The means by which children are taught to read has become a battleground.  In the UK, successive governments have helped construct a system in our primary and secondary schools, to the dismay of a majority of teachers, which Michael Rosen, one of our intended contributors, has summarised very cogently as comprising 'synthetic phonics, genre, story-structures, poetry units, worksheet comprehension exercises, closing of school and class libraries, fetishising of ITC, structuring 'recount' writing, lack of attention to provision of books/reading for pleasure/home reading/role of parents in literacy and literature by official inspection.'  

'Dispatches from the Literacy Wars' will consist of short bulletins in the forms of texts, video streams, and some live dispatches from distinguished correspondents from the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK on the topic of  past, and also present and continuing, literacy wars, and the profound impact the present system has on the abilities, expectations and potentials of our pupils and students.

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or download the documents

Dispatches from ‘The Literacy Wars’

Alexis Carreiro: ‘Generation Digital’

M C Richards:

Memoir of Black Mountain

Alyson Simpson:

‘The Road Not Taken’

The Secret Teacher

Michael Rosen on Phonics

Nicholas Lemann ‘The Reading Wars’

Word Structures used for Phonics Checks

Word Structures used for Phonics Checks