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Children to be supported to be more confident readers

Article By: Ellie Spanswick, News Editor

Schools Minister, Nick Gibb has announced plans for a series of ‘phonics roadshows’ to help children improve their reading and to help schools share best practice.

Children from across the UK Children will receive a boost to their early years reading as part of the Government’s latest programme to help schools share their expertise to make sure more children master the basics of reading.

Mr Gibb made the announcement to mark World Book Day, revealing plans for roadshow events to promote the benefits of teaching phonics and early reading and to enable more schools to benefit from methods which are already supporting more than 120,000 children as they learn to read.

The latest drive is in response to the latest phonics screening check results, published in December 2015, which revealed that despite progress being made, there are still regional variations in the number of children reaching the expected reading standard by the end of year one.

Speaking about the plans, Mr Gibb commented: “This Government’s drive to tackle illiteracy will help make sure no child is allowed to fall behind in learning to read.

“World Book Day offers us all a chance to celebrate the exciting doors which reading can open and it is phonics that provides the key to unlocking a lifetime of books.

“Thanks to our relentless focus on phonics and the hard work of teachers, thousands more children every year are being given the tools to become confident and independent young readers. These events, delivered by some of our best schools, will help spread that excellence further so no child misses out on the joy reading brings.”

The Government wants every child to be able to achieve his or her best, regardless of prior attainment, background or location.

Phonics is a recognised, internationally proven method of teaching reading and gives children the building blocks to decode words.

Primary schools should have a proven and rigorous systematic synthetic phonics programme to achieve excellent phonics teaching so pupils are able to read words at an age appropriate standard.

Some of the latest figures reveal that in the three years following the introduction of the phonics reading check, 120,000 more children are now on track to become excellent readers. While achieving the expected standard is considered to be a strong indicator of a pupil’s performance in broader reading assessments.

The phonics reading check revealed that of those year one pupils that met the standards in 2014, 99 per cent went on to achieve the expected level in reading at the end of key state one in 2015.

Furthermore, in September 2015, the Department for Education announced its plans to be the best in Europe for reading by 2020, building on the Government’s literacy campaign.

The campaign includes:

• Funding the Reading Agency and extending the popular Chatterbooks scheme which has led to 200 new book clubs being opened in primary schools since September 2015;

• Supporting the work the Reading Agency do with schools to get year three children enrolled at their local library;

• Working with leading publishers to offer low-cost copies of classic books to schools, giving children access to up to 100 titles at a reduced price.

Ruth Miskin Training, work with schools to deliver phonics teaching and have been chosen to deliver the roadshow events, working with phonics partnership schools during March.

Events will enable schools to share their best practice for teaching phonics and early reading as they support the Government’s aim of ensuring that high-quality systematic phonics teaching is delivered in every primary school.

Areas for the 10 events are chosen based on the performance in the latest phonics screening check results.

To book a place at one of the phonics events, visit:


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