A BLACKBURN school has received government recognition for its phonics teaching.

The Olive School has been named in the top two per cent of schools in the country for its phonics scores, after just a year in operation.

Phonics is a method for teaching reading and writing the English language by developing learners’ ability to hear, identify, and manipulate sounds.

It is now the accepted method for teaching reading in UK primary schools.

The Department for Education carried out an annual phonics check on Year One children at the school and found that 100 per cent of pupils were achieving the expected standard.

The check showed that almost all pupils at the Bicknell Street school, which opened in September 2013, should go on to achieve at least the expected standard in Key Stage One reading.

In a letter to the school, Nick Gibb, Minister of State for Schools and Families, said: “The Department for Education wants to ensure that every child develops a firm grasp of phonics, so I was obviously delighted to see your results.

“To be in the top two per cent of schools with 100 per cent of pupils achieving the expected standard in the check is a tremendous achievement and points to a high standard of phonics teaching in your school.

“You have ensured that every Year One child in your school has a firm foundation for reading, from which they can develop further reading skills and become increasingly sophisticated readers.

“This will help them develop a lifelong love of reading.”

Nusret Ellahi, headteacher at the school, said: “We are delighted, especially as these results were achieved in the school’s very first year.

“To be in the top two per cent of schools across the country for phonics is a real achievement, and the teachers and children deserve huge credit.

“Everyone at the school has made a real commitment to phonics, which provides such an important base for reading and writing.”