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Reporting results of the Phonics Check to parents

Discussion in 'Primary' started by warmandfuzzy, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. warmandfuzzy

    warmandfuzzy New commenter

    Am trying to get my head around this - how to do it without scaring parents too much!
    I have had a discussion with my Headteacher, and we have decided that we'd like to express our views on the Check and why the results actually don't mean that much to us.
    We track our children throughout their early years, and every child that's 'failed' has made small amounts of progress every term (I've checked), but not quite enough to pass the threshold this term. I don't even feel that I can use it as a diagnostic tool, as there were so many phonemes that weren't covered in the check, and although it gave a little bit of useful information, and showed which children are likely to get freaked out in situations like this, I don't feel confident to use the information to report back to parents about which phonemes they don't know, etc. I would go back to the Letters and Sounds assessment, and use those for that purpose.
    Is anyone else thinking that a covering letter might go out to parents, explaining the views that I've seen in other threads, or is it going to be a fairly cut and dry pass/fail (or maybe reached/not reached the threshold)?
    Just wondering what other schools were thinking to do after this <strike>ridulous waste of time</strike> fabulous informative check has been completed?

     
  2. warmandfuzzy

    warmandfuzzy New commenter

    Am trying to get my head around this - how to do it without scaring parents too much!
    I have had a discussion with my Headteacher, and we have decided that we'd like to express our views on the Check and why the results actually don't mean that much to us.
    We track our children throughout their early years, and every child that's 'failed' has made small amounts of progress every term (I've checked), but not quite enough to pass the threshold this term. I don't even feel that I can use it as a diagnostic tool, as there were so many phonemes that weren't covered in the check, and although it gave a little bit of useful information, and showed which children are likely to get freaked out in situations like this, I don't feel confident to use the information to report back to parents about which phonemes they don't know, etc. I would go back to the Letters and Sounds assessment, and use those for that purpose.
    Is anyone else thinking that a covering letter might go out to parents, explaining the views that I've seen in other threads, or is it going to be a fairly cut and dry pass/fail (or maybe reached/not reached the threshold)?
    Just wondering what other schools were thinking to do after this <strike>ridulous waste of time</strike> fabulous informative check has been completed?

     
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Have you looked at what the check tells you about individual children rather than at the magic 32 figure?
    Is there a pattern to the words they found difficult? vowel digraphs/split vowels/two syllable words ...
     
  4. warmandfuzzy

    warmandfuzzy New commenter

    I wrote that in my post. I don't feel confident doing that because so few were variations were used, e.g. No ay or a-e, no ow, no ie...I'd rather use my L&S assessments for that.
     
  5. warmandfuzzy

    warmandfuzzy New commenter

  6. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Interesting point. I suppose it's difficult for any check just involving 40 simple words, whether real or nonsense, to cover all the GPCs that could have been included in it. I don't suppose it will ever cover the full range that it could cover, just as any exam does not cover everything that was on the syllabus, just a secret selection of topics chosen by the examiners that year.
    If it meant anything to your parents knowing which GPCs the child was not secure on it would be great to provide them with this information from your Letters and Sounds assessment if you think they will know what to do with the information you give them and can maybe do something about it themselves over the summer holiday.
    It's the kind of information I used to want myself for one of my children but my school did not have it available. However, unless you have involved your parents in the phonic method of learning to decode, and how to accurately pronounce all the different graphemes and their possible alternatives, and blend them together in words, will it be useful information to give them? It might be for a small number, or for a majority, depending on what level parents have been involved over the last two years.
     
  7. have adapted 2 letters that I found on the key website if any good, will try and copyDear Parents/Carers

    For the first time this year, the Department of Education has implemented a new, statutory assessment for all children in year 1 called the phonics screening check. Your child took part in this assessment in June.

    The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learnt to apply their knowledge of phonics to an appropriate standard for year 1. A list of 40 words was used that the children read one-to-one with their teacher.

    The check contained a mix of real words and ?non-words?, for example ?vap? or ?jound?. The ?non-words? are important because they are new to all children; they have to use their decoding skills, and thus it is a fair way to assess their ability to decode.

    This assessment does not assess their comprehension skills i.e. their understanding of a text.

    I am pleased to inform you that your child did well in the assessment and has achieved the expected standard for year 1.

    We will continue to monitor their reading progress as they enter year 2, to ensure that they are well prepared for the Standard Assessment Task (SAT) in reading at the end of the year.

    Yours Sincerely

    Dear Parents/Carers

    For the first time this year, the Department of Education has implemented a new, statutory assessment for all children in year 1 called the phonics screening check. Your child took part in this assessment in June.

    The phonics screening check is designed to confirm whether individual children have learnt to apply their knowledge of phonics to an appropriate standard for year 1. A list of 40 words was used that the children read one-to-one with their teacher.

    The check contained a mix of real words and ?non-words?, for example ?vap? or ?jound?. The ?non-words? are important because they are new to all children; they have to use their decoding skills, and thus it is a fair way to assess their ability to decode.

    This assessment does not assess their comprehension skills i.e. their understanding of a text.

    I am writing to inform you that your child found aspects of the phonics screening check difficult and did not achieve the expected standard for year 1.

    We will be providing extra support for your child in school to ensure that they have the opportunity to improve their phonic decoding skills. They will then be able to retake the phonics screening check in year 2.

    So that we can explain about this extra support and discuss how you can help with further reading activities at home, please could you make an appointment to come in and see me.

    We look forward to hearing from you.


    Yours Sincerely
     
  8. sorry for no paragraphs - they were there when I posted! But I am sure you get the idea. No need to say what the scores were in the letter.
     
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    When you input the information it provides a print out for each child explaining their results
     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  11. warmandfuzzy

    warmandfuzzy New commenter

    Thanks all, some good examples that I will use to base my letter.
     
  12. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    In the letter " Standard Assessment Task (SAT)" is a fiction.
    (Do you see anything official regarding testing of children bearing "SAT"? You might have done for a year or so pre-1992. that's all. Nowadays, it's generally known that "SAT" is a brand name for a test for university entrance. That's all.)
     
  13. warmandfuzzy

    warmandfuzzy New commenter

    Is anyone putting together a pack of some kind for parents to use over the summer holiday for children who did not meet the required standard? I'm thinking to, and will use flashcards for the sounds they are not using appropriately, but am no good at thinking outside the box. Any wise ideas from anyone would be greatly appreciated.
     
  14. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    There was, in days gone by, an idea of having "standard assesssment tasks" to give teachers a bank of assessment material to help them with levelling (in key stages 1 to 3).
    They weren't tests, though and the whole scheme was abandoned in 1992. It had just been trialled in KS1 and was found to be too complex and time consuming to be helpful.
    Teachers who'd had inadequate NC training or none at all (such as Primary headteachers?) just assumed that "sats" meant tests and guesssed that they'd arrived when NCTs came in.
    Even if the standard assessment tasks had continued, they couldn't have been called "SATs" for copyright reasons. The name belongs to the American College Board Association.
     
  15. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    warm and fuzzy, the thing that always moved my own children on fastest at home with their phonics was the soundcards with the GPCs on that they needed to learn, and decodable reading books which focussed on practising those particular GPCs within words.
    The cards on their own were useful for a limited period, but it was the decoding of words containing them that was key to me making an progress with them at home. Also parents need to know how to tackle misreading of words, or sounding out errors such as children going t eh ah tea, rather than t ea tea.
     
  16. warmandfuzzy

    warmandfuzzy New commenter

    Thank you, we will use our Letters and Sounds assessments (more detailed than the Phonics Check, with all sounds covered) to send home a copy of all the sounds, with the ones they'd forgotten on that day highlighted. We will also send home words with these sounds included, to give children practice over the holidays, and will continue this in September.
     

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