Synthetic Phonics fundamentalists believe the dogma that there is synthetic phonics - there is only synthetic phonics - there is nothing other than synthetic phonics. There is no room for doubt in their minds. The fact that 20% of children continue to leave school every year illiterate does not faze them - its all the teachers' fault for not teaching synthetic phonics correctly. When every previous 'euraka strategy' failed to deliver, it was always the teachers fault - never the strategy Good spellers are not good spellers because they have been drilled in all the spelling rules and their myriad 'exceptions.' They are good spellers because they know when a word 'looks right' and that is a naturally learned perceptual skill. You can do all the 'look-cover-say-write' till the cows come home and it will not cure bad spelling. To become good at spelling, you need lots of practice at spelling words correctly - that way, you only know the correct spelling - hence my belief in Perceptual Learnin dictation course - they never fail unless the child is truly dyslexic which of course involves perceptual disorders. One of the schools in my 2010/11 pilot poject predicted a 48% pass rate in English at KS 2. Their Y6 children completed a full academic year on Perceptual Learning (15/20 mins daily) and achieved a 92% pass with 45% of those at Level 5! Naturally, they are now committed P.L. users. The Perceptual Level resources had no overt phonics content whatsoever. In a Staffs primary school, 9 children predicted to achieve Level 3 all achieved Level 4 - again - no phonics content. How did they do that? Perceptually! Now they are also PL users as are all six schools in the pilot project.