Comprehension

PURPOSE:  Teach and practice the use of metacognitive 'stop and think about it' strategies that the reader can use to enhance and deepen their understanding of what is going on in the sentence.

Having developed active reading of sentences in Stage 3 (constructing the accurate meaning the author intended), students are now ready to employ metacognitive 'stop-and-think-about-it' strategies to enhance and deepen their processing of language.

The Deep 4 - We have chosen 4 strategies that research says have the greatest impact on comprehension.

  • Creating Mental Images

  • Making Connections to Prior Knowledge

  • Asking Questions

  • Forming and Revising Hypotheses 

Our Point of Difference; Students learn to use these strategies WHILE they are reading.

BUY NOW Options from $79 NZD

Critical Thinking - Text Level Comprehension

SharpReading Stage 5 ONLiNE Course - Text Level (Big Picture) Comprehension

PURPOSE:  Develop Critical Thinking about the structure of text.

In Stage 5 we move on from sentence-level comprehension to text-level or big-picture comprehension. Being able to identify the overall organisation of a text has an evidence-based impact on comprehension and prepares the reader for evaluating the writing (Stage 6).

The course is divided into two parts

  • Analysing Narrative or Fiction Text using a Story Structure or Story Grammar.

  • Analysing Non Fiction or Expository Text by identifying Trigger Words and Headings.

BUY NOW Options from $79 NZD

Teach Comprehension - Evaluating Text

SharpReading Stage 6 ONLiNE Course - Text Level (Big Picture) Comprehension
Each SharpReading stage adds to the cognitive challenge the reader faces when processing text. Now that the reader has been able to analyse the organisation of the text they are in a position to evaluate the quality of the writing.

Fiction or Narrative Text

  • Plot and character development 

  • Effective use of figures of speech

Non Fiction or Expository Text

  • Organisation and clarity of information

Available Soon from $79 NZD

Interventions for those readers who have fallen behind

The Struggling Older Reader ONLiNE Course
For those readers who get stuck on the decoding hump at around a Reading age of 7-8 yrs .

  • Part 1: SEVENPLUS - A simple 10-week intervention that works!

  • Part 2: A transition back into a 'normal' guided reading program (modified Stage 2).

Includes over $100 of essential resources - everything you need!

BUY NOW Options from $139 NZD

How about becoming a SharpReading Coach?

SharpReading Coach ONLiNE Course
If your school is serious about implementing SharpReading School-wide then you need to think about having an in-school expert who can monitor the delivery of the programme and provide support to teachers who need it.


  • Our unique observation and feedback model - the teacher is in control of the process

  • You are trained in a variety of support options - modelling, team teaching

  • Template for Yearly plan

  • Certificate of Accreditation once training is complete


For the Teacher

Choose a Course (above) THEN select the Training Approach that suits you best
From go-it-alone (BASIC) to all the support you can get (PREMIUM)


An ONLiNE Course
12 months access

At-your-own-pace, in-your- own-time learning

A simple breakdown of the purposes and implementation of each step in our teaching routines.  

Annotated video models of all the teaching so that you know exactly what it looks like.

COST: from $79 NZD


  1. An ONLiNE Course

  2. Live Start-Up Webinar

An event to get you immersed in the training in one sitting.

Face-to-face Guided Practice with the routines lets you feel what the delivery is like and how it is embedded in the theory. 

You have the ONLiNE Course to consolidate your practice.

COST: from $129 NZD


  1. An ONLiNE Course

  2. Live Start-Up Webinar

  3. 30 min Zoom Meeting

Add-on one-on-one customised coaching.
Our observation data and feedback allows you to assess the accuracy of your delivery and make decisions about your own next steps.

Become an Accredited SharpReading Teacher

COST: From $195 NZD

For the Whole School

Are you looking for a systematic approach to reading instruction across the school?
We have tried and proven systems in place for introducing SharpReading school-wide.
Train all your teachers OR start with a trial Year group and then extend across the school.
We can customise the implementation to suit your needs and your budget.

Teacher Only Day

Run a training event to get off to a good start. This can be a face-to-face workshop or via webinar

ONLiNE Courses  

Access to the ONL:iNE Courses provides the content and the framework for ongoing review and consolidation 

In School Support

We will come on-site and work with each teacher in their classroom with their students to get the implementation RIGHT!

Train a

We will train your own SharpReading experts within the school to maintain the integrity and longevity of SharpReading

"I have literally seen my able readers, and my not so able readers, come alive using this approach. The other day we were preparing for camp and they asked, 'Are we going to be doing SharpReading on camp?' "
Irene Year 5 Teacher


SharpReading routines generate noticeable changes in student focus, as much as 40% more engagement!


80% of SharpReading Schools report significant improvement in reading ability and achievement.


50% reduction in planning and assessment workloads means lots of confident, smiling teachers.

Course Writers - SharpReading Directors

Hilton Ayrey

We are very passionate about teaching reading and we are always looking for ways to make the teaching of reading more manageable, more enjoyable with GREAT results. It has to work for students AND the teacher.

Between us, we have decades of classroom teaching so SharpReading is our response to the highlights and the challenges of working at the coalface.

Brian Parker

Ten years as tutors at the New Zealand Graduate School of Education in Christchurch was where we fine-tuned this approach as we worked alongside trainee teachers in the classroom.  As Independent Literacy Consultants since 2010, we have worked with hundreds of teachers and many schools in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and South Africa both face-to-face and online to meet the challenges that their unique contexts present.    


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