About Spellzone

Written and developed in 2002 by native English speakers, Spellzone was designed to fill the need for an English spelling course that caters for older students. The author, Shireen Shuster, found that her teenage and adult students wanted to use computers to help overcome their spelling problems but were reluctant to use the software available as most of this was too childish for them. Shireen had written many books on spelling and decided to put this experience into planning an online spelling course suitable for older learners.

The result is Spellzone: an online interactive English spelling course that is clear and uncomplicated to follow but is non-patronising in its teaching style and vocabulary content.

Spellzone is also used by students who live in an English speaking country but don't have English as a first language and by those who are learning English as a foreign language.

Meet the team:

Shireen Shuster - Education Director

Shireen is a qualified teacher and the author of the Spellzone course. During 15 years experience as a primary class teacher Shireen gained an interest in children with literacy difficulties and chose to specialise in this area. She has been head of a Learning Support department in a large primary school and acting head teacher of a school for children with psychiatric problems.

In addition Shireen has worked with a Local Education Authority advisory service, assessing the learning problems of students age 5-16, devising programmes for them and organising their individual tuition. This post also involved running in-service courses for teachers on several aspects of special needs and in training teacher in assessment.

Shireen's specialised work in dyslexia includes:

  • Teaching dyslexic students from age 6 to adult. This included teaching for the Dyslexia Institute (now Dyslexia Action)
  • The training of classroom teachers in identifying and helping dyslexics
  • The training of specialist tutors in structured, multi-sensory methods of
    teaching dyslexics
  • Writing course books on spelling and phonics for dyslexic students and for mainstream classes. See publications by the author of Spellzone.

Specialist Qualifications:

Open University Certificate in "Reading Development"
Leeds University Post Graduate Advanced Diploma in Education of Children with Special Needs (Distinction)
Dyslexia Institute British Dyslexia Association Diploma in Teaching of Children with Specific Learning Difficulties (Distinction)

Barry Perks - Marketing Director

Barry is a graphic designer with experience in publishing, exhibitions, theatre and new media.

He has also worked in the overseas development sector delivering creative and sport based education workshops to children and young adults in West Africa and South America.

Tarot Conway - Technical Director

Tarot is a web designer and developer who is passionate about using technology and elearning to help students of all ages in their education.

He spends some of his time in Russian speaking countries and is excited about how Spellzone can assist students learning English as a foreign language.

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"I ran the trial with a small group of students over three weeks before the summer holidays," she says. "I quickly saw the benefits, and signed up."

King's Leadership Academy, Warrington