Tag Archives: phonics check

Remove the figurehead… and change direction

The NUT has called for the resignation of Nicky Morgan as Secretary of State for Education. We expect that other organisations of teachers and parents will soon follow. Morgan’s position is now untenable. She was appointed to calm the storms … Continue reading

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Phonics fanatics: politicians who think they know best

This post concludes our series on phonics by asking what has been gained by politicians imposing their will on teachers. It draws on research by Professor Dominic Wyse (UCL IoE) among others, as well as official data.  The issue is … Continue reading

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The phonics check: what does it prove?

drawing on research by Professor Margaret Clark The ‘phonics check’ is one of the most insane tests ever invented. It is not a real test of children’s reading, but designed to monitor whether teachers are teaching reading in the government-approved way. That is … Continue reading

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The Rose Report on phonics: playing fast and loose with ‘the evidence’

Agitation about synthetic phonics and the Clackmannanshire experiment by Nick Gibb, then an opposition MP, had two outcomes: a systematic review of research (led by Carole Torgerson) and a committee of enquiry (chaired by Jim Rose). Torgerson’s research review came … Continue reading

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The Scottish phonics miracle: myths and evidence

A major trigger for politicians insisting that synthetic phonics is the only good way to teach reading came from an experiment in Clackmannanshire, Scotland. The work of Sue Ellis at Strathclyde University reveals serious exaggeration by politicians and the press. Gains in … Continue reading

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Phonics: myths and evidence

Margaret Clark’s recently updated Learning to be Literate (2016) provides essential pointers to the biased way in which evidence was assembled and deployed in support of teaching reading by synthetic phonics. Briefly, synthetic phonics involves starting by learning letters and then assembling … Continue reading

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Learning to be literate – more than phonics

Professor Margaret Clark is a recognised expert on early literacy. She was awarded an OBE for her contribution to early years education. Her book Learning to be Literate: insights from research for policy and practice won the UKLA Academic Book … Continue reading

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