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A lesson in phonics and the Melbourne school’s approach that’s paying off

A primary school in Melbourne’s south-east has implemented a phonics program, and the principal says it’s paying off for students.

The Australian reports Bentleigh West Primary School is seeing the results of its phonics program, the practice of sounding out letters in groups to form a word.

The move was led by principal Steven Capp.

So Ross and John went to an expert, Jennifer Buckingham, senior research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies.

“Phonics is just a relationship between the sounds we hear in a word, when we say it and the letters we use to spell that word when we write it,” she said.

She said the English language is difficult to learn, and needs to be taught in a systematic, methodical way for children.

“So we start off by learning the simple letter sound relationships, and then we extend that to the more complicated words like ‘ough’,” she said.

“There is nothing new about the concept teaching phonics, but what is new and expanding is our knowledge of phonics.”

Click PLAY to hear Ross and John get a lesson in phonics