Going back to Miriam Gross’s pamphlet ‘So why can’t children read’, I listened to her debate with John Bangs, Head of Education at the NUT, on Woman’s Hour (‘Illiteracy in primary school children’) last week.To be honest, she didn’t put her case across particularly well she did make two central points.First, synthetic phonics wasn’t being… Continue reading Gross puts Bangs to rights!
When Bill Clinton dashed George Bush senior’s hopes of a second presidential term in 1992, he did so by focusing, not on foreign policy (the recently fought war to retrieve Kuwait from Saddam Hussein), but on the economy: ‘It’s the economy, stupid!’ was the phrase that caught it in a nutshell.In 2010, we’re still wrestling… Continue reading Train the teachers, stupid!
I haven’t said anything about Michael Gove’s education initiatives before but I’ve just noticed an interesting posting by Allison on the subject of charter schools on Kitchen Table Math.You might also want to look further at Allison’s source, ‘The Virtue of Speaking Plain Truths on Charter Schools’ by Frederick Hess in the Journal of the… Continue reading Charter schools and reality
As soon as it hit the media the other day, Miriam Gross’s new report for the Centre for Policy Studies, ‘So why can’t they read’ sent one or two newspapers into a frenzy of breast beating, indignation and bewilderment over the scandalously high levels of illiteracy in London. In London? Well, the report is about… Continue reading So, why on earth can’t they read?
Masha Bell has been at it again! She claims that the reason children are failing to learn to read and spell is because the English language is too complex. See the Telegraph (08/07/2010). Is she right? Well, in one sense, she is. Reading and spelling in English is certainly harder to learn than, say, Spanish… Continue reading Masha Bell rings the wrong note on reading and spelling – again.
I haven’t written anything about the actual practice of teaching reading and spelling for some time now so I thought I’d add something about one of the children I’m teaching at the moment. The pupil is a boy of seven who is about to start Y3. When he left reception, he couldn’t read at all… Continue reading Teaching Freddy to read
Yesterday’s Telegraph is reporting that the sixty-nine targets set by the previous Labour government for children to reach by the age of five – the so-called ‘nappy curriculum’ – are to be reviewed.First on the list to go should be the insistence that children in nursery, YR and Y1 learn letter names. Ten years ago,… Continue reading The EYFS review
This one’s not about literacy but it’s certainly worth a comment. Yesterday’s Guardian newspaper has picked up on a report entitled ‘We’re trying to restore our kids’ freedom’ from the Sunday Times (04/07/2010) about a school in Dulwich, south London, which is threatening to report a couple to children’s services because they allow their two… Continue reading School stops child cyclists