Calling Mrz and other year 1 teachers/ phonics enthusiasts!

(46 Posts)
ThermalGirl Thu 20-Jun-13 17:58:54

I teach in a primary school. We have some very needy children in Year 1 but have recently changed the way we teach phonics.

We just did the screening test with our class. We had 100% pass rate, even some with SEN who I think would've definitely failed, prior to our new phonics teaching regime.

We often teach non word reading as part of the daily phonics lesson, but have been doing extra non word reading this week, in preparation. This was because some of the children were tending to convert some non words in the closest real word that they know.

We wanted to really emphasise the point that you should read only the sounds that they you can see.

A colleague suggested that we had unfairly 'taught to the test'. What do you think?

ThermalGirl Thu 20-Jun-13 19:38:48

I suppose what I feel is this. If we are looking at passing the test as an indicator of child's phonic knowledge - a summative assessment- then it is valid.

If we are looking at the overall picture of the school's performance, as an indicator of the efficacy of the day to day phonics teaching, then I accept that the resulted were very, very slightly skewed.

ThermalGirl Thu 20-Jun-13 19:40:25

Thanks clay. Maybe I'm being hard on myself with that last post.

mrz Thu 20-Jun-13 19:47:08

I don't think using non words in your daily phonics teaching is skewing the results in any way.

mrz Thu 20-Jun-13 19:48:37

but I would bet that if you hadn't done lots of non words practice your phonics teaching would have been good enough for the children to pass the check

ClayDavis Thu 20-Jun-13 19:51:49

It's not supposed to be either of those though. It's a screening check to identify children who may be having difficulties with decoding so they can get some extra help.

It's become an indicator of the efficacy of phonics teaching because results seem to be polaraised with some schools having nearly all their children pass and others where only half pass.

Periwinkle007 Thu 20-Jun-13 19:59:00

oh don't worry - my mum was a primary school teacher and I know you reflect on things and change as appropriate, I didn't mean to imply you didn't. I would have loved to be a teacher but seeing how hard my mum worked for very little thanks put me off.

ThermalGirl Thu 20-Jun-13 20:04:25

Yes clay, that's true but there are a small handful of children who passed as they were at their peak due to 'over learning'. They will have to be watched very carefully to sustain this progress. I guess that our results may be a little skewed as those children didn't 'show up'.

Sorry peri, my reply sounded defensive smile

lougle Thu 20-Jun-13 20:09:26

DD2 (as I've said on another thread) told me that she was doing 'extra phonics' recently. As not all the children were doing it, I surmised that teaching staff had identified the children who had gaps in their knowledge and giving them a boost to increase their pass rate.

I don't have a problem with that at all. The test is not a test of the children, but to ensure that children get support if they have gaps. Whether that help comes before or after the screening is incidental, in my view. In fact, I'd prefer the help came before - the sooner the better!

My only hope is that teachers continue to monitor children to ensure that the knowledge 'sticks', but as that is integral to teaching, I trust that her teachers will do that as a matter of course.

ThermalGirl Thu 20-Jun-13 20:13:58

Yes lounge, I agree.

ThermalGirl Thu 20-Jun-13 20:15:27

Lougle not lounge (sorry- bloody ipad thinks it knows better)

ClayDavis Thu 20-Jun-13 20:37:29

I think you're giving yourself a very hard time here and I don't think its deserved. It sounds to me like you have done a good job.

mrz Thu 20-Jun-13 20:58:27

Unless by chance you managed to come up with the exact same words used in the screening check for your practice it would have no impact on the results ...all you were doing was to provide opportunities to use their skills and knowledge of phonics to decode (and IMHO it wouldn't have mattered if you used made up words or real words that the children were unfamiliar with)

lougle Thu 20-Jun-13 21:03:53

That's a good point, mrz. DD2 came to me last week and said 'Mummy, it's an alien word because it doesn't make sense'. It was a character's surname smile She had decided that unfamiliar=alien.

BlackeyedSusan England Thu 20-Jun-13 22:43:17

i have been threatened that ds will not pass the phonics test in year one because i am not reading the books that school provide for him. oxford reading trree, first words books... based on sight words... confused

apparently, 1:1 teaching phonics every evening is a lot worse. i am still trying to undo the uh-oo problem. (ie look= l-uhoo-k) and catching up with the p/b confusion, teaching him th which seems to have past him by , oh and sh)

you did not teach to the test. childen need to have a familiarity with the concept of names that have to be sounded out. it is also impossible to know exactly which sight words each child knows...

Periwinkle007 Thu 20-Jun-13 22:52:20

blackeyedsusan do you mean they taught look as luhook as in pronouncing the l as luh? that is terrible

BlackeyedSusan England Thu 20-Jun-13 23:30:47

no, he has learned, accidently I presume that oo says uh oo they have been teaching oo makes 2 sounds, but it has completely passed ds by. to him it says uhoo. th says thorv (ie th voiced or th, soft) (bangs head on desk)

mrz Fri 21-Jun-13 06:09:02

the spelling <oo> is taught as representing the two sounds as in book and moon so uh - oo so I can see how it might happen is left.

Dd is a good reader. Level white.

Last week school changed the homework sheet from spellings which we have had ALL year to a worksheet on soft g.

Dd tells me that she got 6 wrong in phonics test and there were lots of soft g.

Is this true teachers? Clearly our school 'taught' to the test if so.

I have long despaired their phonics (lack of).

Is there a link to this years words or is it too soon?

Ok scrap that, DD has her spelling test mixed up with her phonics test.
So not soft g!
As you were.

mrz Fri 21-Jun-13 18:56:03

Children who have been absent this week can be tested up to next Friday so the words won't be released yet.

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