Teaching reading through ‘synthetic phonics’ has no measurable effect on pupils’ average reading scores at the age of 11, a major new study reveals. The researchers found that pupils taught to read using other methods lagged behind at age 7 but caught up later. However, the method does help children from poorer backgrounds and those who speak English as an additional language, according to the Centre for Economic Performance study.
Research reveals a huge disparity in the performance of disadvantaged children at primary school, with twice as many 11-year-olds achieving good maths results at some schools than at others with similar intakes. The analysis by the Education Endowment Foundation shows that 90 per cent of pupils from deprived backgrounds achieved a level 4B or higher in maths at some schools. But for other schools the proportion was just 40 per cent.
Primary schools are celebrating the 10th year of a trailblazing Latin initiative. The Iris Project is the first organisation to run a scheme delivering Latin as part of the national literacy curriculum, and to focus particularly on schools in deprived urban areas. It uses storytelling, games and activities to introduce Latin grammar and classical civilisations. The Literacy through Latin initiative began in Oxford and now runs in schools in London, Oxford, Manchester, Reading, Swansea, Fife and Glasgow. Find out more about the project at www.irisproject.org.uk
The 25 characteristics of high-performing schools will be discussed at a series of free roadshows across the country. The 76 events, which are aimed at primary leaders, follow on from a two-year research project that looked at 500 pieces of research on school effectiveness and revealed a set of 25 common factors. These have become the basis for the School Effectiveness+ school improvement programme developed by EES for Schools, the company behind the roadshows.