Feedback on Phonic Check

Moderators: Debbie Hepplewhite, maizie, Lesley Drake, Susan Godsland

User avatar
Debbie Hepplewhite
Administrator
Posts: 3654
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:13 pm
Location: Berkshire
Contact:

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:05 pm

http://www.phonicsinternational.com/for ... .php?t=424

You can find the link to the free Y1 phonics screening check materials via the message above.

I keep a couple of threads going about the check on my Phonics International message forum.

As you can see from the link above, I'm encouraging schools internationally to use the check for their own purposes and to compare with results in England! ;-)

kenm
Posts: 1495
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:19 pm
Location: Berkshire

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by kenm » Wed Jul 31, 2013 3:57 pm

pjay wrote:A very crude test really- a properly standardised test including comprehension and reading rate (similar to YARC) at the end of Y2 would be more useful I feel.
Taking as model the simple view of reading, which works well for the majority of words*, the phonics test (I think of it as a decoding test) measures one of the two important components. A comprehension test measures some unknown function of the two main components, vocabulary being the other one, with an admixture of imagination and intelligence, also unknown. Its overall score may tell you that a child needs some remedial teaching, but it won't tell you what.

* Homographs are an exception; I can't think of any others.
"... the innovator has as enemies all those who have done well under the old regime, and only lukewarm allies among those who may do well under the new." Niccolo Macchiavelli, "The Prince", Chapter 6

pjay
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:30 pm

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by pjay » Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:02 pm

Are you familiar with the YARC test Ken? It has a very useful diagnostic function as it assesses phonic skills and knowledge as well as comprehension and reading rate. The year 1 phonic check was useful in assessing blending ability but as a test of GPC knowledge it was pretty useless. As I said elsewhere, pretty crude- better than nothing in those schools that needed something but for those of us who ARE doing a good job with phonics teaching it told us very little- and so open to manipulation by the unscrupulous!

User avatar
Debbie Hepplewhite
Administrator
Posts: 3654
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2005 4:13 pm
Location: Berkshire
Contact:

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Wed Jul 31, 2013 10:07 pm

Is it the YARC test, though, that only assesses around 19 elements for the letter/s-sound correspondences - mainly single alphabet letters and a few digraphs such as 'ee'?

Also, is it that test which at word level has many words which are extremely specific to a particular reading scheme?

Forgive me if I have a confused memory of the test. :???:

chew8
Posts: 4171
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by chew8 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:46 am

Re. the repetition of some GPCs in this year's screening check: I wondered if it might have something to do with ensuring that the level of difficulty was the same as last year. I asked a DfE contact, who confirmed that this was so. My impression is that the DfE has actually been very efficient about devising, trialling and ranking a bank of items so that the same standard can be maintained from year to year. I think the people behind this are very competent at this sort of technicality.

One of the digraphs which was repeated (3 times, I think) was 'oi'. I heard a researcher say, some time ago, that this was one that had been found to be difficult for children.

Jenny C.

volunteer
Posts: 755
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:46 pm

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by volunteer » Mon Aug 05, 2013 3:39 am

I looked at the g p c coverage in last year's test and it did not cover many g p c's. I noticed that one could probably have passed it by being very accurate but knowing very little phase 5 stuff. So children stuck in lower letters and sounds phases could pass it. Has anyone analysed it this year by letter and sound phase?

It was terribly simple last year. I feel it really is there to pick out the real strugglers but instead 32 out of 40 has come to mean a good level of decoding. I worry because there is no follow on with testing the areas that some schools seem to be poor at - teaching more advanced code and decoding of multi syllable words.

I don't think correlating check results with nc results will do the trick. It is possible to have quite a degree of decoding inaccuracy and pass quite high up the nc levels.

Also nc levels are soon to be scrapped.

chew8
Posts: 4171
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by chew8 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:43 am

volunteer wrote:I feel it really is there to pick out the real strugglers but instead 32 out of 40 has come to mean a good level of decoding.
I think it is intended to pick out the real strugglers, though I’ve felt from the start that the threshold mark of 32 was on the high side for this. That mark was set by teachers who had been involved in the pilot, however, and I can understand why the DfE would want to stick with it rather than looking as if it’s overriding the decision of those teachers.

In 2011 I did the pilot version of the screening check with Y1 children at a school teaching excellent phonics. Most children got more than 32 (the average was 36), but one child got only 24. When I did some testing a year later, however, this child was absolutely fine – she clearly didn’t have a reading problem.

Jenny C.

User avatar
Susan Godsland
Administrator
Posts: 4973
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:10 pm
Location: Exeter UK
Contact:

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:54 am

Provisional information on the achievements in the 2013 phonics screening check and national curriculum assessments at key stage 1.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... 3_Text.pdf

volunteer
Posts: 755
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:46 pm

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by volunteer » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:59 am

Thanks for that link. Once again we have a graph like last year showing there was a peak in the frequency of scores at the threshold mark like the previous year. Apparently next year they are communicating the threshold score to schools after the dates of the tests, but before the submission deadline. Any connection? Might be even wiser to make it after the submission deadline if they are wanting to prove whether or not fiddling causes the spike.

User avatar
Susan Godsland
Administrator
Posts: 4973
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2003 11:10 pm
Location: Exeter UK
Contact:

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by Susan Godsland » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:36 am


chew8
Posts: 4171
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by chew8 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 4:38 pm

volunteer wrote:Apparently next year they are communicating the threshold score to schools after the dates of the tests, but before the submission deadline. Any connection? Might be even wiser to make it after the submission deadline if they are wanting to prove whether or not fiddling causes the spike.
I think that the bank of test items which the DfE has, together with the trialling that has been done, would allow the threshold mark to be changed while keeping the same overall level of difficulty. In other words, the threshold mark in future years could be lower or higher without any moving of goalposts.

Jenny C.

volunteer
Posts: 755
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:46 pm

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by volunteer » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:18 pm

Do they think a spike the second year running looks suspicious though? And is this why they are not communicating the threshold before the test? To be absolutely clear whether the spike is genuine or "fixed", surely they should not reveal the threshold until after everything has been submitted by schools? Otherwise, if there is a spike a third year running there could still be suspicion that results were changed after the test? Or is there some way the test is administered that makes it impossible to change results post- testing?

chew8
Posts: 4171
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by chew8 » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:39 pm

Volunteer: see pp. 10-11 of the 2012 Technical Report:

http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/fi ... rt_001.pdf

See also pp. 28-30 pf the May 2013 Topic Note:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... -RR287.pdf

Having observed the pre-trial version of the screening check being administered in several schools, and having administered it myself to about 100 children, I know that it would be quite hard to ensure, on the hoof, that children got exactly 32, but the marks could probably be altered afterwards. My own view, based on the performance of real children whose reading ability I knew quite well, has always been that the threshold mark of 32 is a bit on the high side, but it was set by teachers, so it’s understandable that the DfE would not want to change it. The problem may not be too serious if the spike in the first two years was mainly the result of children being marked up from (say) 29, 30 or 31 to 32, because those children will probably do fine just with normal ongoing classroom teaching. But it will be interesting to see of the DfE does things differently next year.

Jenny C.

volunteer
Posts: 755
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 12:46 pm

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by volunteer » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:45 pm

I have just looked back over this year's phonic check word list and last year's. In both years there were, by my reckoning, 8 words containing phase 5 graphemes. There were a similar number of two syllable words, and a similar number of non-words that were one letter different from real words. You could, if you were very accurate, get the 32 threshold without having been moved on to phase 5. Maybe this test construction somehow leads to the peak at 32.

A test that is about identifying the real strugglers needs surely only to identify children who can't sound out and blend, and / or can't remember and use many GPCs for reading purposes despite one or two years of good phonics teaching.

I'd agree with Jenny that in respect of this 32 is a high "pass" mark.

However, in terms of it driving some kind of improvement in KS1 reading results because the test scores have gone up from one year to the next, I am not so sure. Probably a significant improvement has been made by moving children through phase 2 and phase 3 letters and sounds faster in some schools.

But to have a great impact on reading by the end of year 2 (end of KS1) they need to have pushed on with phase 5 too or there's not much you can really read. The test does not seem to require this - very accurate phase 3 decoders plus a slight massage of the 31/32 region will guarantee quite a few passes in this test, and phase 5 can then be dragged on forever in some schools.

To catch out the sloppy schools more is needed than this.

chew8
Posts: 4171
Joined: Sun Nov 02, 2003 6:26 pm

Re: Feedback on Phonic Check

Post by chew8 » Fri Oct 04, 2013 8:39 am

Hi volunteer –

Even if only 8 of what you call Phase 5 graphemes have cropped up in each year so far, teachers would have to have covered all those listed in the specification in order to be sure of having covered the few which would be included in any particular year.

In any case, what counts as a ‘Phase 5 grapheme’ is not set in stone: what counts as an 'alternative' depends on what has been taught as the first grapheme for a particular sound, and that can vary from programme to programme. This was probably one reason why it was decided to have the screening check in Year 1 rather than in Reception – there might have been too much variation in what had been covered by the end of Reception.

Jenny C.

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests