DS1 failed the Year 1 Phonics test. Is he alone?

(251 Posts)
AnnieMated Mon 16-Jul-12 16:26:18

Shocked and upset actually. Trying my hardest not to be, but he's a pretty good reader and is finishing ORT level 6 and reading fluently with no trouble.

He got 28 out of 40 and the pass mark is 40.

What I most concerned about is that the school didn't even inform parents their children were going to be tested, we just got a bland, round-robin letter today in their book bags with the results.

Anyone like to reassure me? Don't want to ask the other mums from the school but will have a chat with the teachers tomorrow if I can...

AnnieMated Mon 16-Jul-12 16:26:44

Oops, sorry, pass mark is 32!

DefiniteMaybe Mon 16-Jul-12 16:30:21

my dc aren't at school yet, but I wouldn't worry about the results of a test at that age. Like you say your ds can read. You were happy with his progress before this test, I'd just ignore it and carry on as you were.

Valpollicella Mon 16-Jul-12 16:32:14

DS failed his too - his report just mentioned it in a line, and said they will restest in Year 2 at some point.

I'm not really too fussed by it to be honest - his reading is coming along well, and the school are quite good at additional support if he will need it.

Could you have a quick chat to his teacher to reassure you?

NightLark Mon 16-Jul-12 16:34:03

My ds also failed. Same marks. He can read, is enthusiastic about learning and will be fine.

Taffeta Mon 16-Jul-12 16:35:02

Op - my DD hasn't had her results yet but I'd be surprised if she passed. She is also on ORT Level 6 and not a bad reader but she resists phonics and sounding out, having a definite preference for whole word recognition.

I am not worried about the result. In fact I hope she has failed it as then she will get some extra help with it in Y2.

There are a few threads in this topic about the test, the pass mark nationally is not that high, so you are by no means alone.

IMO its madness to be "failing" children in any test at age 5.hmm Its a marker for the school and can get your child some extra help with phonics, thats all, important to keep it in perspective. Also remember different children click with different subjects at different times.

littlemiss06 Mon 16-Jul-12 16:39:09

My little girl failed she got 14 out of 40

MDM Mon 16-Jul-12 17:06:45

Pardon my ignorance, but what does the phonics test involve ?

mrz Mon 16-Jul-12 17:08:58

It involves reading 40 words to the teacher 1-1 and takes approx 5 mins

AngelsWithSilverWings Mon 16-Jul-12 17:13:08

I really wouldn't worry about it. Our school thinks the test is a waste of time and money and is disruptive!

We were not told that the test was taking place - if it wasn't for mumsnet I wouldn't have known anything about it.

We got the test results today with a letter from the head clearly stating she is opposed to the test.

She say's that good phonic knowledge is important for reading and spelling but alone it does not make a good reader or competent writer.

If your children are reading fluently and progressing through their book bands you have nothing to worry about. Phonics wasn't even taught at the school I went to in the 70's but I was always reading well above my age.

mrz Mon 16-Jul-12 17:18:59

A lots of schools especially the ones who have done badly in the tests are saying things like waste of money ... never heard disruptive before ... I'm not sure if 5 mins out the class in Y1 equals disruption.

good phonics is important for reading and writing and without it becoming a competent reader and writer is much more difficult.

Phonics has always been taught, even when whole word learning came briefly into fashion, just not in it's present form

AngelsWithSilverWings Mon 16-Jul-12 17:32:48

Do you think the Head will let the parents know how the school as a whole did in the test Mrz?

It looked as if most of the kids in my DS's class passed ( lots of ripping open of envelopes and congratulating!)

I have never known the Head to be so openly anti something before!

ChippyMinton Mon 16-Jul-12 17:37:26

The feedback from our school was that the test included 'pseudo' words that both the better readers and the less able children found confusing. These made-up words were put in so that the children could show that they could decode unfamiliar words using phonics. The reality was that the more able children could decode the words but got confused when it was a word they'd never heard of. Apparently other local schools had the same problem and they will be giving feedback to DfT to this effect.

mrz Mon 16-Jul-12 17:53:32

No I don't think schools will give out pass rates unless they have done exceptionally well. I know some schools had 100% of pupils pass but I've also heard of a school with only 14% pass (they don't teach phonics according to their literacy coordinator who is stressing as you can imagine).

Yes ChippyMinton the test included pseudo words such as pib and yop which shouldn't confuse any child if they have been taught to decode. All our good readers scored 40/40 but it's a good excuse for failing children ...hmm

Taffeta Mon 16-Jul-12 17:58:12

"failing children"

Oh dear. My child is 5. To be "failed" at 5. Its disgraceful.

frustratedpants Mon 16-Jul-12 17:58:57

My dd failed. Don't know what score she got, and I'm not going to be asking the school what score she got. Not because I'm a bad parent, but because I don't feel that it matters. At the end of the day she is 6, her reading has improved significantly in the past year. I honestly don't see why the school needs to tell parents these results. it's purely an exercise in statistics and results for the government and not actually reflective on the learning that I child does. And I don't believe that a child of 5/6 should be coached to pass a test. there's enough if that at SATS and GCSE level

ohnevermind Mon 16-Jul-12 18:02:46

Well said.

simpson Mon 16-Jul-12 18:05:15

In my DS's school pretty much all the year one children failed (DS is in yr2 so did not sit it but has lots of friends in yr1).

The school do not seem that concerned about it and are very anti the phonics test. I am surprised that so many failed though tbh as they do use jolly phonics.

DD is in nursery and due to start reception in sept and had a reading assessment a fortnight ago and her teacher used 10 of the phonics test questions (she got one wrong).

annh Mon 16-Jul-12 18:05:20

Our school did not do particularly well and a number of the children who did not reach the expected level were the more able readers - mainly because they sounded out the word correctly, then did not recognise it as a "real" word, so thought they must be wrong and changed it to something recognisable. I believe teachers had to take their final attempt at the word, even if they had got it right in a previous attempt so our teachers were in agonies as several children sounded out correctly, then changed their mind as they thought the word was rubbish. Apparently, as with SATS, teachers also could not indicate in any fashion (e.g. by raising an eyebrow, nodding a head or anything else) if a child was on the right track. And just as with SATS, there is a definite feeling that this leaves the test open to some abuse by some less scrupulous teachers.

Having said that, our school was disappointed and will be aiming to improve next year. However, we were left feeling that improving in the phonics test is not necessarily going to improve the childrens' reading and understanding overall. (am not a teacher btw, but a Governor).

Tiggles Mon 16-Jul-12 18:21:40

I am quite surprised that so many apparently able children were unable to decode pseudo words - IF the school is teaching phonics appropriately.

DS2 (reception) has solely been taught to read using phonics, stage 7, so obviously an able reader, but the other evening was decoding out Pokemon names out of an old annual we had been given. He has never seen Pokemon on TV for example so wouldn't know how to pronounce them to a nearest 'guess' as it were. Many of these were way more complicated than any of the words I have seen in the phonics practice test. He had no problems realising they were Pokemon names and therefore not real words, they were put next to pictures of the Pokemon, just like the pseudo words were put next to Aliens in the phonics test.

I am therefore sceptical that children who can read well have been taught phonics correctly if they didn't pass the test.

mrz Mon 16-Jul-12 18:24:10

I find it worrying that so many children were unable to understand the simple instruction hmm

"In this booklet, there are four words on each page. I will tell you at the start of each page whether they are real words that you may have seen before or words for imaginary creatures."

mrz Mon 16-Jul-12 18:31:17

"It is important to tell the child whether they are real words or types of imaginary creatures on each page."

from the guidance for teachers administering the test

AmberLeaf Mon 16-Jul-12 18:31:23

Lots of angst in our playground this afternoon!

Is this new this year?

mrz Mon 16-Jul-12 18:39:57

yes it's the first time it's been carried out as a national test with results reported to parents.

mrz Mon 16-Jul-12 18:41:45

Taffeta I mean failed by the system (as in let down if it wasn't clear ... not that any child is a failure)

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