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To think that my DS should not have done the Y1 phonics screening test?

(15 Posts)
McFarts Sat 04-Jul-15 14:34:27

My 6YO DS is deaf, ASD, Learning difficulties and ADHD.

We are currently going through the EHCP process because he has made very little academic progress since starting school, he isn't accessing the national curriculum at all, and it still on P scales.

Yesterday we got his school report along with the results of his phonics screening test, he scored 0.

I had just assumed he wouldn't be doing the test, but i didnt think to ask!

This of course will have done nothing at all for his confidence, i just have this picture in my head of how confused he must have felt.

I have parents evening next week, at the moment im furious with his school (who are normally fantastic with him!) I of course need to raise this issue with them, but the last thing i want to is go in there all guns blazing if there is a logical reason for why they decided to test him in the first place (of course i will ask on Monday).

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sat 04-Jul-15 14:47:44

He's deaf, and they wanted him to take a phonics test? Can I ask, what is his scale of deafness, does he use BSL or simple sign, what is his main mean of communication?

I've looked at the .GOV site, it seems to me he didn't 'qualify' to take the test, as his condition presumably means phonetics would be an area of English language he would very much struggle with??

I'd be asking for a meeting before parents evening, asked why exactly they felt this was appropriate.

Pico2 Sat 04-Jul-15 14:49:24

Are you sure he actually did the test? Might it have been some sort of default result for a pupil who didn't take the test?

MrsGentlyBenevolent Sat 04-Jul-15 14:52:48

Pico is right, I would check he actually sat it. The results apparently are sent to OFSTED and can be used in terms of an inspection. I don't think the school would put themselves in a position to test a child who had difficulty in communication skills, it would be quite an odd things to do. On the other hand, why send out a letter saying he had scored 0, even if he hadn't tested, seems like it wasn't needed.

postmanpatscat Sat 04-Jul-15 14:56:28

These are the criteria:
Pupils shouldn’t take the check if they:

* haven’t shown any understanding of grapheme-phoneme correspondences
* have recently moved to the country and are unable to understand letters and sounds in English
* use British sign language or other sign-supported communication, eg communication boards, to spell out individual letters
* are mute or selectively mute

Does your DS meet any of them?

TCbythesea Sat 04-Jul-15 14:59:45

Hi, think this may be my first post on here but having been lurking to see how it works for a while thought such a relevant post to me was a good place to start. My 5 yr is deafblind, has some sensory issues. She is statemented and I have been really happy with the school.

I don't think YABU to be annoyed that they just went ahead without thinking to talk to you about it first. I would expect our teacher and/or Senco to give me a heads up about it and check I was okay with it if there was any chance they didn't have to get every pupil to do it.

That said I would address it carefully at parents evening as they may have thought it would provide a useful benchmark that might be helpful if you're looking for an EHCP , or maybe they have to do it for everyone and have no scope to leave him out - don't know enough about the test as we're not there yet.

Does he know the result and how was it administered? it may be that he is unfazed by it. I hope at that age it's not so formal and might even be hidden within usual school day.

McFarts Sat 04-Jul-15 15:03:21

Yes he was tested, it gives you screening mark, and screening grade.

His screening grade is WT - which stands for took the phonics screening check and did not meet the required standard.

His score as i said in my OP was zero sad

He is moderately deaf but his loss fluctuates as he also has glue ear, he is now verbal, but still very delay and his understanding is very poor.

postmanpatscat I think he would met this one.

* haven’t shown any understanding of grapheme-phoneme correspondences

McFarts Sat 04-Jul-15 15:08:41


I guess they could have seen it all a evidence towards his EHCP, thinking about it more logically im sure his teacher will have made the test very informal and fun, he will have still found it confusing tho.

I just dont understand why either his class teacher or the SENCO didnt take me to one side before i got the report.

TCbythesea Sat 04-Jul-15 15:29:36

It sounds like you are generally finding them good, so seems surprising they didn't think to talk to you before the test. I hope they can give you a satisfactory explanation.

Just as an aside DD has some useful vision and hearing and we have found cued speech really helpful, works well with phonics. It may not be appropriate for your DS but if you haven't come across it before maybe worth looking into.

McFarts Sat 04-Jul-15 15:39:45

Thank TCbythesea

Yes i generally have a really good working relationship with the school. My two daughters also attend/ed the same primary. DD1 has now left but she also has ASD. DD2 in Y5.

I shall have a look into cued speech, thank you.

TCbythesea Sat 04-Jul-15 15:51:21

Good to hear that, too often you hear horror stories and I keep wondering it we're the exception rather than the rule.

Here's the website for the UK

Finola1step Sat 04-Jul-15 15:55:30

Just a thought for next year. Your ds is in the year group that will be the first to take the new style year 2 tests. Might be worth keeping that in the back of your mind and asking what the school are doing for him wrt to the new tests later on in the year.

postmanpatscat Sat 04-Jul-15 16:31:28

McF I'm a Y1 class teacher and a SENCo. I've not yet had any children who met the criteria for disapplication so can't say what that process would look like. I would, however ,have let the parent know if their child was not going to take the test as a matter of courtesy.

If your DS could tell you any of the sounds that any of the letters make, then he has a limited understanding of grapheme-phoneme correspondences. Can he do that? If not, then you are quite right to consider challenging the school about their decision to test your son. Oh, and thanks to the joys of the current regulations, he will be tested again in Year 2. About half of our current Y2s who were retested still didn't meet the threshold, although they were much closer to it than last year. They all have significant SEN and/or EAL.

TiggieBoo Sat 04-Jul-15 16:49:12

It's pretty strange, but in real terms, what difference does it make if he sat the test or not? I didn't even know there was a test in year 1 till I got the results, ds didn't realise he was tested and it meant nothing to him at that age anyway,they don't understand about exams and grades yet.

McFarts Sat 04-Jul-15 17:09:48

Finola Thank you, I shall look into that, wonder why they're changing it, I know its a relatively new test anyway, as neither of my DDs did it.

postmanpatscat Yes he knows most of his letter sounds, and can blend a few together on a good day. I say on a good day because he has issues with his working memory, so a huge amount of re learning has been needed Some days he's better than others, others he's just not with it enough to fully focus. Thank you for your reply at least i now understand why he has had to take the test.

Tiggieboo They are taken out of the classroom its phonics done 1 to 1 with the class teacher, despite his difficulties he will have known that he couldn't do what his teacher was asking him to do. Of course this would be very different for a child who can read, im sure like you say the vast majority wouldn't have thought much about it. He didn't come home and mention it, maybe im just being over emotional about it.

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