http://www.labourteachers.org.uk/labour ... lecmahony/
I knew that words are made up of sounds and letters represent sounds. So I decided to start teaching these things and as if by magic the lads started to read. How was this working so well? I did some research and found Jolly Phonics. By the end of the school year the boys had made an average reading age jump of over two years.
The following year I was given over 30 boys to teach. By then I had also come across an organisation called the Reading Reform Foundation. The RRF showed me the research evidence behind Synthetic Phonics and how what I had discovered by chance was a tool we could all be using to teach reading. By the end of that year the boys had made a jump of nearly three years in their reading ages. This phonics stuff was working and the headteacher decided it had to go into our infant classes and from there the school has moved steadily forward.
The reason I wrote this blog is that last weekend I came over to England to attend the RRF conference in London. I heard fantastic speakers, including Sam Bailey and Josie Mingay, who have seen the ability of good phonics teaching to help children learn to read and have a chance to succeed in school. Also present was Nick Gibb MP, Tory Minister for School Reform. He clearly knew his stuff and showed his clear passionate belief in phonics as a basis for teaching children to read. This conference was his last official act as a minister and he could clearly have been elsewhere, but he wasn’t. One person that wasn’t there was any spokesperson from the Labour Party.
Note, the RRF has no political affiliations and we'd love Labour/LibDem MPs to talk at our conferences if pro-phonics & the PSC.