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Phonics Test

Discussion in 'Primary' started by s7ace, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. Oh, the irony..[​IMG]
  2. Perhaps exposure to books (early and continued) is all there is to it then!
    What I have noticed, when comparing the school I work in now's Reception intake (and my own children) with the much more deprived demographic in my previous school, is that many more children begin school having 'worked out' some of the code for themselves before they hit school. My daughter (for example) knew the main phoneme sounds of the 26 letters when she began Reception. She hadn't been taught them...just 'picked them up'. We see this a lot in our school. I am guessing it makes a big difference to early decoding skills. Additionally, our children have the advantage of a very wide oral vocabulary, which means they have a comprehension head-start.
  3. Alleluia!
    And it only took 115 pages
  4. gcf


    Sorry, Nano. Just talk to any tutor who teaches children who do not intuit the code and the majority will have taught children from book rich families. I've taught many such children -offspring of lawyers, doctors, writer, editor, teachers included and I know many people who have taught the children of writers, broadcasters and so on. It's very, very helpful in lots of ways to be read to from an early age but at least 20% of children do not intuit the alphabetic code and many more are helped to become accurate readers and competent spellers. Having looked at many instructional methods, trained in some, I can honestly say that synthetic phonics is by far the most successful way to teach children. Why on earth would we, as teachers, be satisfied in letting anyone through the net?
  5. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Quite. There will be plenty of children who could pass that basic decode check at the end of year 1 without ever having been to school, without a qualified teacher ever having set hands on them, if they had intuited the code for themselves or with a parent while reading and being read to at home. Or indeed there would be plenty of children who could pass that basice decode check at the end of year1 through having attended school and not had phonic lessons, but had intuited the code themselves through a rich school-based literacy curriculum.
    There are plenty of children who would not achieve it that way though, and would be left behind as a result. So surely one should aim during reception and year 1 to ensure that all children could do that basic test satisfactorily by the end of year 1 - and continue to help those that don't so they can pass it in year 2. It is a very basic decode check only.
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    unfortunately all the evidence/research proves that it only works for some children and that early exposure to books doesn't guarantee later reading success.
  7. Yes, some children struggle with reading despite exposure to books from an early age, but it would be wrong to assume that the children of professionals necessarily get read to more than the children from more working-class backgrounds. Of course, whether they are read to at home or not, children of professionals are probably more likely to get paid-for remedial support than children from poorer backgrounds. When assessing the impact of a method it is important to look at all the factors involved in the delivery of that method, some of which may have no bearing on the method itself, for instance teaching time, teaching ratio, environment, financial commitment to the tuition, parent and child perceptions about the tuition etc.It will be interesting to see, with SP being rolled out to all schools and delivered within the normal constraints of school-life, classroom ratios, time allocation etc. what the impact will be. There has been little evidence of a radical improvement thus far.
  8. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I know children (both personally and professionally) who come from homes with loads of appropriate books which have been shared with them, at length, for considerable amounts of time every day, from birth!! Some of those children did not learn to read from that (still very valuable) experience.
    One of my own children I consider would have fallen into that category too. This was for a very simple reason - she did not look at the words very much. While I was reading to her, she would, quite sensibly in my view, either enjoy the beautiful illustrations or build something or other in the corner of the room.
    I seem to remember learning to read quite easily, not by phonics, intuiting the code, and although we always had some appropriate children's books in the house I don't particularly remember any great effort from my parents.
    Some people do just learn to read more easily than others; fortunately teenager / adult reading ability generally has no correlation with how easy or difficult the learning to read process was - it's more to do with comprehension. For me, learning to decode using phonics is a good way of teaching all children to read initially, whether they are from homes with books or not, whether they have parents who read to them or not, and whether they would have intuited the code for themselves or not by a later age.
  9. Yes, reading to children obviously does not teach them to decode and I doubt whether anyone would read to a child with that purpose in mind. We want them to enjoy the story. What does rub off on children when we read to them is an instinct for the differences between books and conversation, between written language and everyday spoken language. Of course, the two categories overlap on occasion, when stories and rhymes are recited by heart, or when anecdotes are told with deliberate organisation into story elements. The first stories, of course, were told over and over again and not written down. But in hearing books being read children absorb the vocabulary and cadences that characterise styles of texts. They learn to expect the phrase "Once upon a time"; they learn to anticipate rhyme or a refrain; they know when the resolution of the story approaches and develop ideas about what might happen next in the logic of the story.All this gives a child a great start in appreciating what can be found in books and what can be done with words and ideas through reading and writing. I think there is a danger in underestimating the power of reading real, rich, imaginative texts to children just for their own sake. Forget decoding a minute, sit comfortably and let's begin....
  10. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Absolutely. My children still love it. I think I'll be reading to them until I'm 150.
  11. What wording are people using to parents for children who haven't made the cut?
  12. LOL! Can I just add that I was being a tiny bit facetious(sp) when I made my suggestion about early exposure being all there is 'to it'.
    I know there are no easy answers really! I do think exposure to books early is a massive benefit though - for many reasons.
  13. After reading your interesting post I would like to volunteer my school to be part of your research project if that is possible.
    please contact me Mrs Reddy on admin@isfnet.org.uk [​IMG]
  14. littlerussell

    littlerussell New commenter

  15. tictactoe1

    tictactoe1 New commenter

    I genuinely hope this test is scrapped soon.
  16. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Since February I have been working on a daily basis with seven year 1 children, focusing on their phonics with the screening test definitely in mind. Ours is a school in a poor area of a poor town. One year it was even the worst performing school in the whole of the UK. We are looking at 80% plus 'pass' rate.
  17. brambles25

    brambles25 New commenter

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