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E801: Action 1.12: Policy and Reading Research

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Edited by Lynn Hunt, Wednesday, 3 Nov 2010, 11:12

E801: Action 1.12: Policy and Reading Research

Clackmannanshire Synthetic Phonics Initiative:

  • 19 primary schools - some very small
  • Lead researcher = teacher for some groups (2nd study)
  • 7 year study
  • Initially synthetic/analytic/phoneme + analytic groups
  • Synthetic progressed fast so all changed to synthetic
  • End of study: decoding words - on av. 3 ½ yrs ahead; spelling - 1yr 9 months ahead; comprehension- 3 ½ months ahead


  • No national curriculum
  • 5 broad national priorities
  • Local Authority has to justify policies to meet local needs
  • Devolved decision-making so in hands of those that deliver it
  • National tests for internal monitoring; taken when child is ready; teacher can award on class work


  • Gov. money; extra to budget
  • Home-school liaison set up

Staff development

  • Specific content and teaching methods
  • Group support
  • Head teachers and management involved
  • Staff monitored and supported
  • Children monitored and support groups for those falling behind
  • Extra training for teachers moving into the school

I have been trying to find the research that discusses the effect of synthetic phonics on producing children that can read words accurately but no longer read for pleasure and so their comprehension and general knowledge is suffering.I cannot find the exact article but there is research that argues both sides i.e. that synthetic phonics benefits reading comprehension and also that it detracts from it!



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