Phoney phonics?

4th September 2009 at 01:00

You reported: "KS1 results cast doubt on phonics" (August 28). This could suggest that 84 per cent of pupils will succeed whatever methods are used. So it is the residual 16 per cent who fail who should command our attention.

Are the pupils who make up the 16 per cent the same regardless of the method used? Data from Czechoslovakia in 1986 noted: "The almost regular desertion from one or the other (method of teaching) was a reaction to the inevitable failure of either approach in some of the child readers and spellers."

Most children survive the imposition of the latest curriculum prescription. Where we should focus more attention is on the 16 per cent who do not. It may be that no one method works for all pupils.

Dr Steve Chinn, Independent SEN specialist, Herefordshire.

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