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Y1 phonics screening test.

(28 Posts)
FreeSpirit89 Wed 11-May-16 21:42:22

I went to a meeting today about the phonics screen test for year one pupils. Forty questions 20 real words and 20 alien (fake) ones.

The children are then marked, and as far as I understand it doesn't matter about there grades. The test isn't to find out there levels because, the teachers know that without the test.

It's for government statistics as far as I can tell.

Can anyone shed any light into why the children are taking it?
Why do the government seem determined to destroy children as young as possible with pointless tests?

AIBU to think that it's too much, too young?

monkeysox Wed 11-May-16 21:44:43

For the government. I asked at our meeting if they have to do it and was told they do. Rubbish. If I didn't want my child to do the test I would withdraw them. Especially if they had no hope of passing. Awful. Yanbu

TormundGiantsbabe Wed 11-May-16 21:45:48

My child's teacher made clear that the children won't even know they are being tested so I don't see the harm in it.

If my 5 year old was being told to sit a test in full on exam conditions then I'd be thinking differently.

Littlepeople12345 Wed 11-May-16 21:48:43

My older DC are 9 & 10 and I can remember when they did that test and they both really enjoyed it and weren't put under any pressure at all.

Same with year 2 sats. They had no idea they were anything other than a task they had to try their best on.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 11-May-16 21:51:13

It's not for the government statistics, and it isn't a pointless test.

It's a screening check to test for signs of early reading difficulties. Children that don't meet the required standard will be given extra help in year 2 and will be rechecked next year to see whether they now have the skills required.

Unfortunately the evidence so far seems to be that many teachers don't know that without the test.

It really isn't anything to worry about. It takes 5 mins, is very low key and they often get a sticker at the end of it. The child shouldn't really know that it is a test.

There might be a lot of controversy about testing, but this one was one of Gove's better ideas.

And if you child's teacher has told you able readers often fail the test, that's total bollocks.

BabyDubsEverywhere Wed 11-May-16 21:51:52

My DS did this test, we were told the results but the DC were not. We were told either 'Your dc passed the phonics test, keep up the phonics practice' or 'your dc failed the phonics test, we will do more practice with them, please support us at home' or words to that effect.

My DS1 failed the test, but is the best reader in the class - they did it twice with him, he failed both times. They couldn't understand it, but said it showed them how pointless this test was. DS1 could pick up anything and read it. DD1 did the same test last year - she is dyslexic and I think the worst reader in the class - she passed the test! Makes no sense. The dc never knew they were being tested and have never mentioned it though.

MrsHathaway Wed 11-May-16 21:55:00

Those who "fail" get extra support in Y2 to bring them up to speed.

If your child can do phonics then they'll pass. If they can't then you want them to fail so they'll get the extra support.

It is one-to-one with a member of staff they know. That kind of work happens all the time at modern primaries so it shouldn't be intimidating. The children know they will be getting non-words (ours called them alien names or something iirc) so they don't get flustered by words they don't recognise.

It's nothing at all like the SATS clusterfuck.

FreeSpirit89 Wed 11-May-16 21:59:34

Thank you everyone. I'm getting a little flustered with it, everyone seems so anti it.

I feel a little more relaxed now, I think DS will fail because he struggles with phonics I just thought it may knock his already fleeting confidence.

TeenAndTween Wed 11-May-16 22:01:48

If you read the primary board you will see that sometimes 'good readers' don't reach the threshold of the phonics screening check because they have learned whole words and to guess rather than using their phonics.

Experienced teachers on the primary board then go on to explain that sometimes these 'good' readers then stall later in primary because of poor phonics ability.

The check is needed purely because some schools don't teach phonics properly, and phonics has been shown to be generally the most effective way of getting most children to read well. (And no I can't cite references for this).

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 11-May-16 22:02:46

If he's struggling with phonics, then personally I would want him to fall below the standard.

Is he already getting 1:1 phonics support over and above his class phonics sessions?

TeenAndTween Wed 11-May-16 22:02:55

He won't know he's 'failed' unless the school tells him.
They should say 'well done' and give him a sticker even if he gets zero!

BikeRunSki Wed 11-May-16 22:07:15

Did did the Y1 phonics screening last year. He did some reading with his teacher, just like he had done every week that year. All very low key and nothing special. He'd already had some reading books home with "alien" words (the alien ORT books).

The school took a very similar approach to the Y2 SATs this year. Very low key, certainly no extra homework or pressure. DS again didn't know he was being tested, just mentioned in passing that they'd done quite hard English that day.

Lindy2 Wed 11-May-16 22:09:21

My DD struggled with reading in year 1 and she failed the test. I knew she would, as did her teachers. She simply wasn't reading at that level at that time and no one needed a test to know that. She was oblivious to the fact it was a test.
She retook it in year 2 and passed comfortably. I knew she would, as did her teachers. Reading had clicked for her by then but again, no one needed a test to realise that.
What I didn't like at all though was that by year 2 she was very aware it was a test and that she had previously failed it. I don't think it was the school saying anything as they are pretty good at not pressurissing the children, she had worked it out for herself.
She was still only 6years and came out of school looking so anxious. Her first words to me were I scored ×× mummy did I pass this time?
When I was at school we did reading age tests to assess reading skills. A list of words starting at a very easy level and getting progressively harder. I think that approach was much gentler without the irritating nonsense words that are in this phonics assessment.

BurnTheBlackSuit Wed 11-May-16 22:09:59

Nothing against the phonics test. My DS1 did it a couple of years ago and Ds2 will do it this year. I have looked at example on line and it is fine and straightforward. Nothing like SATS as others have said.

However, I was wondering what happens if a child fails the test in year 1 they get extra phonics help in year 2 and then do the test again at the end of year 2. What happens if they fail the test agin??

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 11-May-16 22:10:44

Fortunately not many children should get 0. Other than the inclusion of real words, they've done a pretty good job of structuring the test.

And the teacher can stop it at any point if the child is struggling and getting discouraged. There's no requirement to give every child all 40 words.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 11-May-16 22:16:18

At the moment, not much, Burn. I think there is a pilot study for a retake in year 3. In practice very few pupils fail in both year 1 and 2.

Although it's possible that some schools already check the children who still don't demonstrate the required skills with another test anyway.

BurnTheBlackSuit Wed 11-May-16 22:20:32

Here's last year's phonics test:

Thank you Rafels- I've always wondered.

arethereanyleftatall Wed 11-May-16 22:27:52

As far as I can tell, it's the (some) parents who are the only ones stressing about these tests.
As far as the children are concerned, they're just learning to read/write.

HumphreyCobblers Wed 11-May-16 22:33:01

the nonsense words are there for a real purpose, they are not there to be irritating!

I used to do an equivalent of a phonic screen every six weeks or so with my children, it tells you what they already know and what they need to be taught. Just precision teaching in action.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Wed 11-May-16 22:43:27

I think there's a problem with some teachers not really understanding the purpose of the nonsense words. It's difficult for them to communicate much about the test to parents if they don't really understand the rationale behind it themselves.

It's not entirely surprising that some parents would find them irritating.

HumphreyCobblers Wed 11-May-16 22:46:10

I see what you mean but there really is no excuse for teachers of phonics not knowing the purpose of nonsense words. It just goes to show there is good reason for enforcing the phonics screen across the board, at least it encourages the proper teaching of phonics in school.

soimpressed Wed 11-May-16 22:52:52

RafaIsTheKingOfClay where did you get the information that some teachers don't understand the purpose of nonsense words? Where does your evidence that many teachers wouldn't know that their children are having reading difficulties unless they did the screening test?

Lindy2 Wed 11-May-16 23:57:01

I'm not a teacher but I think I do understand the purpose of the nonsense words. What I don't like about them though is that as they don't exist how can you really determine how they should be read, especially as the English language has so many variations.
I can't think of a great example off the top of my head, but if they had the word "ro" would you pronounce it to rhyme with go, no or so or would you choose to rhyme it with do or to. No one would know what it really should be because it's a nonsense word and doesn't exist. I see the purpose but I still find it irritating.

Kitsandkids Thu 12-May-16 00:00:15

My foster son scored 0 in Year 1 and passed comfortably in Year 2.

fatmomma99 Thu 12-May-16 00:04:58

the results of tests like these feed into the data ofsted require for their inspections and reports.

If you are someone who, when making a decision on where to send your child to school, uses the ofsted report, there's a part of me which thinks you shouldn't complain about being part of what they base they're inspection and report on (but I've been inspected by them today and it was stressful and so I'm in a horrible mood, so feel free to ignore me!)

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