Decodable Readers requirement

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cartwheel
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Decodable Readers requirement

Post by cartwheel » Fri Aug 15, 2014 5:05 am

I am curious about the requirement that appears to be going into effect in England this year: that schools use decodable books with beginning readers. Am I correct? If so, what are the details of this requirement?
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Susan Godsland
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Re: Decodable Readers requirement

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:28 am

Jennie,

In Oct 2010 the DfE issued a revised set of criteria for synthetic phonics programmes included new advice on early texts to practise reading: ''(E)nsure that as pupils move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they are invited to practise by reading texts which are entirely decodable for them, so that they experience success and learn to rely on phonemic strategies. It is important that texts are of the appropriate level for children to apply and practise the phonic knowledge and skills that they have learnt. Children should not be expected to use strategies such as whole-word recognition and/or cues from context, grammar, or pictures.''

The new National Curriculum, statutory in maintained schools from September 2014, states that pupils in Y1 should ''read aloud accurately books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words''
https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... _FINAL.pdf

kenm
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Re: Decodable Readers requirement

Post by kenm » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:01 pm

This smacks of Gove. I admire the ambition. I expect some argument about it in the profession. Also I wonder how many teachers will need some retraining to cope with all this.

"6.3 ... Pupils should develop the stamina to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. They should be taught the correct use of grammar."

"Year 1 ... Composition ... use the grammatical terminology in Appendix 2 in discussing their writing."

"Appendix 2 ...
Year 1 ... Terminology for pupils: letter, capital letter, word, singular, plural, sentence, punctuation, full stop, question mark, exclamation mark ...
Year 2 ... [Terminology for pupils:] noun, noun phrase, statement, question, exclamation, command, compound,adjective, verb, suffix, tense (past, present), apostrophe, comma ...
Year 5 ... [Terminology for pupils:] modal verb, relative pronoun, relative clause, parenthesis, bracket, dash, cohesion, ambiguity"

On a fairly quick scan, I believe all of the above points are mandatory.

The explanation of decoding and comprehension is far better than the documents to which I was referred in Gove's letter. Now we need Ofsted inspectors who can tell whether the prescribed methods are used.
"... 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

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Re: Decodable Readers requirement

Post by volunteer » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:12 pm

Your last sentence is beautifully understated.

Papermover
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Re: Decodable Readers requirement

Post by Papermover » Sun Sep 07, 2014 10:59 am

This week my Y1 daughter came home with a letter about the school policy on guided reading written by the head of Key Stage 1 who is the YR teacher. This reminds parents about the school's guided reading policy; the teacher will focus on helping the pupils with their strategies such as use of pictures, sounding out and reading on. Parents should try and hear their child read daily to help them with these strategies. The school reading books have not been changed, they are the same old multi-cue books, they seem pretty heavy on New Zealand publishers ( linked to Reading Recovery).

With the help of the RRF I've taught my daughter the English Alphabetic Code and we practise this by reading daily. It's amazing how her vocabulary has increased as she decodes words she's not come across and I tell her what they mean.

It's so sad to see friends struggling, children she has been through nursery with but are summer born so have just left Y1. They didn't make the pass rate on the Phonics Assesment so they will get more phonics help. However they are probably "mildly dyslexic" so I would imagine that the Reading Recovery teacher will get a look in.

I've spoken to all the parents about the schools harmful methods at some point but I just get cold shouldered now. No parent; none of the architects, lawyers, tv producers, lecturers, want to believe there is a flaw in this wonderful school. It just comes across that I am gloating as I have a child who can read Gold level + books while their child isn't ready for that, is probably dyslexic, is young for the year.

Anyway, my point is that the mandatory requirements may have changed, but they are easy to ignore. Particularly if you pump all your time and energy into Y6 to improve their SATS.

I don't know what the Phonics Assessment results have been, only that (I believe) they were partially responsible for triggering an OFSTED inspection and downgrade from Outstsnding to Good a few years ago. The new report said that the school Phonics results had improved in the second year of testing. Will any improvement be enough for OFSTED? I'm concerned that a small improvement from a low base will fool them?

The school IS lovely with kind and friendly staff, wonderful facilities and my daughter loves it and feels part of a special community. Lets hope in worrying about nothing, and all the other children will get there in the end.

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Re: Decodable Readers requirement

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:48 pm

I have an issue about this myself - and am taking it up vociferously with Ofsted and others - because we should be able to hold everyone to account for persisting with multi-cueing such as papermover has described.

The trouble is that the sheer vastness of the profession and numbers of inspectors, politicians with different 'understanding', advisors, consultants, Reading Recovery thinking - and so on - works against clarity and accountability.

Well done, papermover, for your dedication and concern to advise parents at the school - but if the teachers themselves don't 'get it', it's very hard to get change.

It is a miracle that we have got as much change as we have - truly - that we have the systematic synthetic phonics teaching principles now embedded in statute - with the model of the Simple View of Reading (although I am very disappointed that this has not been named as such in the new curriculum, nor has the diagram been provided) - and that there is explicit guidance against using multi-cueing and explicit guidance to use cumulative, decodable books.

Whoever would have thought that we would have reached this incredible state of affairs?

This issue now is multifold:

The take up of the guidance across the teaching profession when so many continuously protest or are none the wiser - especially with a willing media, children's authors, union leaders, literacy organisations, to undermine phonics and government at any opportunity.

And the total lack of accountability for abuse of the research and abuse of guidance.

Meanwhile, it continues to be the individual children who will suffer.

And I hear from teachers of secondary pupils regularly - and we saw a documentary only recently - where weak reading is clearly still a major issue.

The young people concerned at secondary are the victims of multi-cueing which does not serve them in the longer term.

The perception of phonics and phonics skills as 'baby stuff' needs to change and to change fundamentally to the 'adult stuff' that it is.

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Re: Decodable Readers requirement

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sun Sep 07, 2014 5:49 pm

It's amazing how her vocabulary has increased as she decodes words she's not come across and I tell her what they mean.
This is what I hear all the time from schools that are using good synthetic phonics programmes and practices.

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Re: Decodable Readers requirement

Post by volunteer » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:44 pm

Papermover wrote:This week my Y1 daughter came home with a letter about the school policy on guided reading written by the head of Key Stage 1 who is the YR teacher. This reminds parents about the school's guided reading policy; the teacher will focus on helping the pupils with their strategies such as use of pictures, sounding out and reading on. Parents should try and hear their child read daily to help them with these strategies. The school reading books have not been changed, they are the same old multi-cue books, they seem pretty heavy on New Zealand publishers ( linked to Reading Recovery).

With the help of the RRF I've taught my daughter the English Alphabetic Code and we practise this by reading daily. It's amazing how her vocabulary has increased as she decodes words she's not come across and I tell her what they mean.

It's so sad to see friends struggling, children she has been through nursery with but are summer born so have just left Y1. They didn't make the pass rate on the Phonics Assesment so they will get more phonics help. However they are probably "mildly dyslexic" so I would imagine that the Reading Recovery teacher will get a look in.

I've spoken to all the parents about the schools harmful methods at some point but I just get cold shouldered now. No parent; none of the architects, lawyers, tv producers, lecturers, want to believe there is a flaw in this wonderful school. It just comes across that I am gloating as I have a child who can read Gold level + books while their child isn't ready for that, is probably dyslexic, is young for the year.

Anyway, my point is that the mandatory requirements may have changed, but they are easy to ignore. Particularly if you pump all your time and energy into Y6 to improve their SATS.

I don't know what the Phonics Assessment results have been, only that (I believe) they were partially responsible for triggering an OFSTED inspection and downgrade from Outstsnding to Good a few years ago. The new report said that the school Phonics results had improved in the second year of testing. Will any improvement be enough for OFSTED? I'm concerned that a small improvement from a low base will fool them?

The school IS lovely with kind and friendly staff, wonderful facilities and my daughter loves it and feels part of a special community. Lets hope in worrying about nothing, and all the other children will get there in the end.
I am sure this is a familiar tale in a lot of schools. At ours, one of the teachers who taught reading really badly in KS1 left - nothing to do with the teaching of reading. A child who was badly in need of more structured synthetic phonics teaching in year 2 went to her as a private pupil. It didn't help. I tried to undo the guessing each week at my weekly volunteer session with her but it was an uphill struggle. Parents wouldn't listen ......... but then, it is a big ask expecting a parent to believe a parent rather than a paid member of staff at the school.

I once sent all the parents in my class links to some really good phonics sites (including yours Debbie!). What happened ---- amongst other things they scrapped e-mail addresses from the PTA contact lists!

Carry on trying Papermover.

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