We are deeply saddened to announce the death of Violet Brand MBE at the age of 91 April 4th 2020. She was a pioneer.
Violet Brand MBE
Having trained and practised as a primary school teacher Violet quickly became aware that some children were able to read and spell faster than others. She studied the causes and from 1975-1980 carried out many diagnostic tests with young illiterate adults at a college in Harrow, near London. She realised that teaching with phonics and multi-sensory techniques was the best way to overcome the problems but there was no material: so she wrote her own, initially for her own use.
She named the method ‘Spelling Made Easy’ as she always maintained that if someone can spell they can read.
Spelling Made Easy was first published in 1984 and quickly became widely used in the UK and later in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as a result of Violet’s travels.
At the same time she established the Watford Dyslexia Centre and promoted the understanding and teaching of dyslexic children at a time when there was great hostility in many quarters to the whole concept. Over a number of years she had devoted her time to help these children and their teachers and continued to work with illiterate adults, for which she was awarded the MBE. In 2011 she received an Outstanding Lifetime Academic Achievement Award from the British Dyslexia Association.
It is important to stress that Violet’s method is a complete method for teaching reading and spelling, for child and adult learners alike, and across a range of abilities.
“Violet Brand was a true pioneer in her field as a female entrepreneur passionate about education and unlocking the potential of all our children through the joy of reading and writing. The intrepid Violet introduced phonics and her spelling programme to teach generations of children how to enjoy stories and tell their own.”
Sarah Brown, Founder and President of PiggyBankKids
“As a dyslexia specialist, I have been using the ‘Spelling Made Easy’ series by Violet Brand, in my teaching for over 20 years. Ahead of their time when first published, these books are now totally compatible with the current recognition in education of the vital importance of the structured teaching of phonics. The ‘Spelling Made Easy’ books provide a structured, cumulative, multi-sensory spelling programme which benefits all children, including those with dyslexic difficulties. I look forward eagerly to any future additions to this wonderful and indispensable teaching resource.”
Barbara Lillford AMBDA DipSpLD APC (Dyslexia Action)