Bakewell: Minister praises kids’ reading skills

Bakewell Infants, head Tricia Outram with year two
Bakewell Infants, head Tricia Outram with year two

Youngsters at an infants’ school have proven they are on the right page when it comes to their reading skills after acing a national test.

Bakewell Infant’s School, in Bath Street, has received a letter from the Minister of State for Schools Nick Gibb congratulating it on being in the top five per cent in the country for phonics.

Head teacher Tricia Outram said: “We were delighted.

“It’s all the hard work that staff have done with our phonics teacher has paid off and we’re really proud.”

Twenty–four year one students at the school, aged five and six years old, took a phonics test in June last year, in which the children were asked to read a series of words phonetically, meaning they break they pronounce each syllable separately.

Mrs Outram explained: “They call it ‘decoding’.

“It helps them in their reading.”

She explained that this method of teaching reading is not the only way of doing it, however it is one that the Government is particularly keen on at the moment.

“They’re pushing phonics in a big way,” Mrs Outram added.

The youngsters passed the test with flying colours – achieving an overall pass rate of 96 per cent, placing the school among the best in the country.

The purpose of teaching phonics to young children is to give them a good foundation for understanding the construction of words, which they will hopefully be able to use throughout their school life.

To comment on this story online, visit

Alternatively, send your letters to