Schools white paper – good news for phonics

Some of us might not agree with the coalition plans for free schools but it looks like some good things may come of the new schools white paper for we phonics enthusiasts.

Here are some important policies on the teaching of reading in the white paper:

1. ( 4.16) “Teaching of systematic synthetic phonics is the most effective way of teaching young children to read or for those at risk of having problems with reading.”

This means that those children failing need more synthetic phonics – not something else which is less effective!

2.(4.16) “We will provide the resources to support the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics in primary schools. We will support all schools with key stage 1 pupils to implement this approach by provising funding for high-quality training and classroom teaching resources.”

Hopefully, training of all teachers will be better and resources will be available. We shall see…. but what about key stage 2 teachers? They are the ones with failing pupils further up the school…

3. (4.17) We will also reform teacher training to ensure that trainee teachers have the confidence to teach systematic synthetic phonics.

Hurray! At last! Tackle those woolly thinking tutors in teacher training colleges!

4. (4.18) “We will introduce an age six reading check. This screening exercise will be designed to check that children are on track and to help schools to identify those who need more support.”

This a bit problematic. Yes, a screening test is a good idea. Too many children have reached secondary school without identification and support but are all 6 year olds developmentally ready?Please join the debate. What are your views on these policies?

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