1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

phonics screening - again!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by dagnabit, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. dagnabit

    dagnabit New commenter

    My friend's daughter is in Year1 and her teacher has sent home a letter to parents with real and nonsense words to practise. They hadn't explained the test to the parents so my friend was treating them like spellings to learn. Now her daughter probably thinks the nonsense ones are real! I was planning on carrying on as normal after Easter - hadn't comtemplated sending a letter to parents at all. What are other Y1 teachers doing?
     
  2. dagnabit

    dagnabit New commenter

    My friend's daughter is in Year1 and her teacher has sent home a letter to parents with real and nonsense words to practise. They hadn't explained the test to the parents so my friend was treating them like spellings to learn. Now her daughter probably thinks the nonsense ones are real! I was planning on carrying on as normal after Easter - hadn't comtemplated sending a letter to parents at all. What are other Y1 teachers doing?
     
  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    I thought it was supposed to be an assessment! Now it seems teachers are getting children to practise for the "assessment". A natural reaction to a process that will undoubtedly be used to beat schools and teachers with.
    What did Gove think would happen? You tell a teacher that their pupils are going to be assessed on how well they can read a mixture of real and nonsense words and the teacher will do their utmost best to ensure their pupils are ready for "the test".

     
  4. In reality, there can be no such thing as nonsense words - that is a contradiction in terms. Words are parcels of meaning - you cannot see them, you can only hear them.
    You can of course see nonsense text but of course if teachers are not very clear about that - it small wonder that parents are confused.

     
  5. My school are doing nothing at all to 'prepare' for the 'test'.
    I teach Y5, but out of curiosity, I asked my Reception age son to 'blend' some words and 'non-words' the other day. He is a fab reader (and has been taught, rather astonishingly, using SP). He read all the 'words' with no probs at all. The non-words really threw him though. Not because he can't blend - he can (very well) and this is what he did - but when he realised the 'word' he had read didn't make sense, he was flummoxed! I tried telling him that some of the 'words' were not 'real words and just to 'say what he saw', but he was really reluctant to do it. He kept wanting to change the 'non-words' into a word that made sense to him. Clearly, he is used to 'reading for meaning', which this test doesn't allow for.
    He would probably appear to have only 'middling' understanding of phonics if tested in this way, despite actually having excellent phonic awareness, and being a cracking reader for his age. Utterly pointless!
     
  6. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    We use RWI and our children are used to nonsense words as its part of the programmes assessment. When we get to them we just say these are some silly words.
     
  7. I am sure this is why so many children scored badly in the pilot.
    My 6-yr-old granddaughter who is already an excellent independent reader will probably score badly in it, because the notion of not reading for meaning is totally alien to her. Whenever she has to accesses a tricky word, she does so by looking for meaning. She works out tricky-to-decode letters with help of the letters she can decode and looking for the meaning of the word in context. - The basic assumption with all reading is that it must make sense. This unspeakably stupid test is turning this assumption on its head.
    I am not fond of SATs either because of their effect on teaching, but testing reading with nonsense words makes me far angrier than any test I have ever come across. U can predict that many children will score badly on it, because it is a stupid test. But it is certain to be used as proof that teachers are not using enough synthetic phonics.
     
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    If they had been a list of real words that weren't in his normal vocabulary do you think it would it have been different ?
     
  9. He'd be able to blend them, but wouldn't be able to understand that they were a word with meaning - so same as I guess. The instinct is to make a word 'with meaning'. When he's seeking meaning from a non-word, he won't randomly 'make up' a word. He will try to find a word which is plausible using the phonic knowledge he has - so he'll try other phoneme-grapheme correspondences to see if he comes up with a 'real' word that it might be. He obviously can't use context, as there isn't one to use in this test. For example - if I give him the word 'cas' - he will realise it's not a word, then try the alternative 'a' sound and perhaps come up with 'case' (although he is unhappy with this choice too!)
    My point is, that this test will tell the teacher *** all about my son's (and I'm guessing many other children's) ability to decode. I know her can decode - have seen him do it, upteen times, from the beginning of his school life. His teacher has also seen this and knows he can decode extremely well. So...the point of this test is?
     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    It is a phonics screening check to check a child's ability to blend known phonemes so that strugglers can be supported early in Y2. Most schools I know already do something similar and there really shouldn't be a need to formalise the check.
     
  11. I find it difficult to believe any Year 1 teacher couldn't immediately list the children who struggle with phonics, by the summer term, without any use of this test at all. At best it seems an annoyingwaste of time that won't tell the teacher anything exta. At worst, it may actually be over-relied upon and not give a true representation of a child's ability to decode.
     
  12. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter

    Hi I believe there is an expectation that parents will be informed their chld will be taking part in the check and also parents have to be informed whether a) their child met the expected level and b) if not what school will be putting into place to support their child. a) is a definite requirment I think b) might be 'best practice guidance'.
    We're intending to send a brief note home after May half -term to explain the process (there is a letter to parents available amongst the online materials which we will NOT be using) and then will use the annual report to inform if 'expected level' has been reached. We're not intending on giving the numerical score or using language of pass / fail.
     
  13. At present we test all our Y1 and 2 children each term using L and S tests we have devised. We know which phase each child is working within and are quite willing to and do share this informatiom with parents. Children who are 'sticking' are given 1 to 1 support to enable them to catch up- or in the case of some of them- to maintain a slower rate of progress. The majority of our children reach level 2b or above at the end of KS1 and most are really enthusiastic readers.It really p****** me off that, yet again, a few lazy and/or incompetent schools/teachers who can't or won't teach properly has resulted in the rest of us having to undergo this expensive, time consuming and unnecessary testing- because let's be honest it is us who are being tested- not the children.

     

Share This Page