Diary with headphones
Today, writing in 2013, the battle for a phonic approach to the teaching of reading has been well and truly won.

What I am leaving to one side, are the debates between the different schools of thought of analytic and synthetic phonics. There are strengths in both trends and indeed, I think, that to a degree they can be combined.

Certainly, what is important in every setting is a structured approach to reading with learning taking place every day or at least every other day with good expectations of learning and daily homework to reinforce the lesson’s work. The use of a reading scheme or ‘books with a controlled vocabulary’, as it is now likely to be called, is vital.

Difficulties in learning to read usually go hand in hand with problems with the memory. Multi-sensory methods (i.e. the use of as many of the senses as possible and real objects to make concrete the learning and to assist the memory in retaining and using) are useful in helping the child for example to recall phonic rules.