Posted on 28th September 2012
There are many different arguments about the best way to teach children to read, and there are probably as many answers, since the same thing rarely works for everyone.
Phonics, and the emphasis on individual sounds, has been creeping into the educational system at a steady pace and now most young primary aged children will spell out words in sounds rather than letters.
Whether phonics or other systems are used, what is certain is that schools really need to focus on children’s literacy, as many recent reports have revealed that thousands of young people leave education each year without being able to read and write confidently. The government is now putting new systems in place to monitor pupils’ progress.
Year 1 is officially the first year of formal schooling and all state school pupils now take a phonics test at the end of the year. The results of this year’s test show that 58% of the 592,0101 in year 1 at state funded schools reached the expected standard. This still leaves 42% of pupils who are already behind, but fortunately 235,000 pupils will now receive extra support in light of their test results.
The phonics test has been met with rather a lot of criticism, especially since it includes made up words such as ‘voo’, ‘terg’ and ‘bim’. Teaching unions are particularly sceptical, believing that using made up words frustrates those who can read and confuses those who already struggle.
Despite the criticisms, 83% of teachers surveyed said they thought the words used in the test were suitable, and 43% of schools identified pupils with reading problems that they were not yet aware of, which means that they can now offer more targeted support.
If your child struggles with reading, and you feel that they would benefit from some extra support, do get in touch and we can advise you on how to move forward.