TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

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geraldinecarter
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TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by geraldinecarter » Fri Apr 01, 2011 10:12 pm

There's a heck of a lot of comment on the lead article in TES to-day: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6075433 (but good to see Debbie consulted...)

What a shambles when there are few Performance Indicators, few student teachers who receive appropriate training, few LEA 'advisers' who have ever taught synthetic phonics in the classroom, few, if any, Ofsted reports illuminating the type of instruction received by children, few, if any school websites providing the kind of information that parents/journalists. educationalists need to show what is working. We can go on for ever - or until the admirable Gove-Gibb team is ousted by a disaffected electorate when there is likely to be a return to full-blooded mixed methods.

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Susan Godsland
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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by Susan Godsland » Sat Apr 02, 2011 7:30 pm

TOP posting from John Walker re. this week's TES anti-phonics content:

Tickelled pink?
http://literacyblog.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... -pink.html
The TES has, ever since I can remember, adopted a brazenly ideological stance against the teaching of phonics and, like a dog returning to its own vomit, it seizes every opening to renounce it.:lol:

Dame Clare Tickell responds to inaccurate reports about her review of the EYFS
http://www.education.gov.uk/inthenews/i ... f-the-eyfs

The TES has a habit for mis-reporting phonics information -they were ticked off by the Press Complaints Commission only a couple of months ago:
http://www.rrf.org.uk/messageforum/view ... f=1&t=4795

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Susan Godsland
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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by Susan Godsland » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:30 pm

John Walker has been busy on his blog again.

TES: Wood a child tawt to reed using phonix alone notis anything wrong with this hedline?
http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6075467

Wud a litrasy expurt no a gud cwalitee phonix program if thay sore won

http://literacyblog.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... litee.html

I'm looking forward to part 2, John.

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by yvonne meyer » Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:41 pm

I had a look at the 'research' on which Olivia O'Sullivan bases her assumptions. Ms. O'Sullivan appears to be unaware that calling anecdotes that support a pre-determined ideological conclusion 'research' diminishes both her and her employers' professional standing.
This three year project (1995 – 98) on children’s spelling development was funded by the Mercers’ Company and conducted by Olivia O’Sullivan and Anne Thomas of the Centre for Language in Primary Education. A book (Understanding Spelling) giving a full account of the project and its implications for schools was published by CLPE in 2000.

http://www.clpe.co.uk/researchandprojec ... ch_04.html

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by john walker » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:36 am

Thanks, Yvonne! I hadn't read the 'findings of the project team' until you flagged them up.
I think you've said all there is to say on the subject.
John Walker
Sounds-Write
www.sounds-write.co.uk
http://literacyblog.blogspot.com

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by Susan Godsland » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:29 am

Part 2. from John Walker's blog. Thanks John :smile:

Not much Insight from Olivia O'Sullivan

http://literacyblog.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... livan.html

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by Susan Godsland » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:51 pm

HEY, HEY, HEY, John's blog posting makes it into the Guardian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/201 ... honics-row

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by geraldinecarter » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:32 pm

This is a Guardian first. Well done, John. And to Judy Friedberg much gratitude for standing up for logic.

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:28 am

This week the TES has another go at the report (and includes comment from Chris Jolly) but no apologies for their blatant mis-representation of the report in last week's edition.

http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=6076723
Phonics

Separate assessments of children's phonics abilities should be scrapped and replaced with an overall assessment of reading skills, the review has recommended.

Phonics should still be taught, but teachers should use a wide variety of techniques to help prepare children for reading, it says.

The review says that although children's attainment in phonics has improved, this is not reflected in their reading scores - and one of the stumbling blocks is the application of phonic knowledge.

While many children can grasp the theory of phonics, they are not always able to apply their skills in a meaningful way, the report notes.

"Thus the new aspects incorporate the acquisition of phonic knowledge and skills with its application to reading and writing."

Christopher Jolly, managing director of phonics publisher Jolly Learning, is concerned that in slimming down the paperwork, some basic principles are in jeopardy.

Mr Jolly said: "To have no mention of learning letter sounds is a serious omission.

"The process of decoding starts from knowledge of letter sounds.

"I don't believe this is adequate advice to raise standards in schools. It should say children need to learn the letter sounds of English and blend them to read words.

"We look to people like the developers of this report to pick out the crucial factors - that hasn't happened. The factor which is most crucial has been omitted."

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by maizie » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:51 pm

Susan Godsland wrote:The review says that although children's attainment in phonics has improved, this is not reflected in their reading scores - and one of the stumbling blocks is the application of phonic knowledge.
I really do not understand where the report is getting the data from to back up this statement. There is no 'test' for phonic attainment. The only children who can be realistically expected to have shown improvement are current Y3 (YR in 2007 -08 when the Rose 'guidance' was first implemented), and below, but the only 'test' which provides data for them is the rather crude KS1 SATs for cohort 2010 only (current Y3).

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by geraldinecarter » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:54 pm

It's very disappointing that Dame Claire Tickell did not ask the TES to print an apology for their misleading article. It's actually serious that such misinformation was printed on page 1 of last week's issue.

And I was wondering, like Maizie, how on earth the 'researcher' made such sweeping assertions when the teaching of phonics has only been embedded for 4 years. Moreover, it would seem, only a small percentage of schools teach rigorous phonics to their early years children - most add some 'mixed methods' teaching or haven't quite grasped how to teach SP. In addition, most schools used quite inappropriate readers for their fragile beginners.

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:11 pm

And so synthetic phonics is not yet "embedded"! :roll:

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by Susan Godsland » Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:18 am

Embedded phonics? What embedded phonics?

http://literacyblog.blogspot.com/2011/0 ... onics.html

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by chew8 » Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:25 pm

I'm just back from 2 weeks abroad and am trying to catch up quickly on message-board postings, so apologies if I haven't grasped things fully.
Maizie wrote:I really do not understand where the report is getting the data from to back up this statement. There is no 'test' for phonic attainment.
What may be meant is the bit of the foundation stage profile which deals with 'linking sounds and letters', where official figures apparently do show some improvement.

I think though, that there's a continuing problem: even when children are being taught much more than they used to be taught about linking sounds and letters, and are even being taught to read words by sounding out and blending in their discrete phonics sessions, there is too little application of this knowledge in text-reading. This is because many schools are using books where too many of the words are not decodable on the basis of the phonics taught to date. The reason may be just a lack of thinking-through on the part of teachers, or it may be that they have thought it through and have decided that children need to be able to use other strategies as well as phonics because of the complexity of English orthography.

Any improvement in children's ability to link sounds and letters should, in theory, bring an improvement in their text-reading, but I can see how the latter improvement might not show up very clearly if the teaching has not strongly emphasised the application of phonics in text-reading. More able children would probably make the connection by themselves, but the others might not. In the voluntary work I do, I find that children sometimes make comments which suggest that they keep 'phonics' (i.e. their discrete phonics lessons) in a separate mental compartment from their text-reading - e.g. they say things implying that they are surprised to find that what the teacher taught them in 'phonics' has any relevance to the books they read with me. This doesn't happen frequently, but it happens enough to make me think that some children may learn what they are taught in 'phonics' without realising its relevance to text-reading.

Jenny C.

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Re: TES: Phonics knocked off perch ...

Post by john walker » Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:16 pm

I’m sure there’s a lot in what you say, Jenny. What I am seeing is that many schools do a bit of phonics at the level of one sound-one letter and then send home the usual ORT/Ginn/etc books home with the children. Plus ça change!
Teachers lack of knowledge might also explain why, when a mother told me she’d been to her daughter’s school for parents’ evening recently and declared to the teacher that her phonics teaching didn’t work because the word ‘like’ had to be read ‘l’ ‘i’ ‘k’ ‘e’, the teacher agreed! It’s obvious from this and other examples that many teachers don’t understand the complexities of the writing system.
What you suggest emphasises the urgent need for high quality teacher training in phonics. When teachers understand exactly how the sounds of the language relate to the way we spell them, phonics teaching extends to every kind of classroom activity, including correcting errors. The discrete phonics sessions then become relevant to everyday practice and the dangers of compartmentalisation are reduced significantly.
John Walker
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