‘Phonics put my granddaughter off reading for years’

When my granddaughter started school at four, she had tremendous book knowledge. In other words, her parents had read to her and she’d looked at and listened to books from a very young age. A retired primary teacher and former early years adviser writes in Tes

But, when this child started school, more than two years later, she was subjected to phonics and the Oxford Reading Tree. The school never tried any other method to encourage her. 

She very quickly became bored with the books and the phonics. It was a total mystery to her why she had to learn words that made no sense. 

I looked around for books that might interest her, but by the end of Year 1 she said to me: “I hate reading, Grandma.” As a teacher who felt a love of reading was vital, it broke my heart.

Year 2 continued in the same way, with no choice of book, phonics drilling and being made to sound out each word as she read. So she started with a book she had no interest to read, was made to sound out each word, had no comprehension of what she’d read and therefore lost all meaning or interest.  

Read the full article ‘Phonics put my granddaughter off reading for years’ 

Is phonics drilling killing reading in your classroom? Shouldn’t alternative methods be considered? Please tell su your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin



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Categories: DfE, Infant, Learning, Parenting, Primary and Teaching.


  1. Judith Wilson

    No doubt Grandma COULD counteract the situation at home, but this does not remove the confusion within the school system and the child’s mind. I have encountered many children who have been confused by the dual system one way or another…and many parents and grandparents!

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