Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How We Should Teach Reading

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

How We Should Teach Reading

Article excerpt

ANDREW ADONIS, the Education Minister, went to some pains today to assure us that he and the Secretary of State for Education, Ruth Kelly, have an "excellent" relationship, notwithstanding rumours that Ms Kelly took umbrage at his being parachuted into her department by the Prime Minister.

This harmony is all to the good if it means that there will be a united effort between the two of them in the most important task facing the Department of Education, namely the promotion of the phonics-based system of teaching reading in primary schools. Until recently, Ruth Kelly had been dismissive of this rather oldfashioned method - which is based on teaching the sounds of the alphabet and combining those sounds into words - preferring to emphasise the importance of the Government's literacy hour as a means of driving up reading standards. Today she announces the appointment of a full-scale, six-month review of the teaching of reading under Jim Rose, a former Ofsted director, which will establish whether the phonics system should be a more central part of the literacy hour and of schools' reading strategy. …

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