Make no mistake:
Boys visual development is, on average, 1 year behind that of girls.

Boys are disadvantaged in a Whole Language infant classroom.

What is VAS?
* VAS stands for 'Visual Attention Span'.
* It is a function of visual short term working memory.
* It is a measurement of how much visual information can be processed at a glance.

What is VAS Theory?
* It is the linking of VAS development to teaching methods and cognitive development.

The following reading patterns are common place in today’s schools.

Stacks Image 852

* ‘mad’ misread as ‘maid’ (letter names & sounds confusion)

* ‘big’
misread as ‘dig’ (b/d confusion)

* ‘men’
misread as ‘man’ (end letter guessing)

* ‘of’
misread as ’for’ or ‘on’ as ‘no’ (poor left to right processing)

* ‘saw’ misread as ’was’ (word reversals)

* ‘insist’
misread as ’insect’ (mis-guessing similar words)

Stacks Image 887

Low VAS can result in early failure.
IF teaching is Whole Language based.

A child with low VAS won’t be able to learn the
Green” words or the
Blue” words by sight.

Failure to teach this child ‘sounding & blending’ consigns him/her to failure from the outset.

Stacks Image 1193

Of 345 seven year old children, 31% had a VAS level too low for whole word guessing accuracy. They would fail in a Whole Language classroom.

60% of the 345 showed the error patterns expected of whole word guessers.

VAS is developmental.
You can’t artificially raise it.
Phonics doesn’t require high VAS - Whole Language does !

The first critical phase occurs early, in grades 1-2
(associated with low VAS and poor phonics)

  • Stacks Image 1005
  • Stacks Image 1008

The second critical phase occurs later, in grades 4-5
(associated with high VAS and poor phonics)
Follow this
VAS Ceiling Link to understand why.

  • Stacks Image 1019
  • Stacks Image 1022

See Early Failure Sam’s Story video. See 4th Year Slump - Eve’s Story video in the CONSEQUENCES section

“Just over 47,000 children - who were considered to be high-fliers at the age of seven - failed to reach their potential by 11 - effectively going backwards in the last few years of primary education.”

Taken from UK Primary school league tables 2013


To reinstate systematic phonics into all infant classrooms throughout the English speaking world. That is, give the greatest number of children to best start in reading, making them fully independent readers and writers.


Teaching Methods

Studies / Enquiries


About Us

Management / Admini: Mark

Research / Assessment: Byron

Teaching / Resources: Jean

Other: Byron