Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

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

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

Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by Susan Godsland » Fri Dec 19, 2014 9:50 pm

Debbie wrote on a different thread:
In other words what I am suggesting is that we cannot properly know whether a school judged to be 'outstanding' is really outstanding or whether, in reality, untold damage may still be caused by the lack of professional knowledge and understanding of not only our teaching profession but of our inspecting profession.
If I was looking for a primary school for my child today, now that the PSC is established, I'd like to know that every school rated 'good' by Ofsted was getting 90%+ of its Y1 children reaching the standard mark and every school rated 'outstanding' was getting 95%+ of its children reaching the standard, every year.

JIM CURRAN
Posts: 3186
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2003 7:18 am

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by JIM CURRAN » Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:28 am

I agree Susan, it's back to Ruth Miskin's description of a good school as being one that teaches all its children to read.

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by kenm » Sun Dec 21, 2014 11:22 am

frances5 wrote:My daughter's class have two severely disabled children who stand no chance of passing the phonics test. It really not fair to count a non verbal child who is still in nappies in statistics for passing the phonics test. Small schools need a bit more leeway as well.
The nature of the pupils is one of the independent variables that would be put into a regression analysis so as eliminate as far as possible their confounding effect on the estimate of the influence of other variables.
frances5 wrote:I feel it would be more effective for schools to have to publish their pass rate for the phonics test.
If they did, and we knew lots of other data about intake and methods for a sufficient number of schools, we could do our own regression analysis. It's not for the faint-hearted though
"... 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

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by Susan Godsland » Sun Dec 21, 2014 12:54 pm

Frances, you may be right, but I did think there might be problems with having a (high) fixed percentage to achieve a 'good' or 'outstanding' rating so I consulted some experienced primary teachers before I posted. They thought those percentages were reasonable and achievable.
It really not fair to count a non verbal child who is still in nappies in statistics for passing the phonics test
IIRC, children with this level of disability would be disapplied from the PSC and not count in a school's statistics.

I agree that schools should to have to publish their pass rate for the phonics check.

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by kenm » Sun Dec 21, 2014 5:23 pm

frances5 wrote:I feel that making the phonics too high stakes would put a lot of pressure on children. I would not agree with saying that 90% of children have to pass the test to avoid "requires improvement". Especially as schools that get "requires improvement" are put into a category.
Very few ordinary primary schools have more then 5% of pupils with genetic impairment of their mental capacity. Most of the children who enter primary school poorly prepared to learn to read English have parents of limited language or homes that lack books. Even so, some schools in Newham have a substantial proportion of their pupils with English as a second language but nevertheless achieve over 90% pass rates in the phonics check, by using good synthetic phonics schemes.

I realised before writing the above that I was ignorant of the current criteria for entry to primary school, so don't know how much instruction in reading children will have received at school before the check. What I have found on the Web suggests that children can enter Reception in the September after their fourth birthday but must receive full-time education (which could be home-ed.) only from the September following their fifth birthday, when they would enter primary school in Y1. Is this correct? and do any schools (LAs?) allow entry of, say, a late summer-born child into Reception in the Spring or Summer terms after their fourth birthday? In the first case, a child taking the check should have had five terms of school reading instruction, in the second, only two.

If variation in the school's expected pass rate (EPR) were to be allowed, the average number of terms of instruction (TOI) is a reasonable factor to include in the function; also proportion of examinees allowed free school meals (FSM), since that seems to be an accepted indicator of an intellectually deprived upbringing. Bearing in mind the achievements of London East End schools, I would be surprised if many EPRs fell below 85%. Are there any other factors to consider?

More complicated, but better targetted to the schools's performance, would be to allow TOI and FSM to modify the examinee's pass mark.
Last edited by kenm on Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:27 am, edited 2 times in total.
"... 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

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Mon Dec 22, 2014 1:18 am

I think that programme authors have now had feedback from at least some of their schools that PSC results of 90 to 100% are generally attainable.

I have even heard of one Reception teacher who had the most amazing, glowing, specific Ofsted reporting of her Reception children as two–thirds reached the benchmark and beyond.

Having heard from both PI schools and FP schools achieving in the 90 to 100% range, I'm happy to use this as a general expectation.

Teachers say it is the children with 'sideways entry' (that is, they have joined the school later than other children) who may not reach the benchmark.

When I speak to teachers at schools getting the national average or lower, I am confident to say that they should be aiming much higher as I have evidence to indicate that this is the case.

Thus – I think it would be reasonable for parents to expect schools to be in this range also.

However, I do have this thought:

Most of the words in the check are from the basic (or 'simple) alphabetic code stage or Reception level.

If children are mainly at the basic code level but are allowed to read 8 words incorrectly and still reach the benchmark of 32 out of 40 words decoded correctly or plausibly (in the case of the pseudo-words), does this suggest that the Year One PSC is not really that rigorous?

In other words, we must not rest on our laurels or indicate that reaching the benchmark is all that great.

I worry that teachers will be overly confident that children are 'OK' if they have reached the benchmark at the end of Year One without being sufficiently aware that this does not mean that such children know the alphabetic code letter/s-sound correspondences comprehensively enough. There are dangers in this mindset for many children.

In addition, I believe that there is too much perception that teaching the alphabetic code is for Reception and Year One and that the job must be largely done by Year Two for teachers to focus on 'phase six' according to the 'phases' in Letters and Sounds. 'Phase six' is about prefixes and suffixes and some spelling rules.

'Phase five', however, refers to knowledge of the complex or extended alphabetic code - which is vast!

'Phase six' content surely needs to be introduced from Reception when children are formally being taught to read and to write - not AFTER 'phase five'. Natural language is full of prefixes and suffixes and these are not hard to decode.

And knowing the alphabetic code well enough to get by with reading does not mean that children know it well enough to get by with spelling.

Children need to know about a wide range of spelling alternatives and then become familiar with spelling word banks of 'which' words are spelt 'which' way.

I think the Year One phonics screening check is a very, very important development in our country - but its results need to be 'understood' more deeply than may be the current state of affairs.

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by Susan Godsland » Sun Dec 28, 2014 3:12 pm

Debbie wrote:
Most of the words in the check are from the basic (or 'simple) alphabetic code stage or Reception level.

If children are mainly at the basic code level but are allowed to read 8 words incorrectly and still reach the benchmark of 32 out of 40 words decoded correctly or plausibly (in the case of the pseudo-words), does this suggest that the Year One PSC is not really that rigorous?
I think that Debbie makes a very important point.

If I had my way there would be another PSC in Y6 ;-) This would check children's knowledge of the common advanced code GPCs. Children's results would be passed on to feeder secondary schools so they would know who needed phonics tuition on arrival.

A Y6 PSC would also help ensure that primary schools carry on teaching the common advanced code in Y2. There is presently a danger that many stop teaching synthetic phonics once the PSC is done and over with in Y1 and the advanced code never gets thoroughly taught – fine for the ‘boot-strapper kids’, but many children need direct and systematic teaching of all the advanced code.

JIM CURRAN
Posts: 3186
Joined: Fri Oct 31, 2003 7:18 am

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by JIM CURRAN » Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:15 pm

Susan Godsland said:"A Y6 PSC would also help ensure that primary schools carry on teaching the common advanced code in Y2. There is presently a danger that many stop teaching synthetic phonics once the PSC is done and over with in Y1 and the advanced code never gets thoroughly taught – fine for the ‘boot-strapper kids’, but many children need direct and systematic teaching of all the advanced code."

An excellent suggestion Susan.

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by kenm » Mon Dec 29, 2014 11:45 am

How about a check on the advanced code for all of Y3 and any in later years who have not yet passed it? That would keep the task in the primary schools where it belongs.
"... 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

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by Susan Godsland » Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:16 pm

A Devon primary school's website (2014) includes the following description of how it teaches reading: ''Reading is taught most effectively through a variety of different methods, including phonics, use of pictures and contextual clues and development of sight vocabulary. At ** Primary, the core reading scheme is the 'Oxford Reading Tree'. This is extended and supported by a variety of real books (i.e. books by recognised authors), selected books and group readers from other reading schemes''.

Fitting in with its 'mixed method decoding' ideology, in 2012 this school opened a Reading Recovery (RR) training centre within its library. The school was inspected by Ofsted in 2012 and found to 'require improvement'. Just two years later the RR training centre was no longer operating and Ofsted found it to be a 'good' school, although it still appears to use the multi-cueing method for decoding, contrary to what is required by the new National Curriculum.

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by chew8 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 3:49 pm

Going back to the phonics screening check - I don't think it's quite accurate to suggest that it doesn't go much beyond the 'simple' or 'basic' code. As far as I know, the specifications haven't changed from what you'll find if you google 'Year 1 phonics check consultation Annex B'. 65 graphemes are listed, and the total number of grapheme-phoneme correspondences is over 80.

Jenny C.

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by kenm » Tue Dec 30, 2014 11:54 am

Jenny C. wrote:[...] if you google 'Year 1 phonics check consultation Annex B'. 65 graphemes are listed, and the total number of grapheme-phoneme correspondences is over 80.
I looked for guidance as to how the nature of the words failed points to an examinee's specific problem, but there is no index and the titles of the parts don't point clearly at any such thing, while a search looks at the whole |Government site. I suspect many teachers could benefit from it. Does it exist?
Susan Godsland wrote:[...]many children need direct and systematic teaching of all the advanced code."
Would anyone like to estimate what fraction of a normal intake would need this?
"... 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

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by Susan Godsland » Wed Dec 31, 2014 11:39 am

BTW, if you're interested in finding out about a particular school's performance in the KS2 SATs 2014, use this

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by Debbie Hepplewhite » Sun Feb 22, 2015 10:59 am

Jenny said:
65 graphemes are listed, and the total number of grapheme-phoneme correspondences is over 80.
This is nearly 100 less than comprehensive coverage of the alphabetic code.

The figure of 80 will have got children up and running well with reading and spelling if the teacher teaches the skills well of decoding and encoding - but for those children who may well have some kind of special need, they need continued, explicit, code-based teaching beyond the infants - and in any event phonics for spelling needs to go well beyond Year One and Year Two.

The schools doing the Oxford Reading Tree Floppy's Phonics Sounds and Letters programme and the Phonics International programme may well have introduced 60 or so graphemes in Reception and for some children, this will be more than enough to set them off on lifelong self-learning - able to continue to apply blending even with words that include letter/s-sound correspondences not explicitly taught (as many of us have in our childhoods) - but others do not fall into this group of self-learners - especially if their oral vocabulary is not that extensive or English is an additional or new language (so they do not have the advantage of partial coding enabling them to 'reach' the target word in context).

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

Re: Primary schools rated 'Good' or 'Outstanding'

Post by chew8 » Mon Feb 23, 2015 10:37 am

I was simply commenting on something you had written two months ago, Debbie:
You wrote:Most of the words in the check are from the basic (or 'simple) alphabetic code stage or Reception level.
This didn’t seem strictly accurate, and I think that if we are going to debate the value of government initiatives, we need to get the facts right.

I realise that children will need to go on, after the Y1 phonics check, to be able to read and spell words with many more GPCs than the 80+ specified for the check – that is not in dispute. I think, however, that we lack evidence on the type of teaching and learning which is most effective at fostering the necessary knowledge, and evidence is important when people claim to promote evidence-based methods. I’m not saying that the responsibility for producing the evidence lies with you – just that it should be available and that we should be able to refer to it.

In her 2004 book Early Reading Instruction, Diane McGuinness praised Jolly Phonics and the Clackmannanshire programme and the results they produced, but pointed out that they explicitly taught very little of the advanced code. She mentioned three programmes which taught the advanced code more comprehensively – all three were associated with her, one being described as her own ‘forthcoming’ programme (presumably Sound Steps to Reading, which came out in 2008).
Then she wrote:These three programs, all of which feature the advanced spelling code in one format or another, need extensive research to demonstrate their merit. In terms of the gains reported so far, it is predicted that at least in the long term they will outdistance the basic linguistic phonics programs, which provide minimal or no instruction in the advanced spelling code. (p. 335)
We are now more than 10 years on from this, and as far as I know, this ‘extensive research’ has not been done, by her or anyone else. I find this very frustrating – in my campaigning and voluntary work, I would love to be able to cite the evidence, whichever way it pointed, but I can’t (and neither can anyone else) if no evidence has been published. I don't have a comprehensive knowledge of research, however, so if anyone knows of anything relevant, please let me know.

Jenny C.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests