Phonics is a friend, not a fiend

7th February 2014 at 00:00

Durham University academic Andrew Davis argues that it is harmful to make children who can already read when they start school learn phonics ("Imposing synthetic phonics is 'almost abuse', says academic", bit.lyPhonicsAbuse).

The problem with his findings is that, in my experience, these children tend to plateau out when their reading age reaches about 7. They do not have the necessary phonics skills to read more complex or unusual words, leaving them feeling frustrated as other children improve and move on. It would be interesting to know if their spelling was as advanced as their reading. My guess would be that it lags considerably behind; phonics skills are even more important for this.

Sara Wernham, Co-author of the Jolly Phonics books.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now