COMMONS

Education Committee web forum: Phonics

The Education Committee invites views on the strength of the evidence in relation to the current policy on Phonics and other methods of learning to read.

Thank you for all comments submitted to the ‘Evidence Check’ forum. The forum is now closed. Comments received will help the Committee evaluate the evidence received from the Department for Education.

The Committee will use the comments to select topics for one-off oral evidence sessions in early 2015.

Evidence

Please read the Department's evidence on Phonics policy:

Image: iStockphoto

90 Responses to Phonics

Professor Joe Elliott says:
December 11, 2014 at 08:21 PM
The evidence provided by DfE to the House of Commons Education Select Committee is generally sound, yet it fails to acknowledge that there is currently an insufficient body of research evidence to resolve questions as to which forms of phonics teaching are most powerful for which groups of children. To date, there is an over-reliance on findings from one study (based on the introduction of synthetics phonics in schools in Clackmannanshire during the late 1990s) that has been criticised on methodological grounds.

Debates concerning the value of phonics need to be seen within an historical context. Ideological and philosophical views on the nature of learning and teaching have heavily impacted a) which research methods are seen to justify one form of reading tuition in preference to another, and b) changes in teachers’ preferred approaches to the teaching of reading.

The shift towards the use of more scientific, quantitative research methodologies has resulted in growing understanding of the value of phonics for all children. However, research literature demonstrates that the extent or intensity of phonics teaching is not the same for all children. Crucially, the use of highly explicit, structured phonics programmes is essential for children who struggle to learn to read. It is, however, important to note that, for all children, phonics should be rooted within a broad-based programme of literacy teaching.

This submission is based on research originally published in The Dyslexia Debate (Cambridge University Press, 2014), written by Professor Julian Elliott (Durham University) and Professor Elena Grigorenko (Yale University).
Geraldine Carter says:
December 11, 2014 at 07:36 PM
Post 2/2. It is perfectly possible to teach children of 4-5 how to read. Taught logically, with small step progression, learning to read via decoding is a simple skill and need not occupy too much school time. It goes without saying that most of the day should be devoted to exploration, play, role-play, engaging with language development – including encouraging children themselves to explore language – and reading stories and poetry aloud.
Synthetic Phonics swiftly reveals the logic of the Alphabetic Code and provides the overlearning and practice needed to maintain progress. It also stimulates both speech and language development.
Of course, the lowest-achieving pupils may take up to three years to fully master the complexities of the English Alphabetic Code, but the alternative is a plethora of conflicting strategies often resulting in lifelong impairment.
Just as a piano teacher will first spend time on fingering, scales, basic notation and practice of ‘limited’ C-major tunes, so a Synthetic Phonics teacher will provide sufficient decodable books before moving on to ‘real reading’ as soon as a pupil has absorbed the fundamentals of the Alphabetic Code.




Geraldine Carter says:
December 11, 2014 at 07:34 PM
Post 1/2. For over 50 years, the debate has raged over i. systematic phonics- based instruction for early readers, or ii. a mixture of methods: look & say, Analytic Phonics, ‘real reading’, use of syntax, shapes of words, picture clues, onset &rime and so on. Thousands of papers have been written, analysed, argued over. Without clarity and transparency, the debate will continue, resulting in millions of people in the English-speaking world devoid of foundational skills. It is inevitable that billions of pounds will continue to be spent on sub-optimal instruction.
What is urgently required is simplicity and ease of access to DfE school statistics. If the DfE would provide, for 2014, Key Stage l and 2 results for the top-achieving 300 deprived and/or multi-cultural primaries, then a transparent, informed assessment could cut through all the opposing points of view. For instance, there is information on many schools in areas of high deprivation using Synthetic Phonics with outstanding results: Education Authorities including Newham & Tower Hamlets, ARK schools, St George’s, Battersea, Thomas Jones, Kensington where development and love of literature go hand in hand with meticulous instruction in foundational skills. There is also evidence that authorities such as Barking & Dagenham, Oxford, Cambridge, East Sussex – notable for their opposition to systematic Synthetic Phonics – have performed poorly. Without the ability to examine results in detail, esoteric discussions will continue and lives will continue to be irreparably damaged. Head teachers, universities and all ITT primary course leaders should be held responsible for ensuring that virtually all children in primary schools are capable readers before continuing to secondary education. This requires children to be able to decode to automaticity in order to tackle the demands of secondary education. Serious sanctions should be considered when foundational skills are not secure. Computer adaptive reading tests should be designed in order that no school can ‘game’ the system. These tests would enable schools to monitor pupil progress frequently and cheaply.
Susan Godsland says:
December 11, 2014 at 05:48 PM
I am a recently retired specialist reading tutor and tutored students of all ages 1-1 over 10 years. About half my students had received an educational psychologist’s report which said that they had SpLD-Dyslexia.

I used the same synthetic phonics programme, the Sound Reading System (SRS), with all my students and it was invariably fast and effective. The SRS research evidence-base was independently assessed by Prof Greg Brooks and placed in the top category of effectiveness as an intervention; 'remarkable' in all three areas, for all ages:
1) for reading accuracy in Y2-adult
2) for comprehension in Y2 -adult
3) for spelling in Y2-adult
http://www.interventionsforliteracy.org.uk/interventions/list-view/sound-reading-system/
The synthetic phonics principles, on which SRS is based, hold true for successful whole–class teaching of beginning reading too. SRS is used in primary schools with outstanding results in reading and spelling, for example http://www.chchchelsea.rbkc.sch.uk/811733424663.htm

Other primary schools using a similar programme (Sounds-Write) also have excellent results in reading and spelling, for example St George’s CEPS in Wandsworth and St Thomas Aquinas CPS in Milton Keynes. See- Sounds~Write longitudinal study of literacy development following 1607 pupils through KS1 http://www.sounds-write.co.uk/documents/sounds_write_research_report_2009.pdf

Schools using Read Write Inc. also achieve excellent results – for example Curwen primary school and Elmhurst Primary, both in Newham, east London. Elmhurst PS has 1,000 pupils; 90% EAL and 20% mobility, but no pupil leaves unable to read. The head teacher says 'No child has been identified as having dyslexia since we adopted the programme in 2004'

Dr. Macmillan describes three studies which confirm earlier findings as to the efficacy of phonics teaching for beginning reading instruction. Each study also provided new evidence about exactly which elements of instruction are effective, and which of those are not, when attempting to teach children to read http://www.rrf.org.uk/archive.php?n_ID=34&n_issueNumber=46

Long-term effects of synthetic versus analytic phonics teaching on the reading and spelling ability of 10 year old boys and girls http://www2.hull.ac.uk/science/pdf/johnston_etal.pdf

Professor Diane McGuinness, a cognitive scientist trained in statistical analysis, examined the Torgerson et al meta-analysis closely. See http://www.syntheticphonics.com/articles/Torgerson%20article.pdf

Prof. R Johnston also examined the Torgerson et al meta-analysis. A copy is available from Johnston, R.S. An examination of C. Torgerson et al (2006) meta-analysis entitled: A Systematic Review of the Research Literature on the Use of Phonics in the Teaching of Reading and Spelling.

The Phonics Screening Check examines children's ability to decode single words using phonics, not their language comprehension or 'reading'. The Check is a quick, easy and valid way to identify, at an essential early stage, those children who are in need of extra help with their phonics code knowledge and blending skills.
Prof. Snowling et al study focused on the reliability and validity of the phonics screening check. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1467-9817.12029/full
‘We have shown that the new phonics screening check is a valid measure of phonic skills and is sensitive to identifying children at risk of reading difficulties…We agree that early rigorous assessment of phonic skills is important for the timely identification of word reading difficulties'
Dr Rosie Flewitt says:
December 11, 2014 at 04:24 PM
The evidence base selected in the linked document is highly selective and skewed towards DfE and commissioned research rather than independent studies. The document oversimplifies study findings to focus on the strengths of systematic synthetic phonics and fails to engage with the need for a rich and varied early reading experience that engages young learners in purposeful reading for meaning. Evidence is emerging that classroom time dedicated to the 'results' driven statutory PSC is dominating young learners' school based experiences of literacy, that 'good' readers sometimes fail because they are reading for meaning (heaven forbid). The 'nonsense' words confuse children and are encouraging children NOT to seek meaning in what they read. If these farcical tests continue, then measures should be taken to ensure that a rich and varied literacy curriculum complements the teaching of phonics which is no more than one string to the reading 'bow'.



Professor Carole Torgerson says:
December 11, 2014 at 04:14 PM
Comments on DfE evidence check on phonics

Carole Torgerson, Professor of Education, Durham University
Greg Brooks, Emeritus Professor of Education, University of Sheffield
1. If education is to become genuinely evidence-based, the quality and strength of the evidence need careful scrutiny.
2. Quality: Only findings from studies with the most rigorous research design, namely randomised control trials (RCTs), should be accepted. Quasi-experiments (in which the participants are not randomly allocated to groups) are subject to selection bias, and cannot provide the degree of reliability required to justify policy-making. The conclusions of reviews which use only RCTs (e.g. Torgerson et al., 2006) should therefore be valued more highly than those which use both RCTs and quasi-experiments (e.g. National Reading Panel, 2000a, b).
3. Strength: At the time of our review (Torgerson et al., 2006) there were only 12 relevant RCTs, and we know of only a few conducted since then. All 12 provided evidence on reading accuracy (word recognition/word reading), but only four on reading comprehension and only three on spelling. The research base was therefore too weak on comprehension and spelling to draw any conclusions, and for reading accuracy it justified only a recommendation that teachers should use systematic phonics teaching for word recognition.
4. When less rigorous designs are included, as in the NRP review, the evidence is disputed and, when re-analysed (e.g. Camilli et al., 2003), produces smaller estimates of effectiveness. The NRP review does not justify the reliance placed upon it in the memorandum.
5. Similarly, the seven-year Clackmannanshire study was not an RCT, and its results should not be cited either in isolation or even as part of an evidence base.
6. It is therefore an exaggeration to say that ‘[R]esearch shows overwhelmingly (our emphasis) that systematic phonics teaching … is the most effective way of teaching reading to children.’
7. It is even more of an exaggeration to say that the research evidence supports synthetic phonics over other forms, in particular analytic phonics. The NRP report did not address the question of synthetic v. analytic phonics, and its conclusion that (as the memorandum has it) ‘systematic synthetic phonics programmes produce greater growth in reading than other reading programmes’ both elides the synthetic v. analytic question into a larger one, and relies far too heavily on evidence from quasi-experiments. Our review found only three relevant RCTs. One found an advantage for synthetic phonics (this was an earlier, six-month study in Clackmannanshire, which was genuinely an RCT), one an advantage for analytic phonics, and one for neither. The evidence base on this question is therefore both very weak and inconclusive.
8. Thus the evidence for a compulsory policy on synthetic phonics is also weak, especially compared with, for example, the strength of evidence required for a health care policy, e.g. bowel cancer screening – and this is not compulsory.
9. It therefore seems perverse to have provided match-funding only for synthetic phonics materials, especially since some phonics schemes which were deemed ineligible have at least as much evidence of effectiveness in use as some which were deemed eligible.
10. Finally, there are questions about the appropriateness of the phonics check introduced to 'measure' effectiveness of the phonics policy. Anecdotally we know of the following practices in classrooms which are of concern: teachers ‘teaching’ alien words to children, teachers insisting that children ‘read’ alien words that they know are not words, teachers sending alien words home for children to ‘learn’ etc.
Dr Marlynne Grant says:
December 11, 2014 at 01:14 PM
Dr Marlynne Grant’s contribution re strength of evidence for phonics instruction:4 of 4

In addition to my real-world longitudinal studies focusing on the efficacy of teaching synthetic phonics in UK schools from the beginning in Reception to Year 3 and Year 6 (which I have reported elsewhere - http://www.rrf.org.uk/pdf/Grant%20Follow-Up%20Studies%20-%20May%202014.pdf and presented to the ResearchEd 14 conference in September 14 in London), I should like to direct the Education Committee to the following independent report by Greg Brooks and to data collected by a secondary school. This contribution contains less 5000 characters. Marlynne Grant is the author of Sound Discovery® which has been recognised as one of the government approved systematic synthetic phonics programmes for first-time teaching and for intervention.

The following independent report may be of interest to inform the discussion on the use of synthetic phonics for intervention in UK schools:

Report G provides information on the most effective intervention schemes for children who struggle with reading and writing, both for children who can be considered ‘mainstream’ and for those with specific educational needs including dyslexia/specific learning difficulties.

G) (2013) Greg Brooks (2013) in What works for children and young people with literacy difficulties? The effectiveness of intervention schemes. 4th Edition
Greg Brooks reported that Sound Discovery® was used in South Gloucestershire as a Wave 1 programme and therefore was not analysed in his report. He acknowledged that extensive data had been gathered there over ten years. He also reported on the use of Sound Discovery® as a catch-up programme in Norfolk and in a large middle school in Bedfordshire in 2005-2007. The Norfolk study found substantial gain for comprehension and the Bedfordshire study found useful progress in spelling with Year 5 and Year 6 pupils. Sound Discovery® was one of the top 20 most effective literacy interventions, according to this report.
The report can be downloaded at the following web address:
http://www.interventionsforliteracy.org.uk/widgets_GregBrooks/What_works_for_children_fourth_ed.pdf
Report F presents data on 20 Year 7 pupils entering Secondary school with no measurable reading or spelling skills. Systematic synthetic phonics teaching to the 20 pupils, taught as a whole class for the intervention for 28 weeks during three of their English lessons per week, was effective in raising the literacy levels of this disaffected group, allowing them improved access to the curriculum.
F) Secondary Wave 3 Intervention using Sound Discovery® with Year 7 pupils

The school conducted and reported these findings independently. This secondary Wave 3 intervention with 20 Year 7 pupils raised reading and spelling levels from no measurable score at the beginning of Year 7 to post-test scores in the 8:05 to 10:05 years range for reading and above that for spelling, in 28 weeks. Ratio gains were in the range 5.9 to 9.3 for reading and greater than this for spelling.
View table of results here
http://www.syntheticphonics.net/pdf/W3-Table.pdf

Marlynne Grant, December 2014
Dr Marlynne Grant says:
December 11, 2014 at 01:13 PM
Dr Marlynne Grant’s contribution re strength of evidence re phonics instruction:3 of 4

In addition to my real-world longitudinal studies focusing on the efficacy of teaching synthetic phonics in UK schools from the beginning in Reception to Year 3 and Year 6 (which I have reported elsewhere - http://www.rrf.org.uk/pdf/Grant%20Follow-Up%20Studies%20-%20May%202014.pdf and presented to the ResearchEd 14 conference in September 14 in London), I should like to direct the Education Committee to the following independent reports. This contribution contains less 5000 characters. Marlynne Grant is the author of Sound Discovery® which has been recognised as one of the government approved systematic synthetic phonics programmes for first-time teaching and for intervention.

The following independent reports and Ofsted evaluation may be of interest to inform the discussion on the use of synthetic phonics for intervention in UK schools:

Report F is based on the work of the School Improvement Service and the Learning Support Team, Bath and North East Somerset, who trialled a Wave 3 literacy intervention programme with Year 3 children who were falling well below the expected levels in literacy.
F) (2004) A Report of the Wave 3 Literacy Intervention Trial in four Bath and North East Somerset schools 2004. Published by Bath and North East Somerset LEA
The group of children included a child for whom English was an additional language, a child with a cleft palette, a child with oral dyspraxia, a child on the autism spectrum and several children with dyslexic difficulties as well as children with moderate learning difficulties. Four of the children had Statements of SEN, two were on School Action Plus and the rest were on School Action of the Code of Practice.
The trial reported that the intervention programme satisfied the DfES stipulation that double the normal rate of progress should be achieved, as far as reading was concerned. There was also some evidence that it is possible to achieve double the normal rate of progress for spelling as well. At the end of the twenty-week intervention programme, schools asked for on-going support, not only to continue to improve the literacy skills of the original group of children, but also to train additional staff to deliver the intervention to other children.
http://www.syntheticphonics.net/pdf/W3-04.pdf

This report is reproduced with the kind permission of Mary Adams, Senior Support Teacher for Bath and North East Somerset.

The following successes were reported: -
• Average ratio gain for reading of 3.1
• Individual ratio gains for spelling
• Improvement in National Curriculum writing levels
• Increased skills, enthusiasm, motivation, independence and self-esteem of children
• Removal of barriers to learning for children with a wide range of SEN
• School staff reported increased confidence in meeting the needs of children

• Year 3 (ages 7 to 8 years)
• 18 pupils, 4 schools
• Vertical grouping
• 20 weeks
• Average Ratio Gains:
◦ Reading 3.1
◦ Spelling 0.9:
Report G is the Ofsted evaluation of the teaching of reading in primary school which reported on a visit to a school using the Sound Discovery® programme from Reception.

G) (2004) Ofsted. "Reading for purpose and pleasure" December 2004. An evaluation of the teaching of reading in primary schools.
This Ofsted survey was undertaken:
• "to identify reasons for the wide range of attainment in reading among primary-aged pupils.
• to disseminate schools’ effective practice in reducing underachievement and developing pupils’ positive attitude to reading.
• to describe key features of the successful teaching of reading."
The report includes a case study of early intervention based on the Snappy Lesson® from the Sound Discovery® programme:
“The SEN Co-ordinator took the key role in the teaching of phonics and in providing related training for all staff. The lessons lasted for around 20 minutes in Year R (Reception) and 25 minutes in Year 1. They were held mostly during registration periods twice or three times a week. Intervention was used in Years 3 and 4 to teach more advanced spelling strategies.” The case study concludes that, ”the SEN Co-ordinator’s work had a positive impact on the standards achieved at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2. The proportion of pupils on the SEN register had fallen each year since 1998, even though the percentages of pupils eligible for FSM remained fairly constant. In 2003, the test results for reading at Key Stage 1 showed, for the first time in several years, virtually no difference between the attainments of boys and girls. This was also reflected in attainment in reading at Key Stage 2.”
The survey report is published by the Ofsted Publications Centre (document reference number HMI 2393).
Email: freepublications@ofsted.gov.uk
Website: www.offsted.gov.uk

Marlynne Grant, December 2014
Dr Marlynne Grant says:
December 11, 2014 at 01:12 PM
Dr Marlynne Grant’s contribution re strength of evidence for phonics instruction:2 of 4

In addition to my real-world longitudinal studies focusing on the efficacy of teaching synthetic phonics in UK schools from the beginning in Reception to Year 3 and Year 6 (which I have reported elsewhere - http://www.rrf.org.uk/pdf/Grant%20Follow-Up%20Studies%20-%20May%202014.pdf and presented to the ResearchEd 14 conference in September 14 in London), I should like to direct the Education Committee to the following independent reports. This contribution contains less than 5000 characters. Marlynne Grant is the author of Sound Discovery® which has been recognised as one of the government approved systematic synthetic phonics programmes for first-time teaching and for intervention.

The following independent reports may be of interest to inform the discussion on the use of synthetic phonics for intervention in UK schools:

Reports C, D and E refer to trials undertaken by Wiltshire Learning Support Service with pupils.
C) (2008) A report of the Sound Discovery® trial Feb-July 2008, undertaken by Wiltshire Learning Support Service, published by Wiltshire County Council, Children and Education, Schools Branch.
http://www.syntheticphonics.net/pdf/W3-08.pdf
This report on the Sound Discovery® Trial is reproduced with the kind permission of Sarah Couzens, Senior Advisory Support Teacher, Wiltshire Learning Support Service. It reported, “positive findings for children’s reading and spelling (with 65% of 46 pupils making double the rate of expected progress)”.
Some additional point were noted:
• “all schools felt the Sound Discovery® resources were easy to follow and the Snappy Lesson® structure was helpful for those responsible for delivering the programme”
• “skills learned through this intervention are highly transferrable to the classroom setting and may be applied to any reading or writing activity”
• From Y3 – Y5 (ages 8 to 10 years)
• 46 pupils, 13 schools
• 3 to 4 months
• Average Ratio Gains:
◦ Reading 3.7
65% pupils 2 –10
◦ Spelling 1.9
50% pupils 1.4 – 7.3 **
60% pupils 2 or above
** 1.4 was the ratio gain deemed appropriate for a Wave 3 intervention to be considered ‘educationally significant’ (see p 30, What works for pupils with literacy difficulties, DCSF, 2007).
D) (2009) Sound Discovery® Wave 3 Project November 2008 – March 2009, undertaken by Wiltshire Learning Support Services, information provided by Wiltshire County Council, Children and Education, Schools Branch.
http://www.syntheticphonics.net/pdf/W3-09.pdf
This summary is reproduced with the kind permission of Sarah Couzens, Senior Advisory Support Teacher, Wiltshire Learning Support Service. It reported, “good impact for the Sound Discovery® programme”.
• From Y2 – Y3 (ages 7 to 8 years)
• 52 pupils, a minimum of 2 years behind peers in reading, 11 schools
• 9 – 12 weeks
• Average Ratio Gains:
◦ Reading 2.9
◦ Spelling 1.9
** 1.4 was the ratio gain deemed appropriate for a Wave 3 intervention to be considered ‘educationally significant’ (see p 30, What works for pupils with literacy difficulties, DCSF, 2007).
E) (2010) Wiltshire Sound Discovery® Wave 3 Project March 2009 to March 2010, information provided by Wiltshire County Council, Children and Education, Schools Branch.
http://www.syntheticphonics.net/pdf/W3-10.pdf
This summary is reproduced with the kind permission of Sarah Couzens, Senior Advisory Teacher, Wiltshire Learning Support Service. It reports “good impact for the Sound Discovery® programme from reported data” in Wiltshire in 2010.
• From Y2 – Y 3 (ages 7 to 8 years)
• 70 pupils, a minimum of 2 years behind peers in reading, 12 schools
• 9-12 weeks
• Average Ratio Gains:
◦ Reading 3.1
◦ Spelling 1.4**
** 1.4 was the ratio gain deemed appropriate for a Wave 3 intervention to be considered ‘educationally significant’ (see p 30, What works for pupils with literacy difficulties, DCSF, 2007).


Marlynne Grant, December 2014
Dr Marlynne Grant says:
December 11, 2014 at 01:10 PM
Dr Marlynne Grant’s contribution re strength of evidence for phonics instruction:1 of 4

In addition to my real-world longitudinal studies focusing on the efficacy of teaching synthetic phonics in UK schools from the beginning in Reception to Year 3 and Year 6 (which I have reported elsewhere - http://www.rrf.org.uk/pdf/Grant%20Follow-Up%20Studies%20-%20May%202014.pdf and presented to the ResearchEd 14 conference in September 14), I should like to direct the Education Committee to the following independent reports. Marlynne Grant is the author of Sound Discovery® which has been recognised as one of the government approved systematic synthetic phonics programmes for first-time teaching and for intervention.

The following independent reports may be of interest to inform the discussion on the use of synthetic phonics for intervention in UK schools:

Reports A and B refer to the same trial conducted by the Cognition and Learning Team in Norfolk into the effectiveness and feasibility of using Sound Discovery® as a Wave 3 intervention in small rural schools. A was published within a government report and B was published by Norfolk County Council.
A) (2005) House of Commons Education and Skills Committee "Teaching Children to Read" Evidence Pages 105 to 118; and 124 to 125.
A successful trial of Sound Discovery® was reported to the HoC Education and Skills Committee by Sarah Seymour, an Advisory Support Teacher for the Norfolk LEA. Her findings are contained in this HoC report. The Sound Discovery® synthetic phonics literacy programme was tested in 2004. The trial was carried out at North Elmham Primary School, Norfolk in consultation with the Cognition and Learning Team of the Norfolk Psychology Service. The programme was found to be effective, economical, motivating, user friendly and non - age specific.
Also in this HoC report, Jennifer Chew, OBE, a recognised authority in the teaching of literacy, discussed the advantages of adopting synthetic phonics and cited as evidence the Johnson and Watson study in Scotland and the Grant study in England, both of which followed children to the end of their primary education. She reported that both these studies produced better short- and long-term results than NLS methods.
The report is published by authority of the HoC and is available from The Stationery Office or can be downloaded from the following government web address:
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200405/cmselect/cmeduski/121/121.pdf
Evidence Pages 105 to 118 can be found at pages 151-164 of this pdf document. Evidence Pages 124 to 125 can be found at pages 170 and 175 of the pdf document of the same report.
B) (2004) Sound Discovery® Programme at North Elmham Primary School (Norfolk) - A report of the Trial Published by Norfolk LEA.

http://www.syntheticphonics.net/pdf/W3-03.pdf
The main aims of the trial were to evaluate the impact that Sound Discovery® has on reading, writing and motivation, and also the feasibility of its implementation within a small rural school. The "rule of thumb" advocated by the DfES, of a ratio gain of 'at least double the normal rate of progress' (DfES 2003) was satisfied in this trial. It was seen by North Elmham School as a cost effective intervention “cheap and easy to introduce, economical in terms of time, all combined in a multi-sensory, easy to use, hands on package.”
• From YR to Y6 (ages 4 to 11 years)
• 17 pupils, 1 school
• Vertical grouping
• 10 weeks
• Average Ratio Gains:
◦ Reading 3.8
◦ Spelling 2.7
Report C was written following the successful Sound Discovery® trial in 2004. The purpose was for Advisory Support Teachers to gain experience with delivering the programme, thus deepening their understanding of its potential as a Wave 2/3 literacy intervention, to inform the development of a County-wide training programme for schools and to gather further evidence of the effectiveness of the programme with pupils across the key stages and those struggling with literacy skills, including those identified with special education needs.
C) (2005) A report of the Sound Discovery® trial, Cognition and Learning group, Spring and Summer term 2005, Norfolk County Council.
http://www.syntheticphonics.net/pdf/W3-05.pdf
This report is reproduced with the kind permission of Jacqui Worsley, Senior Advisory Support Teacher, Educational Psychology and Specialist Support, Children's Services.
Wave 3 Intervention using Sound Discovery®-Norfolk County Council Trial 2005
• From Y2-Y8 (ages 7 to 13 years)
• 47 pupils, 13 schools
• 12 weeks
• Average Ratio Gains:
◦ Reading 1.8 - 5.3
◦ 66% of pupils 2 - 8
◦ Spelling 1.4 – 3.2 **
◦ 56% of pupils 2 – 4.7
** 1.4 was the ratio gain deemed appropriate for a Wave 3 intervention to be considered ‘educationally significant’ (see p 30, What works for pupils with literacy difficulties, DCSF, 2007).
Marlynne Grant.