Elmhurst pioneers reading test

SCHOOLS Minister Nick Gibb met children at a Forest Gate school who will be trialling a new reading test.

The minister was at Elmhurst Primary, Upton Park Road, on Monday to launch a national phonics reading progress check for six-year-olds. Phonics helps children read by breaking words down into their individual sounds.

Elmhurst head Shahed Ahmed said: “We believe that the best way to teach children to read in the early stages is through a rigorous, systematic, engaging phonics approach. I believe all schools would benefit from taking this approach.”

The head added: “An end-of-Year 1 phonics check would encourage all schools to teach early reading through phonics and they would then know pupils’ strengths and weaknesses.”

Elmhurst is among ten schools nationwide piloting the scheme, which will be rolled out nationally from summer 2012.