The Rose Review of the Teaching of Early Reading: Findings and Recommendations BY KateP92 The Rose Review of the teaching of early reading (2006) identified that developing children’s positive attitudes to literacy, from the earliest stage is very important. Write a summary of the report which will inform practitioners of the main findings and recommendations regarding the teaching of reading. Discuss how the findings link to current curricular policy and practice in the teaching of reading.
A debate has been rife in the UK over the past few years as to how best teach hildren to read, which culminated in an ‘Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading’. The Rose Review was published in March 2006, in light of Jim Roses’ findings it has become a legal obligation for schools to change the way they teach reading. ‘Schools will be legally obliged to teach phonics and it will be formally built into the national curriculum. The report has recommended that there should be extra help for children who fall behind’ (Aldred, 2006).
Rose focused a lot on phonics and also referred to children who had difficulties learning to read. These findings will e discussed further throughout, also building upon the opinions of critics. It has been found that some are in favour of these findings where as some have been critical of the review who find certain faults with it. In this extensive review by Jim Rose there were many factors discussed in terms of the early reading process, one of the main points Rose focused on was the use of phonics in the process of early reading development. Rose (2006, p. ) states the systematic approach, which is generally understood as ‘synthetic’ phonics, offers the vast majority of young children the most direct route to becoming skilled readers and riters. ‘ This implies phonics is a successful way of teaching reading, however Rose states that it will help the vast majority, noting that some children will need more help than others. ‘By definition, phonics emphasises how spellings are related to speech sounds in systematic ways; simply put,phonics refers to letter-sound relationships’ (Crane and Law, 2009, p. ). This consequently makes it easier for children to learn new words. The process is backed by significant research. ‘Countless research-studies have been conducted on phonics instruction. Much of his research has focused on the usefulness of phonics instruction and the best ways to teach children about sound-spelling relationships’ (Blevins,1998, p. 9). It is suggested in the report that phonics would boost the literacy skills of pupils, because they are learning to assemble words and their meanings at a younger age.
Usually by the age of five according to the report the majority of children should have developed their reading skills through the teaching of phonics. There is much evidence that this approach can be effective. Such as the Clackmannanshire, Scotland study, which Rose based some of his report on. We report here a study of the effectiveness of a synthetic phonics programme in teaching reading and spelling. by the synthetic phonics method, one by the standard analytic phonics method, and one by an analytic phonics programme that included systematic phonemic awareness teaching without reference to print.
At the end of the programme, the synthetic phonics taught group were reading and spelling 7 months ahead of chronological age. They read words around 7 months ahead of the other two groups, and were 8 to 9 months ahead in spelling. The other two groups then carried out the synthetic phonics programme, completing it by the end of Primary 1 ‘ Oohnston and Watson, 2005, p. 8). This provides validity to the Rose Review as there have been significant longitudinal studies on phonics, that have proved to be successful.
Hence the change and enthusiasm of the teaching of early reading by phonics in the report. However not everyone agrees with the findings drawn from the Rose Review. Some believe the teaching of reading through the use of phonics, could be too much of a simple approach, and that they shouldn’t Just rely on this one example. As it was required to use phonics in the teaching of reading and not optional teachers may have felt a lot of pressure regarding this new approach. The teaching union’s have questioned the government’s reliance on a ‘one size fits all’ approach, which may not necessarily suit all children. They say it should be left to teachers to Judge how best teach their pupils’ (Aldred, 2006). Although this evidence suggests some are against the report Rose reiterates why this teaching method needs to be re-introduced. ‘Nearly half the schools visited did not give enough time to teaching children the rucial skill of blending (synthesising) sounds together.
Instead, teachers emphasised hearing and identifying the initial, final and the middle sounds in words. So even when children know sufficient letter-sound correspondences their lack of skill in blending sounds meant that they could not apply their knowledge to read words they had not seen before’ (Rose, 2006, p. 68). This goes to prove that steps had to be taken to improve the teaching of reading in schools, stating that phonics will also help them progress in other elements of reading, such as; speaking, listening and writing.
The Rose Review also takes into consideration, the factors that can impact on reading development. ‘Obviously, provision for teaching reading must fall within a well established, broader range of support for pupils learning English as an additional language, taking into account not only ‘advanced bilingual learners’ but also those who are not so advanced, such as newly arrived learners of EAL, those with learning difficulties and those who may have special educational needs’ (Rose, 2006, p. 25).
However there will surely always be significant problems with this such as; time and esources, the school could be in a deprived area, or overcrowding could be the case. ‘Ellis says most current research shows that children need literacy teaching that is tailored to the individual. ‘l don’t think the English (phonics) systems works particularly well’, she says’. ‘Those from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds need good, sharp, upfront teacher-driven interactive phonics right from the minute they start school’ (Ellis, cited in, Scott, 2010).
This suggests it could take teachers a lot of time to find the correct way of introducing the teaching of phonics ecause every pupil has different needs. They may not be reaching their full progress. Therefore these considerations need to be taken into account and individual plans should be produced for children who have specific needs. It was suggested that phonics should be taught discreetly within the curriculum and also be made fun, this is where the role of the adult is important.
It is clear that teachers and parents are role models, therefore the adult needs to support the child whilst they are learning to read. ‘An early start on systematic phonic work is especially important for those children who do not have the dvantages of strong support for literacy at home’ (Rose, 2006, p. 32). It is evident that the support of an adult such as a teacher is crucial to helping a child through education, and equally as important as helping them read – this will give them a stepping stone for later life experiences, if they have a positive role model within the school setting. Important, too, is the boost to children’s confidence, self-belief and attitudes to reading that is apparent when early phonic work is taught successfully within a language-rich curriculum’ (Rose, 2006, p. 33). By praising the child it is elping them gain confidence which will inevitably help their progress, therefore positive attitudes from adults will help support early reading development, whether it is in the home or an education based setting. As well as the adult building the child’s confidence, there are also ways according to the Rose Report that phonics can be successful in the current curriculum. Obviously, the value of all six areas of learning must be acknowledged. However, the area of communication, language and literacy calls for carefully structured training that makes crystal clear, for example: how young children develop language; how their cquisition of language can be strengthened and enriched; how their language development is observed to make sure that any obstacles to progress are tackled early; how the precursors to reading and writing can help children make a good start on phonic work by the age of five’ (Rose, 2006, p. 0). As seen in the current curriculum teachers have different strategies in teaching phonics, as Rose suggested the teaching of phonics should be discreet, this can be seen in the classroom environment as teachers make the teaching of phonics fun, through varied activities and multi-sensory aids, such as; books, reading cards and aried activities to engage the child. There is also a guide to the teaching of phonics. Which according to the Rose Review needs to be followed as it is obligatory. The approved list of products and training will be in a catalogue to make it easier for schools to select products and training that best meet their requirements and the learning needs of their pupils. It will provide schools with a range of products and training that they can choose with the confidence that they all meet the criteria considered essential for good phonics teaching’ (Department for Education, 2012). This suggests these methods can be successful because there are clear guidelines to follow.
It will also be easier for teachers to recognise what children need extra help, if they are finding it difficult to learn as they have certain guidelines to follow. However some may disagree, such as practitioners because they may not find this method introduced, they may not feel comfortable as it hasnt been used before. Previously the searchlight model was used. The searchlight model has now been eradicated from the current curriculum, following the findings of the Rose Report. The NLS advocated using the ‘Searchlight’ odel for reading which included a mixed approach of whole words, phonics, contextual cues and memorisation of the ‘high-frequency’ word lists’ (Ott, 2007, p. 41-42). Rose (2006, p. 74) stated ‘when it was introduced in 1998, the searchlights model also encapsulated what was currently accepted as ‘best practice’ in the teaching of reading. This had the advantage of making it easier to bring teachers on board to accept the NLS framework for teaching’. The reason why Rose may have chosen to change the current curriculum is because the searchlights model was described as very ambitious.
There is clear evidence as to why there may be some criticisms to the new proposed teaching of reading through phonics as it is a new method of teaching, and may find it is a significant change that they are not used to. That said Rose stresses the importance of the adult in the teaching of reading, and to see positive results must boost motivation to use this method. In conclusion, the introduction of phonics to teach reading has been controversial. It is clear that the government have backed the Rose Review in light of the findings. However the actual practitioners who have to teach through the use of phonics have ad reservations.
All that said from evidence gathered it is clear that, if taught properly and the guidelines followed it can be successful, as there have been positive results from studies. Such as the Clackmannanshire, Scotland study. It needs to take into account individual needs for children in the classroom as they will all be at different stages with their reading when starting school. This furthermore stresses the importance of the adult, whether it be in the home or a school setting. They need to have positive attitudes and continue to praise and help children towards their oals to see significant results.
AldredJ. (2006) Synthetic Phonics. Available at: http://www. guardian. co. uk/education/ 2006/mar/20/schools. uk. Last accessed 29th November 2012 Blevins,W. (1998) Phonics from A to Z. Scholastic Inc. Crane, D, K. & Law, K. (2009) Book 1, Phonics. Teacher Created Resources, Inc. Department for Education. (2012) Funding for Phonics Teaching to Improve Children’s Teaching. Available at: http://www. ed. gov. uk/inthenews/inthenews/a0076456/ December 2012 Ellis, S. cited in Scott, K. (2010) Phonics: Lost in Translation. Available at: http:// www. guardian. co. k/education/2010/Jan/1 Wphonics-child-literacy.
Last accessed 4th December 2012. Johsnton, R, S. & Watson, J. (2005) The Effects of Synthetic Phonics Teaching on Reading and Spelling Attainment – A Seven Year Longitudinal Study. Available at: http://www. scotland. gov. uk/resource/doc/36496/0023582. pdf. Last accessed 29th November 2012. Ott, P. (2007) How to Manage Spelling Successfully. Routledge. Rose, J. (2006) Independent Review of the Teaching of Early Reading. Available at: https://www. education. gov. uk/publications/standard/publicationDetail/Page1/ DFES-0201-2006. Last accessed: 4th December 2012.