I give you a response over and again - and I've now commented that it makes no difference - you 'hear' what you want to hear. I have never, ever said that teachers don't need to teach children about specific words and word banks - in fact that is precisely what I say - but I see this as part and parcel of a phonics programme - or phonics practice - and not separate from it - perhaps that is what is at the heart of our apparent confusion. As for people describing the banging on about phonics as 'evil', that is extraordinary - and here we go again. In terms of 'name calling', that is not what I am doing - I am saying, quite simply, that those people who spend so much time and effort - an incredible amount of time and effort - to keep decrying phonics teaching, banging on about it 'not being enough' - if the cap fits, wear it! An alternative picture is to really appreciate how many schools, and teachers, and parents, are describing how much better this upcoming generation of five and six year olds are doing with their reading and spelling. Many teachers and assistants that I come across in my travels describe how their own reading and spelling has improved - and they thoroughly enjoy the teaching, they are excited to see how much better they can teach and how much better their pupils can do. It isn't a picture of doom and gloom - it's a wonderful picture of our teacher profession's knowledge and understanding of teaching basic literacy skills improving enormously. We actually have some phonics initial teacher-training nowadays that we, in general, did not have before. Certainly, everywhere I train or talk I ask attendees about this - and only the newest teachers coming through our system have had such training. This is fantastic. How I wish that I had had training in phonics -for reading, spelling and handwriting - and how I KNOW that I could have done much better justice to the very large numbers of children who have historically passed through my hands. There are many, many teachers not only in England - but also from across the world who contact me and tell me how wonderful their results are compared to the past - and they are so excited to feel themselves teaching. No-one accessing these various threads on phonics would really get that idea because thumbie, masha, eddie all come on the forums to say how inadequate, or even 'evil', phonics teaching is - and this is simply not true. I have never said, nor has any other phonics proponent said, that phonics is a magic bullet - but like masha points out, over and again, our English alphabetic code is very complex - so let's get very good indeed, as a teaching profession, to get to grips with it and teach it as well as we can.