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l USA: National Reading Panel (2000) Teaching children to read
l USA: National Early Literacy Panel (2008) Developing early literacy
l Australia: National Inquiry into the Teaching of Literacy (2005)
l GB: Rose (2006). independent review of the teaching of early reading
The independent review (Rose, 2006) states that the case for systematic phonic work is overwhelming and much strengthened by a synthetic approach.The other 3 inquiries reach the same conclusion
✓ 1 in 4 children in London leaves primary school at 11 unable to read or write properly.
✓ 40 percent of 11 year olds from inner city primary schools have a reading age of between six and nine when they start secondary school.
Almost 10 years on from all of those enquiries … NOTHING HAS CHANGED
The 3 movers & shakers: Goodman / Smith / Cambourne; between them they effectively threw the baby out with the bathwater and turned their backs on the consequences.
They dubbed it the “Reading Wars”.
In reality - it seemed like a well orchestrated Coup.
Almost overnight - everything changed.
It was the late 70’s.
By the early 80’s it was a fait accompli.
So - almost overnight - Phonics is out / Guessing is in - just like that No baseline testing undertaken.
Until we reverse this first folly that has beset us, courtesy of America, our literacy levels will at best stay the same.
Only a return to a Synthetic Phonics First approach in infant grades will reverse the poor literacy trend and yield success for the large majority of students.