Science of Reading &
Structured Literacy

Structured Literacy &

Science of Reading



What is it?

StepsWeb is one of the leading examples of Structured Literacy principles – going back to well before it was recognised as an established term!

Science of Reading refers to the knowledge about reading which has built up over 5 decades of research and best practice. See Scarborough’s Reading Rope (2001) below.

Structured Literacy is a teaching approach which applies that knowledge in a way which is systematic, cumulative, diagnostic and explicit.




Why do we need it?

International concern about literacy levels shows the need for resources which are genuinely evidence-based and effective. However, teaching needs to be explicit and meet the needs of everyone, including our dyslexic and other neurodiverse learners.

Each student needs to work at their own level, with the right amount of reinforcement and scaffolding for each individual.  Very challenging to do in a busy classroom! 

Well-chosen technology can enable teachers to achieve this in a way which is not only enjoyable and user-friendly – but also highly effective.  Not by replacing teaching, but by optimising it!

Supporting learners one step at a time

An evidence-based, structured approach to literacy has to incorporate a number of principles and one of the most important is building the core skills and knowledge needed for literacy in a comprehensive and cumulative way.  

The Five Big Ideas model illustrates the key elements needed for this progression.  StepsWeb develops each one in a structured, systematic way.


How does StepsWeb provide a Structured Literacy approach?

StepsWeb develops the core skills needed for both reading and spelling in a way which is research proven, and highly effective.

We like to describe StepsWeb as ‘the specialist resource for non-specialists’.  The more you know, the more you’ll get out of StepsWeb. While it is ideal for busy teachers, it can also be effectively used by teacher aides and parents.

StepsWeb automatically analyses each student’s literacy needs and places them at the right level of a literacy progression which they can follow at their own individual speed.  The program continually analyses each student’s progress and creates individualised reinforcement.

No more re-inventing the wheel – and no more endless planning and testing!  Everything you need is at your fingertips – comprehensive diagnostic information and online and printable resources for every learner.  

StepsWeb does the hard work for you

All of the activities on StepsWeb are research-based - including the games! They also address the key principles of the Science of Reading in a systematic way.  Here are some examples of activities which directly support a Structured Literacy approach:


Support struggling learners

Allow your struggling learners to get ahead with StepsWeb workbooks.

There is a full range of workbooks which the StepsWeb Course and there are masses of printable resources, screening tests and literacy games to provide reinforcement for your neuro-diverse learners.

In this way, StepsWeb provides your struggling learners with the reinforcement they need – but also variety, enjoyment and a sense of achievement.  

We strongly recommend that all struggling learners use workbooks as well as the online activities to get the extra reinforcement they need.

Try StepsWeb for free

1. Start a free trial

Sign up for our 14 day free trial and add your students to the program.  

2. Familiarise yourself

Explore the educator login - have a play!  You could even assign some activities and games.

3. Place students on the Course

Have your class login to their StepsWeb accounts and take the Placement test - and they’re on their way!