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'I blame TV and computer games'

Merita Sulmina (left) teaches Year 5 at Gledhow primary, Leeds "There is a huge variety of ability, and it is very difficult to teach when this is the case.

"Some of the children are still at key stage 1 and others are reading Harry Potter. Some have special needs and have English as a second language.

"I do not think changing words to their phonic spelling would help at all.

We have children who read perfectly but do not understand what they are reading. It would take away so much from the language, and the bright ones would get further ahead, faster.

"What is needed is more exposure to books at home. Television, computer games take the attention away from books. We need to be more concerned with reading at home - for example, giving the children a shopping list or asking them to help write one.

"Most young children do not get a story at bedtime now and so the desire to read is not stimulated as it used to be."

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