Phonics test - sudden concerns and how to help

(161 Posts)
Dentvincent Thu 23-May-13 17:59:02

My DD came home today with a note to say she wasn't making expected progress in phonics. She is Y1 and is due the Phonics test in June - which I have only really heard about on mumsnet until this note. It was a bit of a surprise as it has not been mentioned at all till now. She is on orange book band and pretty much always gets all her spelling right. In fact I thought she was doing really well. They have given me some websites to look at with her which I've done tonight. She seems to be great on all the real words - but I think 'knows' them now as they look pretty simple and so isn't using her phonic knowledge. The a made up word comes up and she just tries to make a real word out of. How can I help her best and should I be a bit annoyed that someone hasn't mentioned it before. She is in the top but one group in the year and at every meeting they have said she is flying

Thanks for help

mrz Mon 27-May-13 17:18:08

daftdame schools have had EIGHT YEARS to get phonic teaching right

daftdame Mon 27-May-13 17:23:06

mrz Oh dear...Well I suppose there must have been some pretty strong mindsets out there.

I certainly feel sorry for the parents and children now. At least now the check is here there is no hiding from schools...but still more pressure is put on parents to make up the gap and with the best will in the world not all can.

When do you think it will settle down, mrz?

mrz Mon 27-May-13 17:31:02

In all honesty I can't see it ever "settling down"

BabiesAreLikeBuses Mon 27-May-13 17:38:36

My dts go to the school i work at (sep sites for ks1and2) we have been saying for years that kids at y5/6 struggle with spelling as phonic knowledge poor and been reassured for last 5 yrs that synthetic phonics used. This yr in reception it is the first year that word packs have been dropped and only synthetic phonics done. I am sure it is because the pass level of the test last year was low. They have had years in which kids have been let down, this year it has been taught very well and i can see that my kids have better spelling knowledge than the ten year olds i teach. It shouldn't have taken a screening check to force the situation...

Feenie Mon 27-May-13 17:53:03

Like my ds's school, who only 'taught' phonics three times a week. (Paid it lip service, more like). Massive panic on now because only 40% met the mark required last year.

mrz Mon 27-May-13 17:59:18

It makes me sad to see that parents are more clued up about phonics than many teachers

christinarossetti Mon 27-May-13 19:59:23

Me too. The screening test should be absolutely no problem to children who have been taught synthetic phonics correctly, and the plethora of threads on MN about it lately seems to indicate that this correct teaching isn't happening as often as it should.

sazale Tue 28-May-13 08:17:11

Mrz, my son is still on phase 2 phonics so should he be disapplied?

He's also been sent home with practice sheets.

He's behind due to having phonological processing difficulties and I also believe rubbish teaching in Foundation. The school got told to improve by OFSTED earlier this year with a particular slating of the foundation unit and the whole school phonics teaching. He is currently on P6 for reading.

mrz Tue 28-May-13 09:12:03

It depends if the school use the check effectively or they see it as "something pointless the government make us do".

The check can identify what a child knows - so in your son's case if he can blend cvc words (like cat or vop) vc words (like am or ip) ccvc words (stop or brin) cvcc words (like sand or dunt) - which would help plan for his next steps

sazale Tue 28-May-13 21:32:27

Thanks mrz. He can do cvc words and us currently working on vc words.

Dentvincent Wed 29-May-13 19:30:14

Thanks for all advice/tips. Had phone call from teacher today(!) to check we were ok with letter home - seemingly there may have been complaints re the wording. DD scored 30/40 so they want to ensure she passes but don't want her to be concerned. I think they've probably made it a bit obvious that they are coaching certain pupils that are borderline but my DD now thinks she is 'rubbish at phonics.' probably if she had another couple of practices/better instruction she may have been ok. We have now gone back to basics and are reading normally with her and letting her read her books but then looking at words seperately and practising sounding out vocally rather than trying to read the word straight off. I think this has helped her understand the concept of what this screening is looking for. In other words this is not a reading test but a phonics test - which is what it is of course - but I'm not sure she had 'got' this. Not that I think kids should be aware they are being assessed anyway The teacher also said DD used her memory a lot and was a visual reader using other techniques to aid her reading. I said we were aware of this but obviously if her phonic skill is better this will only improve her reading/writing/spelling further do she can use a number of skills. At least she's enjoying phonics again! And she's read lots of dr Seuss this week and Roald dahls dirty beasts which has lots of fake words

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now