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I don't understand why ds (y3) is doing phonics every day

(37 Posts)
Moredofbumsnet Thu 24-Jan-13 13:34:55

Ds is 8y and in y3. He told me yesterday that Mrs Newheadteacher says that everyone incuding y6 has to do phonics every day. Ds has been a freereader for over 2 years now. So why phonics?

Runoutofideas Thu 24-Jan-13 13:37:21

Helps with spelling?

Tiggles Thu 24-Jan-13 13:45:18

The boys school has brought in phonics for all children up to year6, and it has made a significant difference to the assessed reading levels throughout the school. (DS1 is a free reader, he was reading Harry Potter when he was 5, but his phonics is rubbish, it shows in his spelling ability - or lack of it).

PolkadotCircus Thu 24-Jan-13 13:50:39


takemehometoauntem Thu 24-Jan-13 14:07:08

Seems to be a set trend at the moment throughout many schools, have the curriculum targets been revised? I would go with spellings too.

Moredofbumsnet Thu 24-Jan-13 14:18:31

So is phonics a good way to learn spelling?

PolkadotCircus Thu 24-Jan-13 14:49:18

Yes you need to know phonics and spelling rules to be a good speller even those with a photographic memory like my son.As they get older and come across harder words to spell they need a good grounding in both to be a good speller IMHO.

cakebar Thu 24-Jan-13 14:54:22

Our school does this and I think it is great. It seems like DS is learning the science of words, how words are composed and why. He is also looking at things like sentence composition (in phonics time) which I think helps them to get more out of what they are reading and become better writers and spellers.

Hercule Thu 24-Jan-13 14:58:34

Our school has just been trashed by Ofsted and one of the requirements for improvement is that daily phonics teaching is extended into Key Stage 2.

Missbopeep Thu 24-Jan-13 15:55:31

Because OP if they don't there will still be pupils in year 6 who are struggling. Not all childrne are perfect readers and spellers by the end of year 2 - or 3.

PolkadotCircus Thu 24-Jan-13 16:07:06

I think even the able have a lot to learn,all 3 of mine learnt to read fluently early but still have a lot to be gained from their daily phonic lessons.At our school they're grouped according to ability.

Moredofbumsnet Thu 24-Jan-13 19:50:30

So what do they actually do in phonics in y3? I can get nothing out of ds about it other than they do it in 2 groups and they call out the things on the (smart)whiteboard. I know nothing about phonics at all as ds and dc2 both learned to read by look and say. I thought English spelling was not phonetic and that that was why they have to learn lists of spellings.

suze28 Thu 24-Jan-13 21:45:38

They need to know spellings rules eg plurals, prefixes, suffixes, homophones. Google Support for Spelling; this is taught after Letters and Sounds Phase 6.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 24-Jan-13 21:47:59

English has a more complex phonetic code than many other languages. All the more reason to learn it explicitly.

BrigitBigKnickers Fri 25-Jan-13 09:24:13

We have recently done this at our Junior school (although not every day for the older ones.) We found that many of our pupils in even year 5 and 6 were not secure on phase 5 phonic knowledge and their spelling was crap.

The improvement in spelling over the school as a whole in spelling has been impressive- even more important now with the SPAG test starting this May for year 6.

Pythonesque Fri 25-Jan-13 10:13:42

I would be furious if my 7 yr old year 3 son was being made to do "phonics" on a daily basis. Both his reading and spelling are excellent, and we are lucky that his school (all right, it's private) is able to differentiate work in groups of as little as 4-6 as appropriate.

That's not in any way to dismiss phonics. Thorough knowledge of them is critical to reading and spelling and the only children who have ever succeeded purely by look-and-say approaches are those who have worked out most of the phonics principles for themselves. But once children have mastered them, there are other things they should be learning and to label spelling rules as part of "phonics" is absurd. (and will cause confusion).

English is complex to learn because it has absorbed words from so many different languages over the centuries, hence different spelling patterns. My mother, a remedial teacher, has some great lists of words from different origins (eg Latin, French, Greek etc). They help older students particularly to understand why groups of words follow different spelling patterns.

Hobbitation Fri 25-Jan-13 10:20:00

In Y3 they are doing a lot of grammar, and their spellings are things like "irregular past tense" verbs. I've not heard phonics mentioned since Y1.

CecilyP Fri 25-Jan-13 10:24:23

They need to know spellings rules eg plurals, prefixes, suffixes, homophones.

This is the sort of thing I would hope they were taught in upper KS2, along with correct use of apostrophes and other punctuation. Although it is not strictly speaking phonics, perhaps it is still being taught under the phonics umbrella.

maizieD Fri 25-Jan-13 10:34:57

to label spelling rules as part of "phonics" is absurd.

It's not really. You could say that it is phonics which sets the 'spelling rules' as, before you get on to prefixes and suffixes in spelling, you have to learn to put the correct letter/sound correspondences (that's 'phonics') in words.

We spend a lot of time bemoaning the very poor standards of literacy and quoting fugures of 20% of children leaving primary school unable to read competently but what isn't particularly well publicised is the fact that a far, far higher percentage of children leave primary school with extremely poor spelling skills. Ask any secondary teacher to give an estimate of how many of their pupils have poor spelling and they're likely to say around 60%+. Poor spelling isn't as disabling as poor reading, so it doesn't have such a high profile.

Most adults will use phonics for working out an unfamiliar spelling, albeit unconsciously in many cases. Phonics isn't just for babies; phonics is lifelong grin

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 10:40:54

It depends on how bad the person's spelling is. Some people don't capitalise, get every complicated spelling wrong, get all homophones wrong and can't use apostrophes correctly. That is disabling.

PolkadotCircus Fri 25-Jan-13 10:56:38

What Mazie said,also I think the reason it is labelled as phonics as the lower groups are going over the phonic stuff whilst the others go onto the post phase 6 stuff not anything to get in a tizzy about.confused

As Maisie said post phonics their phonic knowledge is drawn on later eg in tenses etc.

I'm sure school would explain everything if asked.

Hobbitation Fri 25-Jan-13 10:58:24

All these stats about how 'illiterate' children are are never accompanied by any comparison with the past? If there was a golden age when people were more literate, when was it?

maizieD Fri 25-Jan-13 12:32:55

All these stats about how 'illiterate' children are are never accompanied by any comparison with the past? If there was a golden age when people were more literate, when was it?

I don't really think that what happened in the past is all that important; is it? Surely what matters is that right now, when reading is a key life skill, it is imperative that we teach as many children as is humanely possible to read.

If you are trying to start some sort of argument about 'golden ages' and 'then and now' and 'what's wrong with 20% failure', forget it. It's completely pointless and it's all been thrashed out before on this forum; ad nauseam..grin

Moredofbumsnet Fri 25-Jan-13 12:45:52

Ok so phonics is much more than just sounding out to learn to read. Can anyone point me in the direction of anything I can read to improve my knowledge of phonics in ks2?

maizieD Fri 25-Jan-13 13:12:13

Debbie Hepplewhite is a strong proponent of the continuing teaching of phonics for spelling in KS2. You could try her websites, she's got lots of information on them. She has message forums on both, where you could ask the question.

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