I've just looked up the National Curriculum Attainment Targets to write a report about one of my pupils. I'd forgotten what it says.
One of the criteria for reading at Level 2 is that:
'They use more than one strategy, such as phonic, graphic, syntactic and contextual, in reading unfamiliar words and establishing meaning.'
The use of mixed strategies by young children to read unfamiliar words seems to many in education to be an essential part of reading. It seemed natural to me only a couple of years ago. I find that parents and support assistants I talk to are happy to listen to the evidence for teaching synthetic phonics without other strategies for beginning readers, but friends who are teachers look disturbed and doubtful when I mention it.
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