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Letters Extra: In support of synthetic phonics

In 1997 synthetic phonics was started in a mainstream primary school, St Michael's Stoke Gifford, where the special needs register was high and where baseline assessments at school entry were E for language and D for social skills.

They are a large school with a three form entry of about 90 pupils each year. They have achieved impressive results, raising literacy standards for all, reducing the gender gap and summer birthday lag, reducing the numbers on the SEN register and eliminating dyslexiaSpLD statements of Special Educational Needs. All of thisnbsp;Ofsted has acknowledged.

The first cohort of "synthetic phonics children" has just taken Key Stage 2 SATs. The results were again excellent, but I should like to draw your attention particularly to the Level 5 boys' writing of 33.3%. This compares with the equivalent figure of 9.5% for Level 5 boys' writing for the whole LEA. I understand that national figures will be available in a couple of weeks time.

Perhaps there is an important message here. I am confident that similar achievements can be replicated in other schools who apply the key principles of synthetic phonics.

Dr Marlynne Grant
Educational Psychologist

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