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A critical discussion about the introduction of systematic synthetic

phonics into the primary curriculum since 2007 and the implications of
this for the teaching and learning of English.

This essay will discuss the introduction of systematic synthetic phonics into
primary curriculum since 2007 and the impact and implications this has had
on both the teaching and learning of English.
Teaching English is central to the success across the curriculum, it is a
matter for constant debate. And, when this debate is informed by concerns
about standards of literacy, politicians become particularly interested and seek
ways to address perceived problems, Hence the repeated modifications to the
English curriculum and the regular changes in emphasis on the way in which
teachers are expected to teach. (Waugh and Jolliffe, 2012:1)
In 1998 the National Literacy Strategy (NSL) which was intended to bring
about a dramatic improvement in literacy standards,
(Ofsted,2002:1) gave schools a clear framework to assist them in
the teaching of literacy. The approach to reading contained in NLS
was defined as the Searchlights model. The searchlights model
contained a number of reading strategies including, phonics and
spelling, grammatical knowledge, word recognition, graphic
knowledge and knowledge of context. The idea that the child could
use any of the searchlights as a strategy for reading. (Waugh and
Jolliffe, 2013).
However even with the implementation of the NSL there was still a wide
spread problem with the teaching of early reading and many children were
leaving school without the expected level for their age. (House of Commons,
2005) In 2005 a report Teaching Children to Read was issued by the
government. The aim of this report was to discuss the best teaching possible
and specific methods used in schools (HofC, 2005:3) with reference to early
reading.
As a result of the report it was recommended that the DfES commission an
independent evaluation...in reading...which would make clear the scale and
nature of the problem faced and provide a basis for further policy work.
(HofC,2005:36)
The outcome was The independent review of the teaching of English (DfES
2007) a report with recommendations written by former head teacher and
head of OFSTED, Sir Jim Rose, often referred to as The Rose Report.
The main recommendations from the Rose report was the adoption of the
Simple View of Reading as the new conceptual framework within the
curriculum (Solar et al 2009:54) and that synthetic phonics, offers the vast
majority of young children the best and most direct route to becoming skilled
readers and writers (Dfes, 2006:?)

Following this report, in August 2007 the government made an amendment to


the curriculum, that phonics would be the only strategy for teaching early
reading. (How do I reference this document) Although many researchers and
teachers supported the decision led by Rose it also cause controversy among
others.