Bring on the reading wars
This is quite at odds with how we operate in Scotland, and quite different from how we approach the teaching of early reading. We have the professional freedom to choose our own methods of instruction – to adapt them to suit our local contexts and learners. We prefer to have what we consider to be a more sensible approach, providing a balanced menu of reading activities with some phonics on the side.
But should we be relieved that no one is mandating methodologies or forcing phonics checks on us in Scotland? Or should we be worried about it?
Our nearest neighbour is beginning to make inroads into the attainment gap by emphasising phonics “first, fast and only”. This approach has certainly put the C-A-T among the pigeons. However, it has also led to practitioners reviewing current research, reflecting on classroom practice and, crucially, engaging in debates (yes, even sometimes arguments) about what is truly most effective when it comes to teaching children to read.