Phonics method known winner

27th May 2005 at 01:00
Why are we still debating the efficacy of synthetic phonics when it was proved a generation ago to be the best way for children to learn to read?

The Reading Mastery programme, originating in 1969, and published by SRAMcGraw-Hill is said to be the ultimate in phonics and comprehension. It has a high-school sister called Corrective Reading which sets the standard in the area of reading recovery.

The philosophy of these two programmes, their methodology and their mass of research-based evidence-of-success means that they have been tested in the furnace of both acceptability and accountability. There are secondary schools in the UK who have been using this approach for more than 10 years achieving improvements in reading ages of up to four years in six months with students who arrive in Year 7, already five years behind.

Children can enter these programmes with no reading skills and still be successful; and these programmes require no other materials to sustain them.

John Garner

Educational consultant

KingscourtMcGraw-Hill

Shoppenhangers Road

Maidenhead, Berkshire

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