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New KS1 Phonics Screening

Discussion in 'Primary' started by impulce, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Has anyone seen the documentation about this new proposal?
    If not I shan't depress you. Ive just read through gritted teeth.
     
  2. Has anyone seen the documentation about this new proposal?
    If not I shan't depress you. Ive just read through gritted teeth.
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    You read with your mouth?[​IMG]
    Go on depress me with the lowlights, I cant be bothered to read it.
     
  4. Basically its phonics testing in KS1, and reporting results to the government. We are then meant to provide support for children not achieving, and presumably 'justify' our results.
    We ALREADY teach phonics daily, assessing and adapting as we go along, and report our childrens phonics levels to the LEA as we are part of a Phonics Scheme. We also already put intervention programmes and streamed phonics groups into place for struggling children. Why oh why must we spend MORE time NOT teaching, just because - yet again - they dont trust us to be doing our jobs right!
    I can see the government turning around one day and asking "Why arent these children learning?" to which the response would be "Sorry? Im actually meant to be teaching amongst all this assessment!?"
    Oh, and there'll be no taking into account that schools in deprived areas are more likely to have poor results because they come to school barely able to speak and alot of parents do nothing (or are unable to do anything) at home with them. We'll just be judged alongside all the affluent schools.
     
  5. Or (- what's really annoying with sats - ) last year you have x number of level 3/4/5s, why isn't it the same or better this year? Derrr- children are NOT all the same! When will those in charge realise children cannot be targetted in the same way sales or factory output can!
     

  6. <font size="2">Good grief- what a minefield! </font>
     
  7. Sorry about paragraphs etc. everything went rather strange when I pasted the links in. Trying again- not sure if it will work.

    Good grief- what a minefield! Firstly, I question the quote about the fact that 'international evidence' shows that phonetic decoding is the most effective foundation for reading (not in China!)
    The evidence cited is from US and UK, from what I can ascertain- but not all studies are available on the internet. Torgerson and Brooks (2005) can be found on the internet- my comments in brackets. By the way, this was Government funded research.
    The effect of phonics on reading:&bull; Systematic phonics instruction within a broad literacy curriculum was found to have a statistically significant positive effect on reading accuracy. (Note the 'broad literacy curriculum'- so basically a narrow focus on phonics is not enough)
    &bull; There was no statistically significant difference between the effectiveness of systematic phonics instruction for reading accuracy for normally-developing children and for children at risk of reading failure. (Reading 'accuracy' meaning decoding)
    . &bull; The weight of evidence for both these findings was moderate-there were 12 randomized controlled trials included in the analysis. (So not strong evidence then.)
    &bull; Both of these findings provided some support for those of a systematic review published in the United States in 2001-Ehri et al., 2001. (This study is one of the cited ones- so one study only provides 'some' evidence for another cited study and only 4 studies cited in total- so comprehensive and conclusive overall then.)
    &bull; An analysis of the effect of systematic phonics instruction on reading comprehension was based on weak weight of evidence- only four randomized controlled trials were found and failed to find the statistically significant positive difference which was found in the previous review. (So there is evidence then that teaching decoding strategies leads to children being a lot better at decoding strategies but no real evidence to- at present- to suggest that it teaches them how to 'read'- with understanding.
    )http://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/news/2006/phonics-teaching/ Quote from above from Togerson- University of York (2 of her studies are cited).
    "But we have to urge caution as the evidence base is relatively limited - we have just a dozen small trials, the biggest of which involved 120 children. There is no definitive conclusion from the trials included in the review as to which phonics approaches are most effective."The Government consultation (and I used the word advisedly) summarises, 'The reviews generally agree that systematic phonics is the most effective way of teaching children to read.' No reviews, that I could access mention synthetic (as apposed to analytic) phonics at all. Indeed, the Torgerson study (cited above) states:
    'The effect of synthetic and analytic phonics:
    &bull; The weight of evidence on this question was weak (only three randomized controlled trials were found). No statistically significant difference in effectiveness was found between synthetic phonics instruction and analytic phonics instruction.
    'I'm so glad to know that the current Government is implementing policy based on inconclusive research funded by the previous Government. And that, as always, the way to ensure that children 'catch up' is to make schools test something and then add it to their RoL data and make them share it with parents.
    In addition, the 'consultation' alludes to the idea that such an approach will help more children reach L2 in reading ('Provisional figures from 2010 show that 15 per cent of seven year olds failed to reach the expected level (level 2) in reading at the end of Key Stage 1').- there is no evidence for this. Indeed, from the Torgerson study the weak link between phonic decoding and comprehension (which is required to answer the KS1 reading paper) would suggest that it will have limited impact.
    So in the current financial climate, The Government deems it appropriate to spend however many millions of pounds devising and producing a new test- with videos for instruction and statistical analysis. And to direct time in schools to administer and record a test which will tell Y1 teachers what they already know about what child can and can't do.
    Is this really a consultation? Questions such as- Do you agree that the screening should contain both words and non-words? But no questions about whether you agree that there should actually be a screening!
    Believe it or not, I am actually and advocate of phonic teaching (and worked nationally on it). However, it is one small part of the teaching of reading and to over-emphasise it in this way could skew the teaching in Y1 classes
     
  8. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Very interesting thank you. I thought everyone had gone bonkers about phonics, but you have remained sane, as have researchers. At my children's school phonics has become a cure-all, and they use a phonics scheme like a game of snakes and ladders ........... ah you don't spell well (but do spell phonically plausibly) ..... let's send you back down a level in the phonics scheme so that every time you try to write down a word you think about the sounds, think about all the different ways of writing those sounds, and don't know how the **** the word is actually spelt.
    If a child reads well, put them a low phonics group just in case they are sight-reading, don't understand it, and are going to reach some famous kind of reading plateau when they are 9. Where is this reading plateau? I would like to go on holiday to it. Is it in the Cheshire plain or the Vale of York or high up somewhere in the Lake District?
    So much myth and legend has built up around this phonics business it has gone crazy. It gets children reading fast, and that's great, but once they can read well, can't we leave it alone?
    I agree it's a waste of public money. Buy the schools that can't afford it some comprehension and spelling schemes instead.
     
  9. Correction - I provide oodles of FREE information, resources and advice, alphabetic code charts, guidance book, video clips of the sounds, spelling alternatives and modelling the blending and segmenting to learn about the synthetic phonics teaching principles without the need to spend anything at all!
     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Phonetically plausible spellings have been accepted in the National curriculum tests (SATs ) ever since they were introduced (for some TWENTY years ) so your issue with your child isn't down to the schoolit is a very normal stage of literacy development for all children and as such has been recognised.
    You really need to speak to your child's teacher as you don't seem to understand that phonics is all part of Support for Spelling and Get Spelling Right and other good spelling schemes.

     
  11. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I didn't explain myself well - I am not saying that a knowledge of phonics is not a useful precursor for most children for learning to read and also helping them get off to a good start with spelling. I was specifically referring to the phonics element of the Read Write Inc scheme.This scheme is not designed to tackle spelling beyond a certain point. For this one needs the spelling package.
    A child has completed the Read Write inc phonics package when they can read the majority of real words in the assessment without sounding out. I'm sorry I know of a school that persists in keeping children on the phonics scheme, at a low level in the scheme, even when they can do this, rather than moving them off the scheme and on to other ways of learning to spell which, yes, will build on the phonics they already know, amongst other things
    It was bad of me to generalise as there may only be one school in the country delivering a basic phonics programme in this way, but it was late at night and I was making sweeping statements!
     
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm not a fan of Read write Inc but it does cover both spelling and comprehension. Lots of schools (who claimed they used phonics) traditionally stopped phonics instruction at the end of reception and I don't know of any schools that keep children on phonics schemes longer than necessary much more common to stop teaching phonics before children have mastered blending and segmenting using all grapheme representations of the phonemes.
     
  13. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I'm not a primary teacher, so I don't know whether Read Write Inc is good compared with other schemes or not. Yes it does have comprehension and spelling strands - but these are extra packages over and above the phonics package. I have now read the handbook for the phonics package and there is no spelling test required to graduate off this scheme and move on the spelling and comprehension strands. The phonics handbook repeats again and again that children should progress through the scheme at the rate of their decoding progress, not their encoding progress. It's a get reading fast and off the scheme package. The school I am referring to does not operate it this way. I am glad you know of no schools that keep children on basic phonics schemes longer than necessary, this hopefully is a one-off.


     
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Read Write Inc is considered a very good/excellent phonics scheme if delivered correctly (personally find it too prescriptive). It certainly isn't a basic phonics scheme - far from it. Read Write Inc is a very detailed, systematic, progressive scheme. There are no spelling tests to graduate off any scheme that isn't how it works. Children are taught to blend for reading and segment for spelling as inverse complimentary skills.
     
  15. Torgerson et all (2005), cited by The Government in its consultation introduction on line, found no significiant impact of teaching systematic phonics on spelling.
    My experience of teaching and in the field of literacy (working at a regional and national level and I do have pubished materials so feel I can comment) would suggest that phonics does impact. BUT it is one strand and MUST be balanced with graphic strategies and kinaesthetic patterning.
     
  16. In addition, from my teaching experience, SEN diploma research studies and years as a SENCo, I have found that some children find phonics, as a strategy for reading and spelling, a barrier to learning. They have poor working memory and find by the time they have sounded out the first 2 or 3 phonemes, they have forgotten them and can't continue to longer words. (Most people can only hold 5-7 units in their heads whislt working on them so what chance do those with SEN due to poor working member have?)
    Often these children continue with phonic programmes to the end of primary and into KS3 and usually make little progress. I have found that developing their graphic strategies, teaching through analogy with words they know and, importantly, teaching them to chunk words into bigger units (usually syllables) does help.
    Where is the funded research on other strategies?
    Surely, in the modern era of personalised learning, we should be adapting teaching to the needs of learners. It's not a one size fits all.
    Yes, phonics goes a long way for the majority, but doesn't cover everything. Yes, phonetically plausable is OK at L2 but not by the end of Y6 (it's either right or wrong).
    And, for some children (a small minority) phonics isn't an easy strategy.
    When I taught in lower KS2, I became fed up of 'over-phonicly' taught children who insisted on sounding out every phoneme in a 9+ phoneme, non-phonetic word- it took them so long to read things that they didn't write any answers to questions, and had to be 'untaught' their dependence on phonics to be able to spell longer non-phonetic words.
    The National Strategies have provided good materials and effective training (in my opinion) for over a decade now. If we aren't teaching phonics well in schools generally- we never will.
     
  17. breadmaker

    breadmaker New commenter

    I agree with you MrsC. In our y1 classes, we have had to go back to teaching sight vocabulary/flash cards as most of the year group came up thinking that reading was about how quickly you could sound out and blend the words in the book! - not a clue on omprehension becaus ethey were too worn out by that point! We now make a distinction between "reading time" and "phonic time"- not ideal I know, but at least the children appreciate that they need both skills to be a good reader. Now we are heavily into phase 5, we are finding that most of the children who are remembering what feels like the daily bombardment of di and trigraphs etc.etc.etc. are those who can read anyway and are applying analytical phonics to help them remember, as most adults would -they use their experience of known words to decode unknown ones.
     
  18. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Surely that is down to how they have been taught not the effectiveness of phonics... I would really be interested to know which words you consider to be non-phonetic especially examples of 9+ phonemes [​IMG]
     
  19. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Hi Msz, re Read Write Inc phonics - I know there is no spelling test for this. That is exactly what I was saying. The phonics scheme as described by the phonics handbook has reading assessments. When a child can do the reading assessments they leave the scheme (or never join it in the first place) and move on the Read Write Inc spelling package and comprehension package or whatever else the school uses to move on with comprehension and to move the child on from phonically plausible to correct.
    I have spoken to a Read Write Inc manager at OUP about this, and someone involved in the Read Write Inc model schools just to be sure I had not misunderstood.
    I am not a primary teacher, but personal experience helping many primary children, and experience with my own makes me aware of the pitfalls that can be associated with phonics gone wrong. Mrs Gates clearly knows a lot, and I can see exactly what she is saying. Otherwise phonics well taught and for the right reasons is great, for most children, but maybe not all children, all of the time, and not to the exclusion of all else.
    If I had remained in the phonics groups that some children remain in at this particular school (and I hope this school is the only one in the country that does this) it would not have done much for me. Fortunately it is only part of the school day, but that 30 minutes or 1 hour per day, whatever it is, could be used for something else more valuable for those children. Time is short in the school day, it's hard for teachers to get through what is expected, so this does not help.

     
  20. Children taught well with SP should be largely free readers in Year 2. They should have ample of code knowledge and oodles of blending skill to tackle new and unknown words, including longer ones.
     

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