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phonics test

Discussion in 'Primary' started by coffeecakes, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. coffeecakes

    coffeecakes New commenter

    Does anybody know what the pass mark for the new phonics screening check will be? I heard a rumour that it will be 32/40 but I can't seem to find 'official' guidelines. Thank you for your help.
  2. NettyMc

    NettyMc New commenter

    The average score on the Pilot test was 32% - not sure what the guidelines will be when it comes into force properly.
  3. coffeecakes

    coffeecakes New commenter

    "Thirty-two per cent of six year olds who took the screening check reached the expected level"

    So despite aiming high is it unrealistic to expect more than half the reach the required standard? The results will come out and the media will be all over poor standards in schools again.

    How are other y1 teachers approaching this?
  4. Sleepyteacher2010

    Sleepyteacher2010 New commenter

    we have been told 36/40!!
  5. We've just done LEA training which told us the pass level is 35/40.
  6. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Why do you think your son will fail the test little miss splendid? You are a teacher. It wouldn't take you very long at all to get him to the standard needed to pass that test. I'm not a primary teacher and I'm pretty sure that during the summer holiday at the end of reception, playing with some sound cards and practising blending, one of my children learned enough at home to pass that phonics test. It's hardly rocket science.
  7. coffeecakes

    coffeecakes New commenter

    If it is not rocket science then why did such a high percentage of the schools in the trials not reach the pass mark? On another note, I found when I trialled it with my year ones this week that they ran out of stamina about two thirds of the way through and because to lost concentration and this affected their outcome.
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    They hadn't taught the children to blend? [​IMG]
  9. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    Schools do have to report to the parents whether their child has met the "required standard".
    If we're looking at the majority not meeting it, it would be good to have different terminology: perhaps it could be regarded as a "progress check", and if we must categorise scores, get rid of the idea that children haven't reached a "required standard".
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I think some parents are more clued up on the test than some teachers.
  11. I think that's why it's called a Phonics Check, not a Phonics Test.[​IMG]
    Even if schools have to report to parents (quite rightly) that their child hasn't reached the required standard I still see no reason why anyone should think that the child has to know this.* After all, if the child hasn't reached the 'required standard' it is either because they have a difficulty which needs to be addressed or the school has not taught them well enough. It's not the child's fault.
    The items for the test were carefully chosen by looking at five SP programmes (including Letters and Sounds) and determining which graphemes were common to all the programmes and would have been expected to have been taught by this stage. They weren't just pulled out of mid air. The teachers from the pilot schools agreed that the items were appropriate.
    Read the technical report:
    It has an index so you don't have to wade through masses of stuff before you get the bit you are interested in.

    *TBH, I think that many children by the end of Y1 will be pretty well aware of where they stand in the learning to read stakes, without being(unnecessarily) told.
  12. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Coffeecakes, did each and every child start to give up concentrating after about 27 words? And were these children who were pretty accurate and reasonably fluent up to that point?
    If so, it might suggest that they do not have any significant problems blending right through the word, but that they find it quite a mental effort to do so. If you are continuing with regular phonics teaching and learning ie. they get plenty of practice blending new words and learning all the necessary GPCs (including phase 5) there is plenty of time between now (beginning of March) and the test (mid-June) for lots to have changed isn't there?
    I don't know what your school and parents are like but maybe you could let them in on the secret of phonics teaching so that the children can also practice blending new real words and non-words at home.
    Also as they read more and more appropriate decodable reading stories between now and June that will make a huge difference won't it? If you have really rigorous SP teaching and learning between now and mid-June, won't you then know that the ones who do not do well in the check are mostly those who do need more work on their phonological skills? And if some fail on the day out of fluke (which no doubt will happen in every school) why will it matter? You will have information in school to show that they undoubtedly can do that kind of phonics work and they should pass a re-test with not much effort, so what does it matter?

  13. There's no need for the flipping thing.
    Schools teach, constantly assess and review, and adapt planning to suit where children are at with their phonic knowledge. Why waste a huge amount of teaching time taking a Y1 teacher out of their classroom to do this flipping test? If schools aren't monitoring phonic knowledge or teaching to children's needs, then headteachers and Ofsted should be able to pick up on it without the need for a test.
    Why include bl**dy nonsense words that fairly good readers may get wrong by guessing at the nearest real world, or not want to read because they know it doesn't make sense? What on earth is the benefit of using nonsense words at all? I realise it is to check blending, but if children are reading words (by phonic knowledge or by sight) surely they are still READING and who cares what method they are using? I have a few children who really really struggle with phonics, but learn sight words and spelling patterns easily. Yet they would be classed as failing because they may not be able to blend a nonsense word. Stupid, stupid, STUPID idea and yet another waste of time.
    This government is seriously pi**ing me off and doing some real damage to the education system.
  14. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    If you are constantly planning, assessing and reviewing you'll be pretty efficient at delivering a check of only 40 words per pupil
  15. Its still a massive waste of time.
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    The Y1 teacher doesn't have to be out of the class at all the check can be delivered by other staff. In fact I would think it would be a good idea for it to be administered by someone else.
  17. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I would think that the only schools who could call this a massive waste of time would be the schools (27% of all schools?) who are already delivering systematic synthetic programmes, and have been giving checks like this frequently to children throughout reception and year 1.
    However, even they probably could not complain that it is a massive waste of time, as, it's not a massive amount of time it would take (not much different to listening to each pupil read for example) and it could replace one of their regular assessments.
    It's only a big deal if you think that they are not going to pass it and also feel that maybe they should. Otherwise, if the majority are not going to pass, it and you don't feel like it's a valid check anyhow, so what? You've wasted the time of hearing each child read ......... and maybe just maybe through carrying out the check you will discover something that you did not know about at least one child. Maybe they'll surprise you and be better at reading words they haven't seen before than you think.
    What do you think is the difference for a child in reading (a) a nonsense word and (b) a real word that is not in their vocabulary that they have never seen before, and (c)a real word that is in their vocabulary that they have never seen before?
    You have to think about all of that quite a bit before you dismiss nonsense words in a phonics check as complete nonsense.
  18. It isn't a reading test, it isn't even a test of blending. It isn't a 'test' at all. It is a check to see if the children are being taught phonics and decoding and blending. I don't even think that it is expected that all children within a school will reach the 'required' standard. But it is certainly expected that more than 32% will.
    I presume that you are in EY. I get those children inY7; all they can read is the few sight words they were taught in YR/1 and some very simple one letter = one sound words. Even then they get the sight words wrong if they look very similar (some/same, come/came). You do the children no favours by abandoning the phonics and teaching them a few sight words for a quick fix.

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