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Year 1 Phonics assessment today!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by ESLAB, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I agree with your final point. Every school is different. I get the impression that there are many schools (including the one my children go to) where children are heard to read one to one very infrequently. A sentence every week or so during group reading is the most my children were ever heard in year 1.
    The top reading group was almost invariably made up of children who have "picked up" reading very quickly, well in advance of the phonics teaching etc. So they take home books which contain some words they don't know and can't decode for themselves, Mum or Dad tells them the word, they remember it pretty much first time, and on it goes. But give a lot of these children a new word and, without an adult to tell them what it is, they can be stumped. It may or may not lead to later problems.
    Yes this would be picked up in careful one to one reading with these children, with the right material. In general though the material they have in group reading will all contain words they already know as they have read a lot to their parents at home and been told a lot of words and remembered them. The group reading books are chosen to be easily accessible text-wise to enable group discussion about the setting, the characters, speculation about what might happen next etc etc. You don't need to be able to read very much at all to take part in it.
    So word recognition issues could go unseen in the top group.
    Then the lower groups have children in them who do not have parents who listen to their children at home. These children are in general also in the lower phonics groups - so they don't have the phonic knowledge, and they don't have parents who have told them lots of words, and their group reading books have barely any words on the page at all. They also have word recognition difficulties because they haven't been taught either at home or school to read by any particular method. They can have a very good discussion about the book though. And they might be able to read as well as the top group can if they had more one to one reading with either a parent or a teacher.
    I know you will tell me Thumbie that I am just unfortunate at my particular school. I'm not sure that I am though - I've read threads in plenty of other fora which would indicate that I am not on my own. It's difficult for a school to get everything right. A lot do, and a lot don't.
  2. Schools that I have taught in have prioritised one to one reading, but it is a huge struggle balancing the timetable to allow this to happen, and I think schools have grabbed hold of the guided reading option, after all promoted through government initiatives, as a solution. But I don't think guided reading works well with beginner readers. Reading is not a social activity and children need ultimately to do it on their own. Group learning is a great ideal but not appropriate to this context. I recall that when the National Literacy Strategy first came in many felt that this covered their teaching of reading and reading scheme reading became the domain of parents. So perhaps the 'searchlights' model never really got a fair chance for success OH NO What have I said! [​IMG]
  3. Just to say that I think Mystery describes the situation that I have seen in all the schools that I've worked in over the last ten years or so very well. And teachers, sadly, don't necessarily realise that is what is happening, especially if they only ever teach in KS1 classrooms (and perhaps, if they haven't had children of their own, so don't know what it is like to support a struggling child at home with non-phonic based books).
    KS2 teachers (and TAs) in schools like these regularly have children who have never learnt effective decoding - and it is so, so hard to sort it out in KS2.
  4. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    We don't do guided reading or follow the literacy strategy. Our children have scheme books for instruction and chapter books for pleasure.
  5. fendertele

    fendertele New commenter

    Spot on - the teaching profession didn't do the searchlights model justice that's why Jim Rose had to simplify it - for us - not the children
  6. fendertele

    fendertele New commenter

    Reading regularity and the management systems you have to put in place to enable it were not mentioned in the Rose Review. With all the facile debates about phonics and sight vocabulary we have missed probably the most important factor in learning to read- doing it very regularly - structured in way to engineer success and praise with the minimum of effort and minimum defered gratification.
    How can we expect parents to value regular individual reading on a one to one basis if we don't value it. That is an abdication of responsibility based on a doctrine of do as I say - not as we do.
    We obtain consistent excellent results with the searchlight model - however it is the fact that we devote the 1st 1/2 hour of every morning to individual reading, all children read every day from FS2 to Y2 with either a teacher or TA, train the children from Reception to change their own reading book and have parents who ( by and large0 listent to their children read every day - that makes the biggest difference of all.
  7. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Grammatical Knowledge
    Rerun from the beginning of
    the sentence and use
    awareness of grammar to
    predict words

    Use awareness of the need for
    grammatical agreement

    Use the punctuation to get
    meaning from the text

    Look for familiar prefixes and

    Read on to the end of the
    sentence and look for clues

    Look carefully at the pictures

    Have the confidence to make a
    , then check it makes

    Read the sentence aloud to
    check it makes sense

    Predict what the word might be
    from what’s already happened

    Rerun from the beginning of the

    Use prior knowledge of the
    genre to predict words/phrases

    Use any predictable patterns in
    the language, e.g. rhyme

    Read on to the end of the
    sentence and look for clues
    Word Recognition and Graphic Knowledge
    Look at the shape of the word

    Look for words within words

    Read the word in ‘chunks’, then
    blend them together

    Locate high frequency or familiar

    Use analogy with known words
    to solve new words

    Use letters of own name

    Use the initial letter to help you
    think of a word that makes

    Build the word up, then blend
    the phonemes together

    Look for familiar clusters,
    digraphs or trigraphs within the
    Now it might be me but there seems to be a high level of skills required by Mystic Meg and Sherlock Holmes involved in the Searchlight method and not a lot of reading
  8. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Where does that colossal list come from Msz?
  9. fendertele

    fendertele New commenter

    It is not sad at all - it is logical. Lets take some basic figures - Approx 80% of readers are reaching the agreed levels or above for reading.
    Govt. states, rightfully so, it wants to reach those further 20% ( of which a given % will be children with genuine special needs or new to the English language)
    The Govt. runs its pilot and gets an approx. 30% pass mark on some arbitary pass mark. Who set the bar that high? someone with a scheme or two to sell?
    Simple mathematics indicates that of the 70% that failed - 50% of them will make the Govt. levels by Y2 and Y6 anyway - even though they failed the Y1 "phonics test"!
    Simples - an 80% ( 32/40)pass mark is not necessary to becoming an able reader.
    Now a clever tester would have pulled that pass mark backk until you have 80% ( those that will make the reading grades at Y2and Y4 anyway" - and that should have been the pass mark needed to ensure the optimum standard of phonics needed. Maybe add 4 or 5 moer for insurance purposes- rather than this slegdehammer approach.
    Now I am not claiming I am brighter than the nexrt bloke but you would have thought all these overpaid manderins in the DfE could have sussed this one out? Unless of course they have a particular axe to grind.
  10. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    A course I attended years ago and that was part of the handout for Searchlight strategies
  11. Can you reference that? My understanding of searchlights, was that the reader should bring phonemic, grammar, context, and word recognition and graphic knowledge to the task. Here is a quote from the NLS describing searchlights:"Teachers .... have often been over-cautious about the teaching of phonics-sounds and spelling. It is vital that pupils are taught to use these word level strategies effectively ..... They tend not to understand that words are made up of letters used in particular combinations that correspond with spoken sounds....pupils should be taught to: discriminate between the separate sounds in words; learn the letters and letter combinations most commonly used to spell those sounds; read words by sounding out and blending their separate parts" etc. When you read what the strategy says about searchlights it certainly shines most clearly on the phonics element, just mentioning the others in passing, and yet your list of strategies does not include segmenting and blending. So it doesn't really describe the searchlights model as found in the NLS. I'm not championing searchlights, but I do wonder how well it was applied and what other factors besides method of instruction influence reading progress. Should SP be found wanting ( I believe it may when adopted in the special exclusive way recommended), perhaps then people will be willing to look further at the way reading instruction is organised in schools. Edit: then I found you had referenced it. It was part of a handout. What was the rest of the handout/course like. Did it completely ignore the government guidance about using phonics?
  12. fendertele

    fendertele New commenter

    Yes but we all know that is what educator's do - basically kick the back side out of a principle when a clear Keep It Simple Stupid approach is far more effective - but the phonics reduction of just Keep it Stupid is a simplification too far .
    Then again have you expereinced THRASS or some people's examples of the one sound "er" for example?
    Teachers let down children with their inability to deliver the searchlights model systematically - worked for us for many, many years and our children invariably read far better than new children entering the school ( a considerable number) with a very restricted diet of phonic soup. Often blamed themselves for failing to thrive on this malnourished diet.
    However, once their diet is supplemented ( note not substituted) with the other areas of the searchlights model plus a good dollop of regular individual reading - they flourish and catch up with their peers
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    No thumbie it included phonics
    Use the initial letter to help you
    think of a word that makes

    Build the word up, then blend
    the phonemes together

    Look for familiar clusters,
    digraphs or trigraphs within the
  14. fendertele

    fendertele New commenter

    Really thumbie , are you accusing Msz of being selective in her use of data - were you witness to the Deaf Society's supposed assertion that phonics is the best way to teach phonics. Sounds like a job for "reading for meaning" to me.
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    No fendertele the phonics part of the searchlight method was equally rubbish ...look at the initial letter and guess [​IMG]
  16. fendertele

    fendertele New commenter

    Yes - it is how intelligent learn to read. Discovered by intelligent adults observing intelligent children and making intelligent observations and intelligent theories - based on a the acceptance that intelligent human beings are more than mere vessels that should be filled with facts.
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  18. I'm sorry Msz, it really does not say this in the NLS. It may have been said on your course but it is not what is officially 'searchlights'. If you still have your copy of the NLS have a quick look: to quote again:" At Key stage 1, there should be a strong and systematic emphasis on the teaching of phonics and other word level skills .... While all the searchlights are important, the balance between them should vary at different stages of learning to read".
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    As I said earlier thumbie we never adopted the NLS
  20. No, I know you didn't, but that's actually not relevant to a discussion about what the NLS recommended and what the searchlights model consisted of.

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