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Year 1 Phonics assessment today!

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

  1. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    No I don't normally read Private Eye but I had seen the Michael Rosen piece. I'm just surprised more hasn't appeared in the popular press
  2. I haven't, my message was full of sarcasm. I do use a broad range of approaches
    In my teaching if reading. I don't teach year one, but year 3, my daughter is in year one
    In s school with a belief that phonics is the dominant strategy in teaching reading.
  3. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    I suppose it depends on what you consider to be reading skills
  4. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Hi MelDaves
    OK, so at your daughter's school have they binned all the real books, stopped reading aloud to the children, and never discuss or act out or make up stories? Do they only cover year 1 phonics and nothing else at all you might expect in year 1 of the National Curriculum for literacy and in reception for the literacy and communication strands of the EYFS? And did they do all of this as soon as they heard that there was going to be a phonics check at the end of year 1? Or did they do this when they read the Rose Report yonks ago?
    Are you sure? If so, it sounds like a school that Michael Rosen must have visited in the last year or so as he talks about a school binning their books. I do wish he would name the school.
    There are clearly some weird schools around.
  5. No, she still brings home reading books which I read with her. I would hope they also continue to read class stories at school and analyse themes and plots and check comprehension, I would hope they spend a lot of time looking to develop comprehension as well as decoding, but as I dont work there I can't comment on the actual time spent on this.
    I only recently became aware that they see phonics as the 'dominant approach' the EYcoordinators words not mine, and can only assume this to mean they spend most of the time in reading on phonics. How long this has been the case I don't know. Ironically, though, my daughter did 'pass' the test with 32,but her report indicates she hasn't yet met the required standards expected in reading at the end of year 1. Perhaps, then, they ought to ask why not? if phonics is the most effective way to learn to read, why has she, with a 'pass' not quite cut the mustard?
    Perhaps, other strategies, such as developing comprehension, ought to take up a bit more of the teaching time.
    About what? I have never claimed to know exactly what is going on in her school.
  6. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    because she couldn't read 20% of the words perhaps? I think any school who only support the children who scored 31 or less are ignoring the needs of the children who scored 32-39 ... they all obviously had some difficulty
  7. I would be seriously concerned if indeed they based the judgements on her report on this solitary arbitrary test rather than her accomplishments of the last year! Indeed, I would be horrified if their judgements of her 'reading' were solely concerned with her performance on 40 words, this remember is only decoding, NOT A READING TEST!
  8. My point exactly, if she can scrape the phonics test, and I am aware she did just that, how can she be doing so well level wise? It would suggest, as I truly believe, that somewhere along the line the school is giving credit to the other valuable reading skills other than decoding. How bizarre then it looks for them to deem her underperforming in reading on her report then and yet admit shes reading at a level 2C which I know is great! BTW in her year group I am aware she is very much considered an average child and there are better readers than her, most reading at 2B or A.
    The point I was trying to illustrate was, that this test is only testing one element decoding, a very narrow aspect in the much broader discipline of reading. It is however, being given massive coverage as a 'reading test' by the media and many less well informed parents are wrongly assuming that a pass/fail on this is a real indicator as to their childs entire reading skills or lack of them. My daughter, I have no concerns about. No, shes not as bright as her older sibling, but I have every confidence she will become a great reader as she is developing decoding and comprehension skills at a rate I am more than happy with. You're right though, there does now seem to be a real conflict between the NC levels and the pass rate in the test. Now, it appears you can get a great 'level' but can be deemed to be underperforming in reading if you dont get a brilliant pass score on the phonics test.
    Personally, I am far happier with the current NC level which looks at a broader range of skills, rather than focus to much on the decoding test scores.

  9. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I think that the issue might not be an overfocus on decoding test scores, but your daughter's school being a little confusing in their assessment of reading and their report writing.
    Clearly a child who is 2c in reading should not desribed as an "average" child - or if she is, it should be made clear that they mean average for the school or her class, not national average.
    Also, if they put a phrase in the report saying that she has not met expectations for reading without explaining what they mean by this, then your daughter's teacher is being rather obscure in her report wording; again this is not a fault with the decoding test. They need to be clear what aspects of her reading have not met expectations if it's worth reporting at all? Maybe the not was a "typo".
    I find the assessment of reading very woolly at our school. Maybe your daughter's school is the same. I don't know how they do it - I have one daughter who went through year 1 prior to the introduction of the phonics check, and another one who went through year 1 with the phonics check.
    The levels I was given for their reading at end of year 1 (and during year 1) were inconsistent with one another, and inconsistent with what they could actually do. It wasn't until DD1 was given an old SAT reading comprehension test at the end of year 2 that she was given a grade within a mile of her reading standard. So I hold no hope that any assessment of DD2 will make sense until that point either. At least the govmt check gives me an answer out of 40. In this case it was 40, but if it had been less than 40 I would want to know which words she got wrong as she has in my view been fully secure at phase 5 for an extremely long time, so I would be wanting to understand if the test was a blip, what goes wrong "under pressure" for her, or if there were certain GPCs that she is hazy on as she has not been taught phonics for a long while now.
    The fact that there are a number of 2as and 2bs in your daughter's class shows there are some children who read well compared with the national average, or that the teacher is generous in his / her assessments with some children.
    I don't think that reading achievement at this stage is much linked to ability i.e. IQ is it? It's surely not until higher up the level 3s that IQ (in particular the verbal aspect of IQ) might come into the equation and be more important than "decoding skills". You seem to compare DD1 and DD2's intelligence and link this in with their reading achievement. I would question that at these low levels of reading.


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