Children’s reading age boosted by two years using phonics system

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The system, where pupils sound out parts of words rather than recognising whole ones, has been hailed by ministers as the best teaching method in primary schools. Educational psychologist Dr Marlynne Grant tracked the reading levels of a class, who had learnt to read using “systematic synthetic phonics”, between the ages of four and seven for the small-scale study.


Results showed that, on average, they had a reading age of a nine year-old at age seven, and tended to be 21 months ahead in spelling.


Dr Grant, of the Reading Reform Foundation, said: “Starting children on phonics in reception means many will become strong readers quickly, and that you can identify those struggling early on.”


The findings come as six-year olds in England are due to sit the Government’s reading check, which is based on phonics.


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