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Phonics Test Year 1 Query

(257 Posts)
NigellaEllaElla Fri 14-Jun-13 12:12:55

DS is doing the "Test" next week. I did a few flash card words with him last night and just have a query.

He sounds out the word but if it has a "y" at the end he sounds it as "yu" as in the letter name, not sound. (Not sure yu is best way of explaining it but can't think of alternative) rather than "ee" but then still says the word correctly.

So for "Happy" he might say "H a p p yu - Happy"

Because he is saying "yu" not "ee" when sounding will this count as a fail even though he knows the word correctly?

Bloody stupid test. He's a really good reader for his age, possibly a little too good cause I don't think it will do him any favours in a test like this!

Thanks in advance for your help.

Bunnyjo Fri 14-Jun-13 13:08:45

I'm not a teacher. but my DD is in Yr 1.

I was under the impression that sounding out the phonemes before blending to say the word was optional - i.e. children who can say the word without sounding out would be able to do so and marked correctly (assuming they have said the word correctly).

DD is also a very good reader for her age - currently on white/lime books - and I have no worries about her taking the phonics check and neither does her teacher, who is confident DD will get 40/40.

The phonics check is simply to ascertain if there are any gaps in the phonics knowledge for the child, or phonics teaching if gaps appear to be class wide. A recent study by Oxford University actually found the screening check is accurate in terms of ascertaining a child's ability to decode words. That same report also highlighted that there was no framework in place to assist children who 'failed' the screening check and that would be my only concern. Knowing which children require extra help is only useful if the extra help needed is put in place.

Periwinkle007 Fri 14-Jun-13 13:18:24

as far as I am aware if he states the actual word correctly then thats fine. it is the word being marked. how is he though with a word he doesn't know that ends in a y. so say you wrote out plefilly or something, would he manage to read it?

learnandsay Fri 14-Jun-13 13:48:52

The letter name isn't yu it's wiye. The letter sound is yu

So your child is perfectly correct.

maizieD Fri 14-Jun-13 15:03:11

So for "Happy" he might say "H a p p yu - Happy"

In which case he is not decoding the word; if he were decoding it he would say /h/ /a/ /p/ /ee/ (he should know that 'y' spells an /ee/ sound at the end of a multisyllable word and that the 'pp' spells only one sound, /p/ ).

I would surmise that this is a bit of a difficult one to judge as the decoding of the final 'y' as /yu/ might point to a gap in phonic knowledge even if he said the target word correctly (which he could well know by sight anyway).

As periwinkle says, what would he do with an unfamiliar word ending in 'y' or an 'alien' word?

I'd be interested to know what mrz or feenie thinks about this.

daftdame Fri 14-Jun-13 16:35:42

Nigella I would tell his teacher. Looks like you may have spotted a gap in his knowledge.

Do you know how much work on this rule they have done at school?

He might have been away, or maybe that particular input has not fully sunk in. Whatever has happened the teacher should be able to advise / do some extra consolidation work with him.

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 16:47:51

The test doesn't require the child to say the sounds just the word so "happy" would be accepted as correct.

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 16:57:39

The following text provides an example of how you could introduce the check.
• In this activity, I am going to ask you to read some words aloud.
• You may have seen some of the words before and others will be new to you.
• You should try to read each word but don’t worry if you can’t. If it helps you, you may sound out the letters before trying to say the word.
• This practice sheet shows you what the words will look like.
• Have a go at reading out loud these four words which you should have come across before [at, in, beg and sum].
• The words on this side [turn over practice sheet] are not real words. They are names for types of imaginary creatures. You can see a picture of the creature next to each word.
• Can you read out the words on this page for me [ot, vap, osk and ect]?
• Ok, now we are going to start reading out the words in this booklet and I’m going to write down what you say on my sheet.
In this booklet there are four words on each page. I will tell you at the start of each page whether they are real words that you may have seen before or words for imaginary creatures.
• The first page has words for imaginary creatures and you can see their pictures.
• Can you start reading the words to me?

Scoring the check
You should score the check as the child works through each word in order. For each word, you should make a record on the Answer sheet of whether the child said the word correctly or not, considering the following points:
Children may choose to sound out phonemes before blending. If a child sounds out the phonemes but does not blend the word, they must not be prompted to do so. This must be scored as incorrect.
• Children may elongate phonemes as long as they are blended to form the word. However, if children leave gaps between phonemes and do not blend them, this must be scored as incorrect.
• Alternative pronunciations must be considered when deciding whether a response is correct. For real words, inappropriate grapheme-phoneme correspondences must be marked incorrect (for example, reading ‘blow’ to rhyme with ‘cow’ would be incorrect).
However, alternative pronunciations of graphemes will be allowed in pseudo-words.
• A child’s accent should be taken into account when deciding whether a response is acceptable. There should be no bias for or against children with a particular accent.
• Any pronunciation difficulties for a child should be taken into account when deciding whether a response is acceptable (for example, a child who is unable to form the ‘th’ sound and instead usually says ‘fw’ should have this scored as correct).
If a child shows their ability to decode by correcting an incorrect attempt, this should be marked as correct. However, children should not be prompted to ‘have another go’. If a child makes several attempts at a word the final attempt should be scored, even if this is incorrect and a previous attempt had been correct.
• You should not indicate whether a child has decoded a word correctly
or incorrectly during the administration of the check, but you may offer
encouragement or support to ensure the child remains focused on the task.
• Children should be given as long as necessary to respond to a word, although in most cases ten seconds should be sufficient. You should decide when it is appropriate to tell the child to move onto the next word, taking care not to try to move the child on if they are still trying to decode the word.

maverick Fri 14-Jun-13 17:11:47

BTW, the letter 'y' is pronounced /ee/ not 'yu'
St Thomas Aquinas students demonstrate how to pronounce some of the phonemes - check out /y/ and /w/

Enthuse Fri 14-Jun-13 17:27:39

I have not given this test a moments thought. Or, if anything, I am curious to see if my fluent children will score badly as neither learned to read through a phonics system and seem to swallow words whole. If their phon

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 17:35:31

I've got 2 new starters in my class on Monday just in time for the test [grrr]

AvonCallingBarksdale Fri 14-Jun-13 17:43:00

So is the test next week for all year 1 children? DD is Y1 and fortunately she seems to know nothing about it. Presumably there's stuff online I can look at to see what it is she's actually going to be tsted on. DS is Y4 and I have no recollection of him doing it - is it a new test?

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 17:43:45

Last year was the first national test

maizieD Fri 14-Jun-13 17:50:30

BTW, the letter 'y' is pronounced /ee/ not 'yu'

I think that this is a bit esoteric for practical purposes, maverick. The phoneme at the start of the word 'yes' may very minimally have an 'ee'ish sound but for most people it is /yu/! (with minmal /uh/ I hope)

maizieD Fri 14-Jun-13 17:53:03

So, what would you do, mrz, if a child gave you the consonant phoneme for 'y' at the end of a nonsense word in the test?

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 17:53:32

I would mark it incorrect

maizieD Fri 14-Jun-13 17:55:15


mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 17:59:16

I would accept /ee/ or /ie/

pickledsiblings Fri 14-Jun-13 18:06:24

but mrz, I thought that any alternative phonemes would be marked correct, I'm sure I've read this

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 18:11:43

but the sound /y uh / is never found on the end of a words so isn't an acceptable alternative.

pickledsiblings Fri 14-Jun-13 18:14:45

yes but can you really expect a 6 year old to know that?

pickledsiblings Fri 14-Jun-13 18:15:39

...especially with 'made up' words

daftdame Fri 14-Jun-13 18:16:21

I think it depends what has been covered at school pickled.

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 18:17:02

Yes I would expect a 6 year old to know that with any category of word.

Pozzled Fri 14-Jun-13 18:18:22

Of course we expect 6 year olds to know that- if they've been taught phonics effectively. My 4 year old could say 'yumpy' or 'flishly' etc with the correct 'ee' ending.

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