Writing without the cubes

30th October 1998 at 00:00
Dewar hails phonics breakthrough

NICOLE and Chelsea had embarked on one of their regular tasks of making letter shapes out of interlocking cubes, but this time someone had got there first and there were no cubes left.

Undaunted, they started with rods anyway and when they came across letters that were "too round" to shape with the rods they had, they overcame the problem by forming capital letters. The pupils had been in the first class at Deerpark primary, Sauchie, for only eight weeks.

Lorna Spence, headteacher at Deerpark, said the main difference with synthetic phonics was the pace at which children are introduced to letters and sounds.

"It has paid dividends in that the children are more confident, less stressed and use writing more than before," she said.

Sometimes six new sounds are encountered in a week instead of one, and pupils are taught to make up words as soon as they have learnt the first two sounds.

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