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Assessing Gaps in Phonics

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by elsie911, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Hi All
    I am leading literacy in a primary school which is in school which is in special mesures. Standards in reading are very poor with children working around 18 months behind ARE.
    We are using PM benchmarking as an assessment tool at the moment but I am looking for something to run along side it as as I feel the benchmarking is bringing the levels out a little on the low side at the moment.
    I am however really looking for some sort of assessment that will help me identify where the children are in their phonics learning. Ideally I would some kind of assessment which will tell me which phonics stage the children need to be working on. I am especially thinking of children in key stage 2 who need some focus phonics work to help them catch up.
    Does anyone have any experience of this sort of an assessment or use anything in school at the moment?
    Any advice would be welcomed.
    Thanks all
  2. Maybe worth mentioning- we used 'Language Across the Curriculum". ie- History, Re were taught with English targets- worked well

  3. I totally understand the points you have raised.
    I was headteacher of a Special Measures school at one point - and I worked as an upper KS 2 manager, and then manager of the LSU in a school which went on to be a Fresh Start school. I sympathise.
    BUT, everyone has to be accountable for what they promote - and understanding is still sorely lacking if local authority advisors recommend 'Letters and Sounds' over and above a heavily-resourced programme.
    Letters and Sounds is, in reality, detailed guidance and not a teaching and learning programme with the kind of teaching and learning resources which will effectively support teachers in their daily provision of basic skills in literacy.
    Nowadays, it wouldn't take that much for staff in a school under pressure to point that out to the local authority advisors.
    Also, the government itself is promoting the need for schools to use rigorous, systematic synthetic phonics programmes and the use alongside of cumulative, decodable reading books for beginners and for strugglers.
    In any event, everyone must stand up and be counted if they understand these issues. If teachers understand the issues more than the local authority advisor/s (and Ofsted inspectors), then it is their responsibility to ensure the staff within the school are thoroughly supported and that the learners in that school get the best teaching and learning opportunities possible.
    I strongly dispute that Letters and Sounds provides such conditions.

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