Synthetic Phonics: challenging the prejudices.

17th June 2014


A long held battle between the pro-phonics and anti-phonics brigades continues to rage 

in spite of the overwhelming evidence in favour synthetic based phonics approaches to 


The major argument from those in favour of the more traditional searchlights model 

focusses on the mistaken belief that phonics teaching is an overly regimented system 

denying our children the gift of imagination. Having experienced phonics in action, and 

with much surprise at having my 6 year old nephew reading out James and the Giant Peach 

to me, It is nearly impossible to reconcile any formality at all with modern approaches 

to synthetic phonics teaching. How can a system that is as multisensory and inclusive as 

synthetic phonics be accused of such a crime. 

Back to my nephew again, in just 30 minutes a day spent on teaching phonics, he has now 

grasped the fundamentals of reading leaving the rest of the day to be filled with play, 

singing, painting and many other developmental activities, long may it continue.





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