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KS2 Phonics: What is it?

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by magictractor, May 7, 2012.

  1. magictractor

    magictractor New commenter

    Hi, I'm in my final year of teacher training and I'm researching "why we need to teach KS2 phonics" but my first issue is what is it????

    Support for Spelling suggests that it looks at grammar and spelling.
    Other sites suggest it is used to catch up children with their phonics awareness
    Other sites imply it should only be used as an intervention for children who are working at KS1 levels.

    ANY help would be greatly appreciated!!!
    Amy
     
  2. magictractor

    magictractor New commenter

    Hi, I'm in my final year of teacher training and I'm researching "why we need to teach KS2 phonics" but my first issue is what is it????

    Support for Spelling suggests that it looks at grammar and spelling.
    Other sites suggest it is used to catch up children with their phonics awareness
    Other sites imply it should only be used as an intervention for children who are working at KS1 levels.

    ANY help would be greatly appreciated!!!
    Amy
     
  3. Even synthetic phonics proponents have different views on this.
    For me, a continuation of phonics teaching is to embed a comprehensive alphabetic code (supported by a main visual aid of an Alphabetic Code Chart in every classroom - which, in effect, is a spelling reference chart).
    The embedding can be both for reading purposes (for weaker readers/intervention) and for spelling purposes for all the pupils.
    I suggest that Key Stage Two teachers should continue to teach phonics for spelling purposes, covering the notion of 'spelling alternatives' but also the systematic building up of spelling word banks - particularly of the less common spelling alternatives which can be the code for common words and for very interesting words.
    Like 'Letters and Sounds', however, 'Support for Spelling' does not provide actual teaching and learning resources.
    I also suggest that staff need to consider how they are going to mark for spelling - but that being clear how complex the English alphabetic code is (compared to some other countries where the alphabetic code is considerably simpler), then the pupils are appreciative that spelling is difficult and that this is not a reflection of their intelligence or ability.
     
  4. magictractor

    magictractor New commenter

    Thank you very much for the prompt reply. My apologies for inundating you with emails :) Are you aware of any other documents in which this idea might have been explored?
    Amy
     
  5. Most schools now teach the basic or essential elements of phonics pretty thoroughly in KS1.Rose recommended that it should last for roughly the first year of literacy teaching.
    But however well it is taught, not all children get an equally firm grasp of it. Some children need to be taken through the basics many more times than others before they grasp them, which in practice means that in KS2 phonics is used mainly
    .
    How much benefit slower learners really get from prolonged work with phonics is by no means clear, because nobody becomes a fluent reader until they can read the majority of common words by sight. Learning to decode is only a step towards that goal. Since many English words are neither entirely phonically decodable (end English many) or incodable,
    as explained more fully at
    http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com/2009/12/reading-problems.html

    <font color="#0000ff">http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com/2009/12/rules-and-exceptions-of-english.html</font>
    spending too much time on phonics may well be counterproductive with slower learners.


     
  6. I find myself fighting a corner for more time to be spent on phonics teaching and learning, not less, but even so this depends on the quality of the phonics teaching - not just the quantity of time spent.
    However, in a country where the vast majority of people seemed to accept that 'Letters and Sounds' equates to a mainstream programme (and many others consider it to be useful as an intervention programme), this demonstrates that we have some way to go.
    'Letters and Sounds' has done a good job to raise the profile of the need for systematic synthetic phonics teaching and its very existence has improved standards in many schools I believe.
    It is time, however, that such a publication is recognised as more akin to 'detailed guidance' than a supportive, progressive mainstream teaching programme - for example, there's barely a teaching or learning resource in it!
    I suggest it is pretty much the same scenario for 'Support for Spelling'. Daily class teaching, or intervention teaching, for whole classes and groups of children with various needs and abilities and speeds of learning require structured, progressive teaching and learning resources for quality assurance. Both these official publications have neither.
     
  7. I agree that
    such as 'seek, speak, shriek', is crucial for learning to spell English, but I would call that the memorisation of quirky, unpredictable spellings for individual words, rather than phonics.
    This word by word rote-learning of spellings begins in KS1 and continues right up to university level and beyond, because at least 3700 common words have some unpredictable letters in them
    <font color="#0000ff">http://englishspellingproblems.blogspot.com/2010/11/english-spelling-rules.html</font>

    This rote-learning is essential, but it is surely not 'phonics'?
     
  8. magictractor

    magictractor New commenter

    Thank you for your insight! I'm still struggling with what is expected from teachers. Let's take a Y4 level 3 child, what would their teacher be teaching them, grammar? or is it recycling the phonics learning from younger years like a spiral curriculum?
    Amy
     
  9. magictractor

    magictractor New commenter

    Also MashaBell, please would you allow me to refer to this idea within my presentation in which I'm using this discussion? Full credit will be given :)
     
  10. Where I think the phonics continues in Key Stage 2 for spelling is:
    <ol>[*]the continuation of learning the alphabetic code quite comprehensively along with the notion of 'spelling alternatives' for spelling (and 'pronunciation alternatives' for reading)[*]the skill of oral segmenting all-through-the-spoken-word for spelling and then learning 'which' spelling alternatives a specific word needs [*]but alongside the building up of spelling word banks of 'which' words are spelt 'which way'</ol>The worry is that Key Stage 2 teachers play around with phonics and spelling alternatives work and don't provide rigorous and vocabulary-rich material.
    The worry is that spelling becomes dominated by a 'look, cover, write, check' approach which may become at the level of the letter-by-letter learnt by letter names approach rather than an oral phonics break-down as the starting point.
    The worry is that universities are not yet likely to provide teacher-training in how best to teach spelling in Key Stage 2.
     
  11. Letter by letter spelling by letter names is merely the convention for relaying specific spellings - not the skill.
     
  12. I would be happy for u to do so. Thank u.

     
  13. magictractor

    magictractor New commenter

    Thank you so much. If anyone else would care to share their thoughts I would be truly grateful!!
     
  14. If u havnt already done so, u might like to look at the 'Teaching alternative spellings' on Primary too.
     
  15. Mainly because 'you' is phonetically irregular (cf. thou). So when I first saw the text spelling u, I thought, 'How brilliant! If 'I' is good enough as a single letter why not u?".
    Once u get in the habit of dropping the 2 surplus letters, u just don't want to go back. In the 17th century this happened with hundreds of words. The Civil War pamphleteers (1642-9) were the first to cut the dross from 'inne, itte, hadde, shoppe, worde'. After a few decades everybody did. I hope the same willl happen with u. I would like to see
    hav, giv, liv, ar, gon, wer
    spelt without their surplus, confusing <-e> endings too, to differentiate them from
    gave, drive, live music, care, bone, here.
    Yesterday I spoke to some Germans about the last improvements to German spelling which became official in 2005 and provoked quite a bit of hostility at first. Some of the right-wind papers refused to use them at first. But it quickly became obvious that they reduced spelling errors and now all publications are using them. Nobody talks about the changes any more.


     
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Hopefully all aspects of "English" (the subject ) so grammar, punctuation, handwriting, phonics...
    We find that the focus of phonics in KS2 subtly moves with a greater emphasis on spelling, although of course both blending for reading and segmenting for spelling should be taught from the beginning
     
  17. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Lead commenter

    In the 17th century there was a miniscule amount of printed material. Today it would be impractical to start changing spellings.
     
  18. Printed material is already miniscule in comparison to the amount of text people now read electronically. That objection to improving English spelling is therefore fading fast. Sadly views about 'correct' spelling remain as entrenched as ever, regardless of how blatantly wrong some of them are:
    you, have, give, live, are, gone, were.
    There is no desire to remove even the worst and most pointless orthographic impediments to learning.
     

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