Improving the learning and teaching of early reading skills - June 2007


Many schools already support pupils well in developing their early reading skills. Pupils achieve good standards in their early reading skills where systematic programmes to develop sound language and literacy skills are implemented consistently. Our inspection evidence has shown that phonics is an important skill inn learning to read, but that this is not the only skill that pupils need in order to be able to read successfully. Although approaches to teaching phonics differ, there are characteristics that are common to the successful learning and teaching of reading.
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Schools should:

  • give more emphasis to the development of listening and speaking skills so that pupils have stronger foundations for language and literacy learning;
  • ensure that the teaching of phonics is systematically and consistently undertaken as an integrated part of approaches to learning to read; and
  • make certain that teaching strategies meet boys’ learning needs.

Local education authorities should:

  • support schools in developing pupils’ listening and speaking skills; and
  • help schools to monitor and evaluate the role of phonics in Welsh as a second language.

Providers of initial teacher education and training should:

  • note the contents of this report to inform the training of new teachers.

The Welsh Assembly Government should:

  • give a high profile to the development of listening and speaking skills and phonological and phonemic awareness in the revisions to the National Curriculum Orders and to the Foundation Phase Guidance materials.

For a full list of recommendations, please download the report.