As primary special education needs co-ordinators who have been using Phonological Awareness Training in the classroom, we disagree with Dr Brooks' claims that such schemes for slow readers are ineffective, (TES, May 8).
We have used PAT on an individual level, in small groups and in whole-class situations, for some time. We have found that they have been very effective in improving the children's ability to read and spell phonically regular words.
As the scheme enables the children to generate their own words it gives them a greater degree of control and improves their confidence. The scheme is obviously only a small component of teaching reading, but it provides an excellent structure for phonics at all levels in primary schools. It will prove to be an invaluable resource in the literacy hour.
We have examined alternative schemes and find that PAT provides a structured way to help poor readers and one that can fit into any reading scheme.
Phonological awareness plays a crucial role in the reading process and PAT provides a way to develop that awareness.
Barbara Ratcliffe. Wraysbury primary school. Wraysbury. Nr Staines. Barbara Keen. All Saints junior school. Maidenhead. Berkshire