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how to find a school that does not teach jolly phonics

Discussion in 'Primary' started by sysky, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. "The results don't answer the question Eddie because all the children in your sample could read before they began so perhaps you could answer it"
    Your comment suggest that I would be better leaving them to graduate to secondary school and then to leave school as illiterate. That may be something you could live with but not me - I'm afraid that that is just not an option me.
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    No Eddie I am questioning how your method will make them literate if they are unable to access the materials because they are unable to read and write.

  3. Depends on how you define 'cannot read.or write' In my many decades of teaching I have never met a child that could not read or write at all. I have encountered many who could not read or write very much or very well but none who could not read or write any words. I would describe a Y6 child predicted to achieve Level 1 as a non-reader in spite of the fact that I know that he could probably read and write a few words. I'm not that pedantic I suppose.
    Tha vast majority of the 20% of children who leave school every year less than functionally literate can actually read and write but not competently or confidenly. If this approx 100,000 children had achieved Level 4 at KS2 I think that this would have impacted very positively on their whole lives because those who graduate to secondary school with L3 Englsih are the same 20% who leave school less than functionally literate according to nationall statistics.


  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Eddie I'm defining it by the inability to decode words on a page or to encode words into text ...
    I've met hundreds of children who can not read or write at all ... they are called reception class... the target pupils forJolly Phonics.
  5. I never taught reception - My teaching experience was in Junior, Secondary and I was head of a special school. I know many Junior schools which use a variety of phonics programmes including Jolly Phonics - I also know of secondary schools which use it in their Learning Support departments.. KS 2 English results are generally very accurately predicted by the assessment processes used in most schools. In those schools where they use the Hot Reading strategy, their predicted and actual results are always very different and I have the names of the schools and their predicted and actual results to prove it but that doesn't appear to impress you. Well,I can tell you it definitley impresses me - and the schools which use it!.

  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    If you recall you kindly sent me a copy of your CD last year so I am familiar with your system, however it doesn't answer the OP whose child is not in junior school yet.
    Jolly Phonics may well be used in junior classes and indeed as an intervention in secondary for children who are unable to read at all ... which takes me back to my question to you regarding how these children would access your programme
  7. Hot Reading is not appropriate as an initial reading teaching strategy - it is a remedial strategy - the current version, unlike the one you have seen, has a course for vulnerable readers in Years 3 and 4. In response to many requests I am including a Dictation course for Years 3 and 4 to be used alongside to be used alongside the reading course.
    I am working on a package which uses Hot Reading for Years 1 and 2 but it many never actually see the light of day because of the production costs. I have a couple of primary schools who are keen to allow me to trial the idea but it is still some way off. In any even it would never be designed to replace any SP approach - it would only be a supplementary course to ensure thatt no child entered Year 3 unable to read and write confidently.At the moment,it seems that about 20% of children still enter Year 3 with very limited literacy skills.
    There are children for whom the SP strategy is simply not delivering. I would guess that about three quarters of schools in England have JP or one of it clones and it is not significantly changing the picture

  8. Interesting. That is precisely what happened in the Clackmannanshire research. After the initial period it was found that the two non-SP groups were significantly behind the SP group. It was decided that it would not be ethically sound to continue to leave two groups potentially disadvantaged so all were given SP. Consequently the research has been heavily critiqued for failure to use control groups.
  9. gcf


    A difficulty is that you, Eddie, have tended to trash synthetic phonics - ie it's driven by greedy b******s, that is the perception anyway.
    There are great problems including:
    i. Training is patchy and has often been appalling.
    ii. The children who don't natural intuit grapheme-phoneme correspondences are not focused on - right from the start - and given more time to practice their foundational skills.
    iii. There is far too little reading material at an appropriate level - and here I would agree that what appropriate reading material there is is much too expensive. In order to have the experience of reading thousands of words within structured stories can be prohibitively expensive.Also the type of 'easy' reading such as Enid Blyton provided seems harder to come by now.
    iv. Teachers have been so brow beaten and hit by different strategies/advice/targets that the drive to introduce music, drama, authors, poets into schools and ensure that library provision is good, has been largely (?) lost.
    v. There seems not to be such structured practice via dictation or sustained daily writing in many schools now.
    v. No-one is taking responsibility for the quality of instruction and the quality of delivery or in suring that there is robust assessment in place as demonstrated by the trial phonics check. Surely it should be the head who ensures that all children are ready for secondary school? It need NOT be prohibitively expensive -and inappropriate and massively expensive catch-up programmes should be a thing of the past. Apart from 1%-2% of children there should not be a need for explicit SP instruction after Stage 1. If every teacher has a thorough grounding in alphabetic code knowledge, they will be able to use their practical knowledge to help with spelling beyond Stage 1.
    You have a point, Eddie, but I wish that you were not so ambiguous about good alphabetic code teaching in the first three years of school.

  10. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    No I don't think he does trash synthetic phonics as he does say it's the best way to learn initial reading. I think then it's the issue over whether it's the synthetic phonics that fails some children or its application. I like Msz think that it is probably the application of it. It has not been well applied in my children's school, and from what other parents say that is fairly typical round here in all the smaller primaries - but other parents would not be looking at it they way I am. All I'm saying is that from what they describe of the way their children are learnin to read they are not using synthetic phonics rigorously. I know there will also be lots of schools that use it really well.
    It's probably a case that some children need more time and practice than others also, and even in some of the good schools that Eddie has in his projects this time will not have been given. So using other strategies from level 1 / 2 upwards will provide a lot of reading practice that these children would not otherwise get so they are going to improve per se.
  11. I think you will find that he does not agree with teaching SP after KS1, on the completely unsubstantiated grounds that children will have learned all the 'phonics' by then and SP teaching is no longer needed. Anyone who works with poor readers in KS2 and beyond should recognise that this is mistaken. My secondary pupils have very incomplete phonic knowledge which has to be addressed before they can read competently.
    I have absolutely no quarrel with the need for lots of reading experience and I am sure that Eddie's programme is one way to provide that experience.
  12. Finland achieves the best literacy standards in the world. Finnish teachers are allowed and even encouraged to teach any way they want, using any system they want and no particular system at all if they wish. Finnish eductors are constantly bemused by the never ending stream of what they call 'Educatonal Pilgims' who seek permission to visit their schools and those who do,learn nothing. There is probably an 'Educatonal expert' in every LEA that has had a tax-payer funded junket to learn from the Finns how to teach reading. Even the Finns say they are wasting their money.
    Long before Synthetic Phonics, 80% of the population learned to read in the UK by whatever method the school choose to use just like they still do in Finalnd today. Now we have a plethora of literacy specialists, co-ordinators, advisors, consultants adn synthetic phonics and we still only get 80% to an acceptable standard of literacy, The difference is that, instead of accepting the obvious that one size does not fit all, we use the British Rail argument and blame teachers for not using the right kind of phonics.
    Schools are in a 'no win' situation. Where a school's teaching does not result in all children assimiling the approrpiate grapheme/phoneme correspondences, they must tbe using the wrong kind of phonics. I estimate that the vast majority of schools are using JP which I assume, is a pre-determined set of exercises - I know of many LEA where the teachers have attended local training courses on JP - and still 20% of their children fail to acquire all of the grapheme-phoneme correspondences.
    Most of the ciompetent readers in the world today acquired their reading skills without the benefit of JP. The only children who need some special help are the 20% who we know for certain will reach Y6 and ultimately Y11 with limited literacy skills and all they are getting is more and more of the same approach which failed them in the first place.
    What about the OPs child who I assume has had at least 2 years of JP? Is this child to be condemned to another five or six years of JP when it has clearly failed the child.
    My approach is very uncomplicated. The underlying philosophty is 'What it takes to become a good reader is lots of reading' and my approach guarantees that experience to all children in Y3 and over. N ot only wil they have this productive experience but they will love having it! I leave the objective results to speak for themselve. Those participating in my research pay nothing whatsoever and it comes with a guarantee that virtually every child predicted to achieve L3 English will achieve L4 at least and those who are predicted to achieve a good L4 stand a good chance of achieving Level 5. When these results are produced and the schools achieving them are identified - they are treated with scorn by thos who say there is SP and nothig else.
    I have no practical teaching experience of Years 1 and 2 and no knowledge of the OPs child therefore I would not dream of offering him/her technical advice. I do however understand the dilemna and offer moral support in the face of the ridicule s/he is receiving from 'professional teachers' on this site.
    I would be happy to provide or publish an advanced list of the now 55 participating schools in advance - they are distributed all across England so there are probably some near you!
    ' .

  13. "You have a point, Eddie, but I wish that you were not so ambiguous about good alphabetic code teaching in the first three years of school".
    I am completely unambiguous about good alphabetic code teaching. No child become a competent reader without - that is unambiguous. Every chld who does become a competent reader has good alphabetic code skills - that is unambiguous. The statistics show that 20% of children, by current teaching systems, consistently fail to achieve good decoding skills - that is unambiguous.
    I naturally agree that to become a good, competent reader, you have to have mastered the alphbetic code - I unambiguously disagree with anyone who claims that the only way of achieving this is SP. When Years 3,4,5 and 6 vulnerable readers who have not acquired good alphabetic code skills are presented with the Hot Reading approach, their decoding skills improve quickly and exponentially - the proof of this is their newly found reading competence.
    I hope this is sufficiently unambiguous.

  14. Shouldn't you be sure of what you are saying before you say it? Estimates and assumptions are not very convincing.
    Now, I 'assume' that schools who have bought JP are not using it correctly. I base this assumption on the many posts I have seen on this forum where the poster says they are using Letters & Sounds (the official govt.SP guidance) with JP actions.
    Also on the startling fact that 74% of schools in the recent Phonics Screeening Check pilot reported that they taught 'other strategies' for word recognition alongside decoding and blending (this is the initial teaching of reading, don't forget). Schools teaching 'other strategies' are not teaching SP properly and will not teach reading so effectively. As there were 300 schools in the pilot it seems reasonable to 'assume' that the 74% not teaching SP properly could be extrapolated to the country as a whole and thus assume that about 70% of English schools are not teaching SP properly.

  15. St Mary’s RC Primary School FY7 6EU
    Predicted in Sept 2011 Level 2/3 = 48%: Level 4 = 40%: Level 5 = 12%
    Actual Results in 2011 Level 2/3 = 6%: Level 4 = 52%: Level 5 = 42%

    If we are to assume that children expected to achieve L4 or 5 English have good decoding skills and those expected to achieve L3 do not, this would surely mean that the 48% of children with poor decoding skills in St Marys' somehow acquired these good decoding skills. The only difference in the teaching they received is that their Y6 teaching focused on the Hot Reading strategy.
    Perhaps an SP enthusiast can offer some alternative explanation which was respeated in all seven schools whiich took part in the pilot project. How will we explain this if the same results are achieved in the 55 schools currenlty involved in a similar project?
    Perhaps the teachers in these 7 schools all secretly happen to use the right kind of phonics and this brought about this miracle? Are many teachers really blind enough to believe this kind of fairy tale? I fear so!
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Well phonics has been around since the 16th century [​IMG] which is before 80% even learnt to read ...
    then for the next 200 or so years phonics was the main method of instruction [​IMG]
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    However that isn't in fact the case Eddie a child reading at level 3 will have very good decoding skills but their level of comprehension will be lower than that of a child at level 4 so I'm afraid your theory is unfounded.
  18. I made the point earlier about 'No silly questions but lots and lots of silly answers. Her we have some prime examples in these last two posts..
    When I visit schools I always test decoding skills with a set series of nonsense words on a card. Children predicted to achieve L3 ALWAYS score very significantly less well on this test than children predicted to achieve L4 or L5. I consider this to be commonsense and in no way unexpected. Comprehension plays no part in decoding skills..
    As to how long 'phonics' has been around - this is just plain silly. Our orthography IS phonetic - as long as any alphabet has existed there has inevitable been 'phonics' - that is what 'phonics' means. Now 'synthetic phonics' is a different matter. That term came into prominence in the Clackmannshire study (next door to my own home territory in Dundee) and that of course is relatively recent.
    Can we not have some explnatory response to my question about how St Marys and these other sever school came to experience such a massive transformation over their predicted outcomes instead of this negatively and desperate attemps to prove me wrong. These gains are not anecdotal - these are real schools with children making real gains.
    I find it amusing that people making these silly statements could actually challenge the intellect of the OP.!


  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Then perhaps you need to look at the National Curriculum rather than at predicted levels and see where the differences lie Eddie Level 3
    Pupils read a range of texts fluently and accurately. They read independently, using strategies appropriately to establish meaning. In responding to fiction and nonfiction they show understanding of the main points and express preferences. They use their knowledge of the alphabet to locate books and find information.Level 4
    In responding to a range of texts, pupils show understanding of significant ideas, themes, events and characters, beginning to use inference and deduction. They understand that texts reflect the time and culture in which they were written. They refer to the text when explaining their views and are able to locate and use ideas and information.

  20. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    yes it's always best to check your facts Eddie

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