Young Girl Reading


Where the story begins...

"I wasn't a reader as a child."  I've used these words so many times and as a primary teacher, I was perhaps sharing a secret that shouldn't be promoted.  My own parents read to me, and I could immediately tell if my dad skipped a page of The Ugly Duckling when I was snoozing through the story.  So why didn't I enjoy reading as a teenager?  This I don't know, but with my own children, and the children in my classes, I was determined to inspire a love of books and reading that would last a lifetime.  

Introducing Wilbur and Flops.  

Will is my eldest child, an avid reader by 6 years old, and Fern is following on behind - she insists upon a 'two stories before bed' routine, reads the first page herself, and her growing vocabulary amazes us every day.  

We gave our children two short names and spend our days lengthening them!  Will, Wilbur, William, Wilberfoss, and Fern, Fernie, Fernie-Pie, and Flopsy (she was born with her ear a little crumpled and became Flopsy before we left hospital).  I hope they don't mind me using Wilbur and Flops; after all, they are my inspiration to share a love of books more widely and to encourage other young readers to read throughout their childhood, teenage years and into adulthood.  

Here's another secret: it took me three years to just finish reading a novel recently!!  I try to read at least three or four times a week but I am terrible for falling asleep when I have a book in my hands.  My husband often has to give me a nudge because the sound of page turning has been replaced by my snoring!  I live through my children's books now and have such a passion for their reading that I just want to make sure this is shared with the little learners and ready readers with whom I have the pleasure of working.  

In 2020, Covid-19 arrived and Wilbur and Flops retreated to being an online learning provision.  Since March 2020, we've had online story time classes, online phonics group classes, and one to one lessons in North Yorkshire, where we live, and as far away as Hong Kong!



Qualified. Experienced. Creative.

Rachel Mackay is a qualified teacher with a range of experience in nursery and infant settings in state and private sectors, as well as a background in dance teaching for young children. 
BA QTS (Hons) English
EYPS (Early Years Professional Status)
Post-Graduate Diploma in Phonics Teaching
Post-Graduate Diploma in Educational Improvement, Development and Change
NASENCO (National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination)
Compass Buzz Mental Health Training Levels 1, 2 and 3
BATD (British Association of Teachers of Dancing) Associate (Stage)
Paediatric First Aid
Parent Governor from October 2020



Experience stories. Learn to read. Grow as a reader.

I work with children and their families, providing exceptional consultation and lessons that are planned to specifically suit their individual needs. Take a look below at the services I offer and get in touch to help your child to make good progress.



Weekly classes for little learners from babies to pre-school (0 - 4 years +), with their parent, grandparent or carer - CURRENTLY AVAILABLE ONLINE.  Encourage a love of reading from a very early age through sharing stories, learning rhymes and engaging in pre-phonics and phonics activities, with a link to the story of the week.

Friday morning classes via Zoom - contact  for times and dates.  

We are proud to have worked with Jack and Jack and Jill's Nursery School and Hummingbirds Nursery in Thirsk before lockdown. 

Contact for information on availability for other nurseries.  

Online story times are currently available on Fridays with two classes: Stories for Starters for babies and toddlers, and Little Learners for pre-school children.

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Weekly classes for ready readers who have begun to learn to recognise letter sounds and are ready to blend these into words and sentences.  These classes provide a little boost to support learning in school.


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Learn to Read


Personalised phonics, reading and writing lessons for children of primary age. Early maths support is also available. 

Thorough knowledge of the National Curriculum and the teaching of phonics supports creative approaches to build confidence and enthusiasm in reading.


Fully booked April 2021 with waiting list. Holiday sessions available for new pupils.

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Missing Piece


Puzzled by phonics? Let me help you.  Bespoke explanation, guidance and advice for parents and carers of young children at any stage of their phonics journey or when they start school.

Learn how to support and extend your child’s learning at home, from their early babbling to them reading chapter books!


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Nurturing Growth


Bespoke training sessions for childminders and nursery staff.
Discover ways to implement Phase One of Letters & Sounds to ensure strong foundations before children take their
big step to school.  Build the right foundations for phonological awareness without venturing through a set phonics programme.
Phase Two and beyond can also be included.

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Interested in knowing how Wilbur and Flops' services can support your child, your nursery staff or yourself?  Contact me today.

Evie Bs.jpg

Evie Bees Childminding

Rachel has worked with our children all term on fostering a love of reading, supporting learning through phonics and sounds, with the use of the early years curriculum, and through a lot of fun and activities surrounding carefully chosen stories each week.


Boroughbridge, York with classes in Thirsk


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