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Sensible approach to literacy teaching

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mashabell, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    There were no intended personal insults, just a stunned reaction to your postings. Possibly could have been worded better and I apologise if the post came across as a personal insult.

    Six year olds are not headed for certain illiteracy. 20% do not leave school illiterate, they simply leave primary school unable to perform appropriately in a reading and writing test. That is the only verifiable fact. I taught year 6 last year and am well aware of a fair number of children who, by your reckoning, are now in that 'dustbin of illiteracy'. By my reckoning, however, they merely failed to perform as needed/expected in a test on a day in May. Only a couple of children left us truly illiterate and innumerate by the world's standard and neither of them would have been helped by sight vocabulary reading.

    I teach year 2 this year and those who are unlikely to get a level 2 (ie would even qualify for your intervention) are merely the immature ones or those whose home life does not adequately support learning to read quickly. They are definitely not headed for certain illiteracy.
     
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We also know that it is very common for children this age to suffer from glue ear, convergency insufficiency, amblyopia and other conditions which delay literacy acquisition but don't assign any child to failure
     
  3. Then where do you think the 20% of children who leave school at age 16 came from? A well funded research OECD project in 2000 discovered that 1 adult in 5 could not accurately read the dosage on a child's medicine bottle.
    I routinely listen to Year 6 children reading, children who are predicted to achieve Level 3 and it is a painful experience. I listen to them struggling to decode unfamilair words (about 90%) I listen to their hesitations and guesses and it is apparent to me that these children are unlikely to every be described as literate individuals. A child predicted to achieve Level 4 on the other hand reads confidently and accurately with correct emphasis and tonal variation indicating good comprehension of what they are reading. What is wrong with an intervention which raises predicted L3 to L4? what is wrong with changing poor unconfident readers into confident, accurate readers other than the fact that the method which brought about this success is not SP?
    Becoming trapped in dogma is very destructive and these children are paying the price.
     
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Eddie no onehas questioned your motivation only your assertition that a six year old is automatically doomed for the dustbin of illiteracy because they might fail to achieve level 2 at the end of KS1.
     
  5. Ithink anyone who belives that the children who can be classified as non or near-non readers at ag 6 will go on to become confident,literate individuals is not facing up to the reality exposed by the annual literacy statistics which not only suggest that the contary is the case - they constitute proof positive.
    I have no doubt that if my Y2 intervention turns non-readers into confident readers there will always be the naysayers who will claim that they would have become literate anyway without my intervention but then there are still people who insist that the world is flat! In themeatime the 20% who achieve less than Level 4 at KS2 will be the same 20% who leave school illiterate every year.
     
  6. " Eddie no onehas questioned your motivation only your assertition that a six year old is automatically doomed for the dustbin of illiteracy because they might fail to achieve level 2 at the end of KS1"
    But where do the 20% of illiterate school leavers come from if not from the 20% who fail to be confidenet readers at KS1 and again at KS2?
    Where do they come from?
     
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    anyone who has not encountered numerous children who go on to become confident and fluent readers from a shakey early start has never worked in a primary school.
     
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    You seems to be saying that learning is linear and a slow starter is destined to be a slow finisher which as we all know isn't true.

     
  9. No. I know that learning is not linear - i believe that it is planer ie that we move from one learning plane to another. But i still want someone to confront the question of where the 20% school leaving illiterates come from if not from the 20% identified at KS1 and kS2?
    i dont think its good enought to say "Oh Well, Their reading will get better, maybe in Year 3 or 4 or 5 or 6. It won't and it doesn't - the school leaving statistics prove that. We can ignore that fact but it wont go away. I dont think its good enough to say that Level 3 readers are not too bad at reading - a Level 3 reader is atrociious at reading. i dont think its good enour to tell parents that it might get better in secondary school. It doesn't!
    If we can identify them in Year 2 why not resolve the issue in Year 2? Why hope that it will get better later on with more of the same strategy that has already failed them.
     
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    No one is suggesting that a child will progress without support as that would be assigning them to the dustbin of illiteracy ... something that no good primary teacher would do. Simply that there can be a number of reasons why a child is behind in Y2 which don't necessarily mean they will continue to be behind.
    I have an August born boy recently diagnosed with glue ear and sight problems. Since treatment has begun he has made excellent progress and I have no reason to beieve he won't continue to do so.
     
  11. "Simply that there can be a number of reasons why a child is behind in Y2 which don't necessarily mean they will continue to be behind. ~"
    But the harsh reality is that 20% fail to become confident readers at KS1 and again at KS2 and again at KS4 How can that fact be explained if most poor readers at KS1 go on to become confident readers as you are implying. Surely the evidence is that they don't!
    It is certainly possible for most of the near non-readrs at age 6 to become confident readers but surely the annual national statistics prove conclusively that this is not happening! My question is "Why mnot?"
     
  12. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    as far as I am aware there is no published national data to show whether the child failing to achieve a level 2B goes onto achieve a level 4 or not.
     
  13. But where do the 20% of school leavers come from who are described at less than functionally literate? Surely it is commonsense that they are the same 20% who are failing at KS1 and KS2? If not, you are surely not suggesting that they performed well at the early Key Stages and then lost the abiltiy to read at Key Stage 4.
    I know there are some on these forums who would either support that view or choose not to confront the question but surely you don't belong to this category?
     
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I'm suggesting that making that assumption is wrong

    Low / medium / high attainers
    Low attainers are those who did not reach Level 2 (the expected level) at Key Stage 1. Medium attainers reached Level 2. High attainers exceeded Level 2. Any pupils with no KS1 results are excluded from these breakdowns.
    A quarter of all pupils judged low attaining at age seven went on to achieve the level we expect in English and maths at age 11.
    <u>In 27 schools, every low attainer at age seven went on to achieve what we expect in English and maths at age 11.</u>
    http://www.education.gov.uk/a00200915/primary-schools-test-results-released
     
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Which poses the question if 86% of KS1 pupils achieve the expected level in reading and a quarter of those who do not go onto reach the expected level in KS2 where does the 20% figure come from?
     
  16. <u>In 27 schools, every low attainer at age seven went on to achieve what we expect in English and maths at age 11.</u>
    <u></u>
    What do you mean by "What we expected?"
    Is what you expect the same as what the government and parents expect. My 'expectation' is ensshrined in the objective and not in the subjective "we" I regard Level 4 English as being attainable by virtually ALL children in mainsteam schools (virtually means 98.5%) Beyond this, i believe that it is possible to raise the literacy standards of about 75% to the Level 5 standard of literacy skills.
    One good way of reaching expected literacy goals would of course be to 'expect' a lower standard. Amuch betterway of course is to 'expect'; a higher, much higher standard..
    I fully 'expect' that the 2012 Key Stage 2 results will show that only about 80% of children will achieve the Level 4 or 5 standard of literacy skills. i know that that is an atrocious thing to expect but I believe that it will prove to be the reality of the 2012 outcomes.
    My hope is that i will convince at least one LEA to use the non-phonics strategy with their Y6 pupils in the 2012/13 academic year and if they do, i would confidently predict a phenomenal rise in their Key Stage 2 results. I 'expect' that SP enthusiasts would find some way of denigrating a very significant improvement in literscy skills across an entire local authority. To do otherwise would be toconcede that their SP dogma has been consigning children to illiteracy for years.
    <u></u>
    <u></u>
     
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    It is a direct quote from the DfE - so expected levels at the end of KS2 ie level 4
     
  18. Low / medium / high attainers
    These descriptors apply to intellectual potential and have no validity as far as skills acquisition is concerned. Skills acquisition is not constrained by IQ - only the assimilation of concepts is constrained by the concept of low/medium/high attainer
    Virtually anyone can acquire virtually any skill if they can be motivated to practice enough. My whole point is that HF wordlists and word banks will not motivate children to acquire reading practice and hence reading skills.
    The Key Stage tests test the acquisiton of literacy skills - they do not test intellligence or academic potential
     
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    These descriptors are common in primary schools and refer to levels of achievement so a child achieving below the expected level would be low a child achieving the expected level would be medium and the child achieving above the expected level would be high.
    as the quote explains Low attainers are those who did not reach Level 2 (the expected level) at Key Stage 1. Medium attainers reached Level 2. High attainers exceeded Level 2. Any pupils with no KS1 results are excluded from these breakdowns.
     
  20. Attempts to acquire complex musical or sporting skills suggest otherwise.
    The abilities to read and write English at an advanced level are complex skills, writing especially.
    Proficient readers manage to learn to read the 2039 tricky common English words which I have identified as easily as those with phonically straightforward spellings, but could they be putting a ceiling on what those with a poorer visual memory can achieve? Could it be that some simply cannot progress beyond the level deemed adequate for an 11-yr-old?
    For spelling proficiency there seems to be a definite ceiling. English GCSE results suggest that only just over half of all pupils can manage that. Memorising individual spelling quirks for 3700 words seems to be beyond the ability of roughly 1 in 2, especially for words with more than one spelling, such as 'there/their', 'too/two/to'.
     

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