Reader recovery

23rd March 2007 at 00:00
Jean Gross Director, Every Child a Reader, London

Effective and necessary as synthetic phonics teaching is, it is unlikely that there will be a panacea for all children with literacy difficulties, as Geraldine Carter suggests. A child who at six is struggling to "hear"

differences between sounds, or distinguish between letters, who may not know what a "word", "letter" or "page" means, who may have impoverished language, or who can barely write his or her name, is likely to need an intervention that has systematic phonics at its heart but is also multi-faceted and complex - not so much "whole language" as "whole child".

This is what Reading Recovery offers, and why it works.

It lifts eight out of 10 of the very lowest-achieving children back to average literacy levels for their age after about 38 hours of one-to-one teaching; the remainder make a year's progress in reading age within 20 weeks. Schools readily see the need for excellent phonics teaching for all children and a highly personalised approach for a small number of children.

This is not a case of eitheror, but a joining up of what we know about evidence-based practice, to make sure we really can make all children readers by the age of seven.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today