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Year 1 phonics test

Discussion in 'Primary' started by mystery10, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Has it been announced yet when this is going to be done?
    Do schools know how they are going to resource doing catch-up work with the children the test identifies as having insufficient phonic knowledge at the time of the test?
  2. I've been told it will be the week commencing the 18th June, but don't have any idea about how the results will be implemented!
  3. Schools should already be doing intervention work with the children who are below where they should be.
    The test wont be news to us - it will just be more wasted teaching time - we already work with an LA scheme that involves tracking our children for phonics, we know who is behind, and we put either Catch Up literacy or small group literacy booster groups into place for those struggling.
  4. cariad2

    cariad2 New commenter

    I don't see how that is a problem. Year 1 classes should be doing daily phonics anyway, and should have plenty of resources. Phonics materials are classroom essentials. The test will just help with your differentiation.
  5. I don't know what "Catch Up Literacy" is so I Googled it. From a very brief look at its website I noticed references to Marie Clay, DCSF and Renewed Framework for Literacy. For want of a better phrase it is a whole language programme- a Reading Recovery clone that does not have systematic synthetic phonics at its heart. It seems to me that the phonics check is designed to tackle schools who employ strategies such as yours and so is absolutely not a waste of time.
  6. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    24601 Impulce's comment puzzled me too.

    From what I have read about the test from the DfE (or whatever they are called at the moment) it is going to test phonics knowledge up to and including phase 5 of letters and sounds and require children to be able to read real and nonsense words using GPCs from phases 2 to 5 of letters and sounds.
    Depending on the cut-off mark they place on the test to determine which children are "behind", some schools could in my own personal view get massively caught out. From my own personal experience, my children have done synthetic phonics since nursery school, but the pace of teaching of the GPCs has not been fast enough. Many children will not have had much teaching of phase 5 by 18 June of year 1.
    And if not having knowledge of phase 5 is considered being "behind" enough to warrant a one to one help trigger, then presumbly the authors of the test consider that there should also be a goodly proportion of children who are beyond phase 5.
    The reason I asked how the one to help for those who are "behind" is going to happen is because it is hard for some schools to find the budget, time or the space to give one to one help. Also we are still in the situation where in those schools concerned, there are few teachers, TAs, or volunteers who are well-trained in synthetic phonics.
    In some schools quite a sizeable minority will not have achieved "secure phase 5" at this point in time. One to one help is impossible in that situation.
    I think it will give a timely shock to the system in some schools and phonics teaching in some reception classes is going to have to march forward.
  7. Most, if not all, schools are teaching phonics - but I think there is a failure to understand in many cases the difference between 'systematic' and 'rigorous' and phonics which is bordering on 'extraneous' - something which Jim Rose warned about in his 2006 report on reading.
    Letters and Sounds, in my view, is more closely described as 'detailed guidance' rather than as a classroom programme. Teachers and assistants have had to work hard to turn it into daily provision.
    They have also had a lot of pressure about providing 'fun and games' type activities - and it is these which may border on 'extraneous' - and be slightly missing the point about how to teach the 'core' skills and how to progress for both reading and spelling.
    Further, both the Rose Report and the government's 'Core Criteria' fail to recognised 'writing' as a third core skill.
    Whilst multi-sensory activities are rated by teachers as important features of teaching and learning, the 'multi-sensory' nature of some schools activities are not close enough to 'core skills and activities'.
    It is right that any government promoting specific teaching and providing public money in support should be totally accountable for the results.
    It is right that where there is so much illiteracy and weak literacy, that a government take a serious and active interest in how to make the nation fully literate.
    Surely, in any event, teachers should have professional curiousity to 'want' to know how their children are doing relative to others? That's a fascinating and essential component of being a teacher in the first place I suggest.
  8. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    When does it happen?
    Schools will be able to administer the check at any time that suits them during the week of the 18 to 22 June 2012.
    The screening check will identify children who have phonic decoding
    skills below the level expected for the end of Year 1 and who therefore
    need extra help. <u>Schools will be expected to provide extra help</u> and
    children will then be able to re-take the assessment in Year 2.

  9. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    I'm guessing that the DfE are going to decide over a few years what is a "pass" in the test, and what is an acceptable % of year 1 passes and that this will provide some initial evidence for inspectors then to decide whether or not phonics teaching needs looking at in more detail in each school they inspect?
  10. I can't see anything about whether the results are going to be published but sure I heard they were going to be. Does anyone know?
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  12. Thanks. I am only the literacy coordinator in my school so haven't seen this yet!
  13. Ii got an email from DfE recently.. I think it said results would be in RAISEonline. I have no idea what the fuss is all about. Any good school would be administering similar checks regularly and way before June of Year 1 anyway. Any good school will learn nothing from this simple and quick check.. But I don't think the good schools are who this check is aimed at.
  14. I don't have a problem with results going on RAISEonline but was quite worried about them being published in the way KS2 SATs results are. We have very high numbers of children with EAL who make good progress by Y6 - if they stay with us - but who are way behind the national average at Y1.
  15. clawthorpegirl

    clawthorpegirl New commenter

    Just to throw another concern out there... anyone else considered that the results from the phonics check might be maniplulated to indicate a NC level end for the of KS1, For example 'if a pupil is on track in phonics ar end of Y1 then they should be on track in reading and writing at the end of Y2 - a 2B'.
    Obviously this wouldn't be the case as the phonics screen in purely based on decoding individual words and takes no account of comprehension or application into writing.
    Maybe I'm being paranoid, what do others think?
  16. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Only if they change the reading test to a decoding test but if a child has good understanding and on track with the phonics in Y1 I would expect higher than a 2B to be honest.
  17. I am sure that the Dfes has said all along that results would not be published nationally.
    However, the teaching of SP is a focus in the new Ofsted Framework so they (Ofsted) will be looking at RAISEonline.
  18. ecawemma

    ecawemma New commenter

    I'm not sure where you are based, but I have a meeting planned on 17th Nov for subject leaders in the Lincolnshire region. I have collected inspection copies of all the suppliers in the interim catalogue which we will be looking at before deciding how to spend the match-funding. You are welcome to come along - no charge for attending and there are even some free goodie bags to give away!
    Also, the text they used in the pilot is on the DfE site which gives us an idea of what the final screen will be like - I've got it on

    Hope you find the other phonics materials on there useful too.
  19. ecawemma

    ecawemma New commenter

    The document on the DfE website says
    Use of data
    After full national roll-out the following uses will be made of the data:
    ƒ Individual pupils? results will be made available to parents, so that parents are kept informed
    about their child?s progress in developing word reading skills.
    ƒ School-level results will be recorded on RaiseOnline, and made available to Ofsted for use in
    ƒ The school-level results will not be published in performance tables.
    ƒ Report on national results to track standards over time.
    ƒ Report National and local authority results to allow schools to benchmark the performance of
    their pupils.

    Read the whole thing on
  20. As decoding is only a subskill (albeit a vital one) of the reading process I cannot see that anyone in their right minds (even Dfes civil servants or government ministers [​IMG]) would want to replace an 'all round' assessment with one which only assesses one skill.
    With regard to the link I gave, I do appreciate that 14 pupils are not a valid statistical sample. I only gave it as an indication that it is possible for the results of the Phonics Check to correlate well with NC levels.

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