Toe By Toe®

Years/Age range


Type of children

Any child with reading difficulties, especially those who have been diagnosed as having specific learning difficulties

Child/Adult ratio

1:1. The authors state that parents, special needs teachers, support, teaching and classroom assistants can all use the scheme effectively.

Length of intervention

As long as it takes – evaluation data are based on anything from 26 to 74 weeks; 60 minutes a day

Brief description

Toe By Toe® is a highly systematic page-by-page and step-by-step series of activities in one book, delivered one-to-one, with instructions for the ‘coach’ provided for each activity. It deliberately takes learners right back to the beginning of phonics and works up from there, based on the observation that many learners with difficulties seem never to have got the hang of phonics. Unusually, many of the stimuli are non-words, in order to focus learners’ attention solely on decoding and avoid guessing based on any other ‘cue’. It is intended that learner and coach should work through the entire scheme, however long that takes, and then graduate to simple reading books.


For reading accuracy in Y5-7: useful
For comprehension in Y8-9 (Scottish S1-2): useful

Further information