Academic claims able readers damaged by phonics

A report from Dr Andrew Davis, from Durham University’s School of Education, has found that the interests of able readers are being damaged by an insistence on teaching primary phonics. Dr Davis claimed that rival camps in the debate over how to teach children to read are acting like “religious fundamentalists”. The Department for Education insisted that synthetic phonics is the best way to teach reading.

Gary from PSI: Dr Davis’ report is the latest development in the ongoing debate around the best way to teach children to read. The current Government have been strong supporters of phonics introducing the Year 1 phonics screening check. This policy has been controversial with a number of high profile figures, including former children’s laureate Michael Rosen, condemning this approach and instead calling for the Government to develop policies on reading for enjoyment.

To read or not to read: decoding Synthetic Phonics