Optima Framework for Teaching Reading

Optima Reading teaches all the skills that research has indicated are essential in learning to read within the context of real books. Optima Reading is currently the only approach to teaching reading that explicitly rejects the use of phonically regular reading schemes in favour of real books, yet without compromising teachers’ ability to fulfil the demands of phonic teaching requirements.

The framework teaches the following skills for two minutes each:

  • • synthesis (putting sounds together to pronounce a word which is a key skill in learning to read),
  • • segmentation (breaking words into the constituent sounds which is a key skill in learning to spell),

Synthesis and segmentation are phonological skills and are practised orally in the absence of print.

  • • phonics (blending sounds together to pronounce a word in response to print),
  • • sight word reading (high frequency words),
  • • vocabulary (derived from real books).

Teachers and children then read a rich variety of real books and are explicitly shown how to apply their skills in a wide range of contexts where they share fiction and non-fiction together.