I have read all these arguments with great interest- I can see phonics creates great passion in teachers! I feel very strongly about phonics, having witnessed at first hand how really good synthetic phonics teaching has turned around the fortunes of several schools and therefore the lives of many children. I do however have enough of a sense of humour to find Michael Rosen's blog very funny, as I also cannot see the point of testing 5 and 6 yr olds using nonsense words. As he says, it is not reading. The proof of the pudding should come at year 2- if the current year 1 children do better in KS1 SATs, then it will be clear phonics teaching is making a difference. Reading however is not just about decoding and the schools that are successful are using phonics as a tool, not an end goal in it's own right. Read the OFSTED report Reading by Six (2010) as it is a very clear document that shows how the best schools do it. It is not just about teaching phonics- though all the good schools had that in common. Finally, all those opponents of phonics teaching need to be aware that OFSTED will be looking very closely at phonics teaching and the teaching of reading in general. Not agreeing with it is not gonig to be a sufficient excuse!