Papermover v RR teacher

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Papermover
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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by Papermover » Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:55 pm

Thank you Debbie, really interesting.

I'm going to look up Usha Goswami now.

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Debbie Hepplewhite
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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:30 am

Thanks, gentlemen, praise indeed.

Papermover - synthetic phonics is not political - not at all - but it took politicians such as Nick Gibb, and the parliamentary process, to pay attention long enough to the results we were pointing to, and the research and leading-edge programmes and practice, to bring sense at least to some degree to the teaching profession.

In that sense, it is 'political' but not a right/left wing thing - it was, if anything, a cross-party development.

Locally, David Rendell supported me to ask parliamentary questions - he was a Liberal Democrat.

Lord Prior did his utmost to help and gain attention for the phonics cause - he was a Tory.

The New Labour Government presided over the House of Common select committee enquiry 'Teaching Children to Read' which led to the independent national review by Sir Jim Rose leading to the Final Report (March 2006).

The Coalition Government furthered the phonics cause with the match-funded phonics initiative and the introduction of the Year One Phonics Screening Check.

If the academics in the Universities had been left to their own devices re teacher-training, what would be the state of play now?

I suppose you could say the introduction of Systematic Synthetic Phonics IS political - with contributions and developments from all parties - but the method itself is not 'political' as people seem to intend when they say as much.

chew8
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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by chew8 » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:55 am

I would just stress again that I see onset-rime theories as being another manifestation of the belief that it’s natural for children to start off by reading words as unanalysed wholes. That belief is encapsulated in the following:
henrietta Dombey wrote:Initially, whatever we try to teach them, young children recognise words as unanalysed wholes, making no attempt to map the component letters into speech sounds.….(Literacy Today No. 20, September 1999).
If people think that way, then a logical next step is to think about how children start breaking down whole words when they do start doing this. The theory is that they become aware of rhymes in spoken words before they become aware of individual phonemes. They are therefore more likely, if left to their own devices, to match letter-strings to rhyming endiings, though if onsets are single consonants, they may also have some awareness of those. This is basically the reasoning used by Goswami. She would probably say that children start registering on phonemic units long before all possible onset and rime units have been taught/learnt, so the fact that there are far more of them in sound-print terms than of phonemic units may not be an important consideration.

An article published in 2002 suggested some realisation on her part of the role played by letters in making beginners aware of phonemes. The following comes after she has mentioned that the National Literacy Strategy started with single letters:
Goswami wrote:At first sight, it may seem peculiar that spelling correspondences for the large units (rimes) that are phonologically easier to process are taught later than spelling correspondences for the small units (phonemes) that are phonologically more difficult to process. However, the small units (phonemes) usually correspond to single letters, which are clearly separable in the orthography, and most words used in the early reading curriculum have a 1:1 correspondences between letters and sounds. Furthermore, many children learn the alphabet before formal teaching in reading commences, and there is good evidence that that this letter knowledge helps them once they begin learning to read (Treiman, Tincoff, Rodriguez, Mouzaki, and Francis, 1998). Hence pedagogically it may well be easier to begin teaching children about letters, which many of them will already know about, and then to proceed to instruction about larger units such as rimes (e.g. Allen, 1998; Johnston, 1999; Moustafa and Maldonado-Colon,1998; Wagstaff, 1997). (Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 82, 2002).
When I saw that, I had high hopes that she might go on to realise that most rime units could simply be decoded phonemically so wouldn’t need to be explicitly taught. I think she went off on other tracks after that, but maybe the EEF-funded research shows that she still wants to prove the case for onset-rime, even if only for ‘dyslexics’.

I still think that a big fly in the ointment is the theory that it’s natural for children start off by reading words as unanalysed wholes. If this theory could be finally demolished, onset-rime theories would look very shaky and a lot of other problems would be solved.

Jenny C.
Last edited by chew8 on Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

kenm
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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by kenm » Mon Oct 27, 2014 10:23 am

chew8 wrote:I would just stress again that I see onset-rime theories as being another manifestation of the belief that it’s natural for children to start off by reading words as unanalysed wholes. That belief is encapsulated in the following:
henrietta Dombey wrote:Initially, whatever we try to teach them, young children recognise words as unanalysed wholes, making no attempt to map the component letters into speech sounds.….(Literacy Today No. 20, September 1999).
I still think that a big fly in the ointment is the theory that it’s natural for children start off by reading words as unanalysed wholes. If this theory could be finally demolished, onset-rime theories would look very shaky and a lot of other problems would be solved.
The message from the teaching of musical instruments* is that many beginners find it natural to use methods that are known by their teachers to be technical dead ends, and much time is spent breaking them of inefficient habits that work for early teaching material but will fail on later repertoire. There may be some reason to expect instinctive behaviour, such as the acquisition of spoken language, to be effective, but none to expect the same to apply to writing and reading, which are recent (in evolutionary time) cultural inventions.

* in which I have never heard any arguments against direct instruction.
"... 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: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by volunteer » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:31 pm

Papermover wrote:
I don't think our school used any of the match-funding scheme at all. We offered personally to give money for them to buy a whole load of phonics books and they would get the match funding which would double the purchase. They said no.
The head told me that they spent £3k on phonics books, and that all the teachers were recently retrained in phonics. I haven't seen any phonics books
.

Again, sounds like our school. They'd tell you something was synthetic phonics that wasn't too.

I think you might be coming up against some beliefs that the early teaching of reading is driven by different political ideologies - crudely put the belief that phonics is right-wing, whole-word methods are left-wing.
This was levelled at me by the school, that SP is political and not about helping children to learn. This saddens me, and makes me feel a bit paranoid. I'd hate to be seen as right wing.
That's probably why they said it; they seem to be taking the argument with you to a personal level rather than sticking to the facts. Very irritating. Stay calm and carry on.

Papermover
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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by Papermover » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:15 am

It's really helpful to read your post about "politics" and phonics Debbie. I have been feeling a bit odd, like I'm siding with the baddies, as Volunteer says, that's probably how the school do feel, or want to make me feel that way.

Yesterday I had one of those days when several people asked me about reading at the school, and I did feel that I was talking about something that polite people don't talk about.

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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by john walker » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:25 am

Hi Papermover!
All you need to remember is that teaching children to read and spell so that everything they encounter in their schooling is accessible is neither right-wing nor left-wing. It is just simply the right (no pun intended) thing to do.
Oh, yes, and just look behind you to take a peek at your wings every now and then to remind yourself that you're on the side of the angels. :smile:
John Walker
Sounds-Write
www.sounds-write.co.uk
http://literacyblog.blogspot.com

Papermover
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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by Papermover » Wed Oct 29, 2014 11:37 am

:grin: thanks John!

kenm
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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by kenm » Wed Oct 29, 2014 3:21 pm

Papermover wrote:The last Ofsted downgraded the school from Outstanding to Good. It was just before my child started the school, very end of the summer term 2013. From what I can tell the poor SATS and phonics check results triggered an inspection. Everything was thrown at the last cohort of y6s and the SATS have improved no end.
Have the phonics checks improved? If Newham (as a whole) can achieve 80% any non-specialist school ought to be able to do the same.
"... 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

Papermover
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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by Papermover » Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:22 pm

I don't know what the results where for last years Y1s I'm afraid kenm. Is there a way I could find out? I'd be interested in the school results, and those of the London Borough as a whole.

Where did you get the info for Newham btw? Is that better than the National Average? Don't Newham have someone high up in the council/ edication that is very pro synthetic phonics?

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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by kenm » Thu Oct 30, 2014 2:43 am

Papermover wrote:I don't know what the results where for last years Y1s I'm afraid kenm. Is there a way I could find out? I'd be interested in the school results, and those of the London Borough as a whole.
I don't know of an easy way for a particular school. The 2014 national results have been published, but give only lots of dubious analyses, not detailed results for individual schools.
Where did you get the info for Newham btw? Is that better than the National Average? Don't Newham have someone high up in the council/ edication that is very pro synthetic phonics?
1) Article by Nick Gibb (Schools Minister) in the Guardian of 25 September 2014.
2) Yes.
3) Yes.
"... 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: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by volunteer » Thu Oct 30, 2014 10:37 am

Do the results still have the same dubious spike around the pass mark that they had in the first year when teachers knew the pass mark before administering the test?

chew8
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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by chew8 » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:18 am

No, there was no spike in 2014.

Jenny C.

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maizie
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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by maizie » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:37 am

kenm wrote:I don't know of an easy way for a particular school.
I don't think it was ever intended that individual school results would be officially made known to the public.

Of course, individual teachers and schools do sometimes do say how they did but it's unofficial.

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Re: Papermover v RR teacher

Post by kenm » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:42 am

volunteer wrote:Do the results still have the same dubious spike around the pass mark that they had in the first year when teachers knew the pass mark before administering the test?
No. The graph approximates to three straight lines. 600 score zero; 200 score 1; 10000 score 31; 95000 (c. 15%) score 40. The change of slope at the two internal points is marked, but there is no internal peak. I suspect the second change of slope means that teachers identify marginal pupils and give them more intensive instruction before the test but no longer cheat within it.
"... 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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