Some months ago I wrote about my struggling reader. He came to the Bloomfield Learning Centre at the age of 10+ with a reading age of 6.
Well, he crashed into my classroom (with his scooter) after Christmas announcing he had read two books over the holidays – ‘Holes’ and ‘Wonder’. Amazing! And true! He has become a reader! Recently he finished reading ‘Millions’ and has now embarked on the Cherub Series.
Wow! I am so pleased.
I did a quick assessment and his reading age is now 9.3. He is 12.3 so he still has some catching up to do but I have every confidence he will – because he loves to read.
How did this change come about? Simple: a systematic phonic programme which teaches graphemes in step-by-step progression, lots of practice at each stage and decodable books that match the reading level at each stage. That’s it.
I am really pleased for him as he is flying! But it saddens me to think that the reason he has learned to read is that he has enjoyed 1:1 tuition. He is not an SEN pupil. He is an ABT pupil (Ain’t Been Taught). So many children seem to have reading problems when they don’t really. They have instruction problems. What they need is simply good systematic phonics instruction.
How to shrink your SEN register? Teach systematic phonics well!
P.s. If you were wondering… we use Sounds-Write Reading and Spelling programme at the centre.