'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Fri Jun 10, 2011 11:11 am

Frapul mawka weefa zee gheigh

...and these?

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by chew8 » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:39 pm

Do you see problems with these, Debbie?

Jenny C.

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Fri Jun 10, 2011 12:54 pm

It might be really interesting to see how people would expect to pronounce 'gheigh'.

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by Derrie Clark » Fri Jun 10, 2011 2:50 pm

According to the current teen speak, any thing they don't agree with is gheigh. ;-)

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Fri Jun 10, 2011 3:46 pm

I got that cryptic comment in a delayed reaction way, Derrie. You pass the decoding test then!

There are people who like to call upon the word 'ghoti' to undermine phonics teaching - but they think that 'gh' at the beginning can be /f/ and the 'ti' at the end can be /sh/ - little do they know about illegal spellings!

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by Susan Godsland » Mon Jun 13, 2011 10:23 am

There's now a blog to promote a campaign against the Phonics Test for 6yr Olds.

http://readingshouldbefun.wordpress.com/

http://readingshouldbefun.wordpress.com ... -the-test/
Nick Gibb is wrong when he states phonics is the most effective way for children to read words(p3). It should state that phonics is the most effective way of reading manywords, but is not sufficient to read words such as the, come, once, where a ‘look and say’ approach is needed. When will this very simple fact be acknowledged in government documents?
:roll:

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:30 pm

I've made a contribution to the blog now.

What is frustrating is the constant accusation that systematic, synthetic phonics classrooms don't also have all the language-rich activities and plenty of emphasis on literature.

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by chew8 » Tue Jun 14, 2011 3:15 pm

These critics obviously need to be told that systematic synthetic phonics teachers don't neglect language development and good literature, so it's good that you have mentioned that, Debbie.

I suspect, however, that they think that even if ssp teachers read lively stories aloud to their pupils, 'mixed methods' children do more independent reading of 'rich' literature in the early stages because they aren't limited to words that they can decode - they also know lots of 'sight' words and can guess from pictures and context. What we need to show is that ssp children quickly become better readers of 'rich' literature, and that as they can really read the words they are not dependent on guessing. They are taught to cope with irregularities, and it seems to be the case that their knowledge of what is usual by way of grapheme-phoneme correspondences helps rather than hinders them in coping with what is unusual.

Yesterday I started some end-of-year testing with a Year 1 class with whom I've worked one-to-one for 18 months, using decodable books. I also tested them this time last year, so have some objective measurement of their progress. I managed to test only 10 children yesterday, but the pattern of performance so far suggests not only that the children have improved much more than might have been expected (i.e. by a lot more than 12 months of reading age in 12 calendar months) but also that they are getting their scores by accurately reading words containing irregularities (e.g. 'one') as well as regular words. I'll try to say more about this when I've finished the testing.

And I've just given a link to a new paper by Rhona Johnston et al. in another thread. This has some pretty convincing date on long-term comprehension outcomes.

Jenny C.

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:41 am

Phonics screening trial gets underway
http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6088582
Steve Iredale, vice-president of heads' union the NAHT, observed a test being carried out in Loughborough.

"For internal purposes what I have seen could be very useful, but many schools will already have excellent tracking systems in place," he said.

One head who took part in the pre-trial tests said at the time that her teachers found it a "simple but helpful assessment".

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by Derrie Clark » Fri Jun 17, 2011 11:48 am

"For internal purposes what I have seen could be very useful, but many schools will already have excellent tracking systems in place," he said
I would be interested to know what these are?

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by chew8 » Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:58 pm

Well, at least some of the comments on the November/December pre-trial and current pilot are positive.

Some programmes do have assessments built into them, and many schools may be using those to track children's progress. The decoding check may not tell these schools a lot that they don't already know about their children's decoding ability, though it will be useful to know how that ability relates to national standards of decoding.

At present, however, it's probably the case that too many schools don't monitor children's decoding carefully enough or have a clear enough idea of what they should be capable of by the end of Year 1, and it's those schools which really need the national screening check.

Jenny C.

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by Susan Godsland » Sat Jun 25, 2011 7:07 pm

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/primary/124 ... -Year-Olds
As some of you know the Government has decided to bring in a new test for our six year olds in England, to check their phonic knowledge. We at our school and many other organisations (see list below) are against this idea, as it goes against everything that we believe in.

We feel that this test, which will be reported to OFSTED, will narrow the curriculum for the children in Nursery and Reception, as some schools will feel pressure to ensure that the children are ready for the test in Year 1. This is not a good thing as it will result in putting some of our children off reading, as not every child accesses reading through this method.

We have started a campaign, which is gathering momentum, with our base being readingshouldbefun.wordpress.com

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by Derrie Clark » Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:21 pm

Jenny noted:
Some programmes do have assessments built into them, and many schools may be using those to track children's progress.
As an Educational Psychologist and, previously an early years teacher, this is what attracted me to the Sounds-Write programme. There had not been a way of tracking progress through the word level prior to this and, in my opinion, there is not one as good out there now.

A teacher told me that with L&S they have to keep doing assessments whereas with the Sounds-Write they can assess through the teaching.

As an EP having children referred for literacy difficulties I'm afraid to say L&S told me very little if anything. Where schools do not do the S-W and I carry out a S-W diagnostic assessment, I can see exactly what they need but the school continue with L&S which does not fill the gaps in their skills and knowledge. Where there is measurable progress it is painfully slow. However, schools believe L&S is sufficient and I am even told that children can't always have a Rolls Royce version (except of course where knowledgeable parents are vociferous enough).

So for seven years I have seen exactly what children need and have not been able to secure it for them ... and this continues to be the case. If children were taught the Sounds-Write programme by a S-W trained teacher a clear record can be simply maintained and they could take a Government test at the end of Reception. I believe the end of Year 1 is too late.

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by chew8 » Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:50 pm

I'm sorry that your experience of children who have been taught by Letters and Sounds is so discouraging, Derrie. Some questions, and then such evidence as I have...
You wrote:A teacher told me that with L&S they have to keep doing assessments whereas with the Sounds-Write they can assess through the teaching.
L and S suggests assessments at the end of Phases 2, 3, 4 and 5 - do four assessments of this type in two years really mean that 'teachers have to keep doing assessments'?

There is also this in the Notes of Guidance:

'Every session in Phases Two to Five of the Letters and Sounds programme includes grapheme recogniton or recall practice and blending and segmentation practice. During these practice sessions, there is also the opportunity for assessment. For example...'

So assessing during teachng is also recommended - but you say that this also happens with Sounds~Write.
You wrote:As an EP having children referred for literacy difficulties I'm afraid to say L&S told me very little if anything.


If you see only children referred for literacy difficulties, you may be getting a rather one-sided view. Do you get the whole picture as well as this?*
You wrote:Where schools do not do the S-W and I carry out a S-W diagnostic assessment, I can see exactly what they need but the school continue with L&S which does not fill the gaps in their skills and knowledge.
Might it not be the case that using the criteria of one programme to assess children who have been taught by another programme is always a bit problematic? If I assessed S~W children by L and S criteria, might I also find what I regarded as gaps in their knowledge?

*Re. the 'whole picture': the best I can do here is to say something about an infant school where I help voluntarily. The school uses L and S, and I've recently done some end-of-year testing of reading there. I have yet to test 5 children - this is out of a total of 89, so they won't change the picture much but they may change it a bit. My impression is that the school teaches L and S pretty well but undermines the effect to some extent by using non-decodable books - I try to counteract this as far as possible by using only decodable books except with the children who are already 'free readers', but as I've said before I can usually see each child for only about 6-8 minutes every second week, so my input isn't huge. In other words, the results seem to be largely to do with the school's teaching of L and S.

So far, for what it's worth, just 3 children out of the 84 tested have a reading age below chronological age. Two of these are in Year 2, a class with which I myself have never worked at all - it also needs to be noted that the school started using L and S systematically only when these children were in Y1 and that this is an unusually young year-group (the average age is 2-3 months below what is normal for Y2). The average reading age in this class is nevertheless 10.5 months above chronological age.The only other child in the school with reading age below chronological age is in the class (Y1) with which I have worked the most, but he was a late arrival at the school so has had less input from the school and me than his classmates have had. The average reading ages in that class and Reception, with which I have worked much less, is 14 months above average chronological age. In all three classes several children have reading ages more than 2.5 years above chronological age.

Jenny C.

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Re: 'Light-touch, phonics-based check' for Y1 children

Post by Susan Godsland » Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:18 pm

Moves afoot to thwart Government plans for phonics reading test

http://www.nurseryworld.co.uk/news/1077 ... ding-test/
The petition, launched by TACTYC, the association for the professional development of early years educators, has now been signed by more than 1,300 people.

The group has joined forces with a campaign started by the president of the UK Literacy Association, David Reedy.

Its supporters include teaching unions and members of the Cambridge Review team.

Mr Reedy told Nursery World, 'What we're trying to do is to get the Government to think again about the phonics test for six-year-olds. We're bringing together all the associations that have worries about this. The Government said in their White Paper that it wasn't their place to tell teachers how to teach, but this test does just that.'

He added, 'We think phonics is essential, but it is not the be-all and end-all to teaching reading. The new Ofsted framework has an explicit focus on reading by the age of six and inspectors are told they will need to use the outcomes of the test in their judgements on how reading is taught.'

Janet Moyles, early years consultant and former chair of TACTYC, said, 'While phonics is vital in children's learning to read, it should not dominate the literacy curriculum. Most conscientious teachers assess children's phonics knowledge and use this as the basis to ensure children learn appropriate skills.

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