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Year 1 phonics check

Discussion in 'Primary' started by VikkiP, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. Does anyone know what the pass score for the Year 1 phonics screning check is?
  2. And what the point of it is?
  3. The point of it is to check if children are being given good phonics instruction in YR and Y1.

    I don't think that a 'pass' score has been published as yet.
  4. sara2323

    sara2323 New commenter

    Not sure if a pass score has been published, however we were part of the Pilot Scheme and children who seemed to score below 30 failed! the pass marks seemed to be between 32-40. Personally I hated adminstering the test, children kept getting confused with the non-words they would sound and blend accurately and then change the non-word to a real word- as so many of the non- words sounded like real words!

  5. inq


    As so many different tests were used teh pass mark varied from test to test but was about 32-35.
  6. I thought that the person administering the test was supposed to make it
    clear to the children that the 'non words' were just that?
    As they will come across a vast number of words which they don't 'know' (which could be 'non words' for all they know) as their reading experience grows how are they going to cope with them if their first 'instinct' is to try to turn them into words they do 'know'? As this tendency (trying to turn unfamiliar words into familiar words) is the bane of my life with my KS3 'strugglers' I'm curious to know how they develop it.

  7. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    The latest material on the phonics test on the DfE website says that the schools involved in the pilot were involved in deciding the pass score, but that about 2/3 failed.
    Sara2323 how did the pilot schools determine the pass score?
  8. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Yes I'm interested in that question too Maizie. I notice it in my own children. Child 2 learned many GPCs including advanced code quite quickly at home from a published scheme and applied them very readily to reading quite complex words that were not in her vocabulary. Then as she became a more "natural" reader she seemed to start "guessing" more and she will make quite a few errors now which I could call "guessing". Because she's my own child it's harder to sort!!
    However, I am also unsure as to whether it is because she does not get much practice at school deciphering longer words (I don't really know what they do at school) and humans just tend towards laziness so she guesses, or whether they are being taught guessing strategies at school - I have seen guessing being taught to an older child.
    It could be a natural part of what a child tends to do as they start to get faster at reading - it might even be a necessary part of the step towards fluency. However, I personally think it's bad news if it starts at too early a stage in the reading process ------- maybe fine if a generally fluent 3a reader misreads the occasional word, but sad if a stumbling level 1 is guessing a significant percentage of words or converting them into something they think it should say.
    I still don't see it should be a problem for this phonics test though ........ year 1 children who are doing a synthetic phonics programme will be used to regularly decoding real and nonsense words of this nature like falling off a log? However, if you are used to the same 100 or 300 high frequency words being flashed at you via flashcards or a sightword reading scheme then the test could be a struggle.
    Sara 2323 what was the reading history of the children who struggled with the test i.e. tried to change the words to real ones.

  9. It's make sure that children have not simply memorised the words, i.e. that they are decoding them?
    Why not test them with regularly spelt longer words that they are very unlikely to have come across?
    E.g. ontological, omnipotent, paramount, obfuscate, parambulate?
    Or even regularly respelt tricky words, such as 'sed, enny, menny, bild, frend, hite, lite'?
    There would be no chance whatsoever of any teacher having taught those and children having memorised them.
    The whole thing seems to be part of a campaign to make sure that initially children are taught nothing but the main sounds of letters, but it's an insane byproduct of having to cope with an insane spelling system
    <font color="#0000ff">http://englishspellingproblems.co.uk/html/learning_to_read.html</font>
  10. sara2323

    sara2323 New commenter

    Yes this was made clear prior to the start- the words were written alongside an alien picture and all the children knew these words as 'alien names' and clearly different from the real words. But yes this does not stop the children from changing it to real words even when told not to before each word!!
    The children have used non-words prior to this but again they are only 5-6 year old. But even during my school placements I had always observed teachers encouraging chn who struggled to read a word and read it incorrectly to think of a 'real word' which the word sounded like- not sure if it stems from there!
    Not sure if you have worked with this age group- but many do it with even real words change it to a word they have in their limited vocabulary!
    The school did not mark the tests and as far as I know were not aware of the pass mark as the tests differed.
  11. I think it is perfectly understandable that children adjust a phonic reading that does not correspond to a known word to a word from their vocabulary. They know that the words are supposed to mean something and they want to get the meaning right. This is what adults do with typos and misspelt words.
  12. Indeed.
    That's why testing children with nonsense words is simply nonsense.

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