Alternative approaches to teaching reading

Learn what approaches you can use alongside phonics, and who might need that extra support. Get ideas from a special school that offers a range of methods to help its pupils access the curriculum.

Last reviewed on 7 March 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: AllRef: 46090
  1. Help all pupils to access phonics by making reasonable adjustments to teaching
  2. Consider using these alternative approaches to accompany teaching phonics
  3. Example: how College Park School uses alternative approaches to teaching reading

In this article, we assume that you’re teaching phonics, as expected in the National Curriculum programmes of study for English in Key Stages 1 and 2. Get support for best practice in phonics teaching from our primary English hub and the Education Endowment Foundation's website.

Here, we focus on using additional strategies to help pupils who struggle with phonics to access the curriculum. 

Help all pupils to access phonics by making reasonable adjustments to teaching

It’s important to teach phonics to all pupils who can access it at any level, and almost all pupils are capable of accessing these skills.

However, some may find it harder than others. This can mean they take longer to learn to read, which can limit their access to the rest of the curriculum.

Identify which individuals need more help, and what will

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