Phonics ‘first and fast’… but at what cost?

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Reading is one of life’s profound joys. According to reading expert Maryanne Wolf, reading changes the very structure of our brain and neural pathways; the act allows us to go beyond our own thought processes (Wolf, 2008). Reading is a way of developing self, identity and our relationship with the world, and thus is indispensable for young children.

However, reading is also heavily monitored, assessed and audited within the classrooms of very young children (Ofsted, 2010). Policies and government edicts on reading instruction create a certain environment – an experience that can be…

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