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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.

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

and it should have been taught in reception

pickledsiblings Fri 14-Jun-13 18:26:00

I was thinking of a short made up word like 'rey' as possibly presenting a problem??

learnandsay Fri 14-Jun-13 18:27:07

Day has y as yu
as does holiday which is a multisyllabic word. It may once, in the distant past, have been a compound word, but not any longer.

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 18:28:32

"rey" could be pronounced "ray" or "ree" but not with a consonant /yuh/ sound

Pozzled Fri 14-Jun-13 18:28:35

'Rey' would be harder, certainly, but could be pronounced to rhyme with either 'key' or 'they'. Either would be scored correctly I think. It couldn't be r-e-yuh though.

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 18:29:26

no it doesn't learnandsay it has two sounds /d/ & /ai/

Pozzled Fri 14-Jun-13 18:30:28

Learnandsay You say 'day' with a 'yuh' sound? I don't think I have ever heard that pronunciation.

daftdame Fri 14-Jun-13 18:31:21

learndandsay How do you say day? (I'm imagining dayoo? ^) grin

I like Chaucer's spellings which spell enough 'ynogh'.

Feenie Fri 14-Jun-13 18:47:48

They would be unlikely to choose anything as ambiguous as 'rey' - the previous alien words in both the sample and last year's test were more straightforward.

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 19:02:42

I agree it isn't likely that the check will include <ey>

NigellaEllaElla Fri 14-Jun-13 19:52:02

Sorry, for delay, only just caught up.

With regards son, he will read an alien word/unfamiliar word with a y at the end and say "y uh" but pronounce the word ending "ee" So I do believe he has been taught correctly as he knows what sound the letter in that place in the word makes but he recognises the letter as a y.

I did speak to a Teaching Assistant today about it and used this exact example with her and she said it had been something she'd noticed a few times in the last few days with other children too, but that they were pronouncing the word correctly whether a real word or an alien word.

Interestingly his teacher yesterday spent some time with the parents after school just explaining to them what to expect etc and she did say that the more able readers often didn't perform as well in a test of this kind.

Ultimately I actually think the test is a totally ridiculous waste of time (putting it politely) but I want to make sure I am helping him as much as I can not just for the test but for his future reading ability, but the fact remains his reading is really good and he knows what sounds it should make, I just think he's in a bit of a habit.

I'm surprised Mrz that it would be marked incorrect even if he is saying the word right. Seems crazy you can fail yet read the word perfectly?!

Pozzled Fri 14-Jun-13 20:12:19

I think you misunderstand Nigella. If the child says the word perfectly (on their final attempt if they try more than once) then they will be marked as correct.
Wrt the point about 'able readers not performing as well'- that depends on what you regard as an able reader. I think child is not an able reader unless they can have a good go stab at reading words that are unfamiliar to them- such as names.

NigellaEllaElla Fri 14-Jun-13 20:24:55

Hi Pozzled, earlier in the thread I think Mrz stated that she would mark it incorrectly if he said y rather than ee, maybe if he then says the work correctly anyway she would mark it correct after all then.

With regards the "able readers" whilst I agree phonics is a big part of being able to read well, we have a LOT of words in the English language that phonics simply don't work with, there are many parts that slot together to help us to read in my opinion.

My son doesn't phonetically correctly pronounce a y at the end of a word BUT he does know how to read a word with a y at the end, either a real, alien or unfamiliar word.

Suppose we'll see what next week brings, just want to help him all I can but don't really want to start changing how he does things this weekend in case it confuses him!

SizzleSazz Fri 14-Jun-13 20:31:33

I'm not sure why it is a waste if time and you feel the need to help him. It is a test if the teaching not the dc.

Our school never even mention it and the children don't know they are being 'tested', just a fun activity.

SizzleSazz Fri 14-Jun-13 20:32:23

I'm a parent btw, not a teacher.

NigellaEllaElla Fri 14-Jun-13 20:36:48

SizzleSazz I'd put money on the fact it will be out of the window in 5yrs time if not sooner.

Is it not natural to want to help your child?

I'm not sure that our children know they're being tested to be honest, us parents do, but don't think it's discussed as a test to the children, not sure.

Pozzled Fri 14-Jun-13 20:46:00

I'm pretty sure that when mrz said 'I'd mark it incorrect' she meant if a child read something like 'flump-yuh' instead of 'flump-ee' for the nonsense word ''flumpy'.

It is the blended word that is given the mark of correct or incorrect, not the sounding out. A child can 'sound out' incorrectly, read the word (as a whole) correctly and be marked right.

Incidentally, I disagree with you about there being a lot of words in English that 'phonics simply don't work well with'.

SizzleSazz Fri 14-Jun-13 20:48:10

Oh, I do agree with helping your children but the school should (in an ideal world) be leading this. Hopefully the test will highlight that the teaching is not fully meeting the expectations of your son and they need to put extra resource in to help rectify it.

I am not sure that if the teachers have not spotted this knowledge gap yet that the test would solve that, but I guess that's a different issue

NigellaEllaElla Fri 14-Jun-13 21:28:43

Thanks Pozzled that does make sense.

Off the top of my head - though, rough, eight, cough, live (in a house), what, has, was, want, pretty, people, beautiful, Wednesday, eyes, water, friends...... There are hundreds, if not thousands of words, that phonics rules don't apply too.

mrz Fri 14-Jun-13 21:29:54

No NigellaEllaElla Mrz didn't say she would mark it incorrect if the child said the word correctly but she would mark it incorrect if the child pronounced the word with a "yuh"

ipadquietly Fri 14-Jun-13 21:38:27

FWIW Ofsted didn't even mention the phonics check when they visited recently.

Quotes from report (March 2013):
'Standards in reading and mathematics are significantly above the national average...'

'...attainment in Key Stage 1 has risen, particularly in reading...By the end of Key Stage 2, standards reached are significantly above average.'

'...Attainment is strongest in reading...'

'...Pupils from all ability groups enjoy reading...'

Our phonics check results were absolutely dire last year.

NigellaEllaElla Fri 14-Jun-13 21:38:29

Thanks Mrz glad I misunderstood smile

NigellaEllaElla Fri 14-Jun-13 21:50:58

*and I can't believe I put "too" instead of "to" blush

thegreylady Fri 14-Jun-13 22:02:09


gh as in rough
o as in women
ti as in patient

Oh the joys of English smile

Feenie Fri 14-Jun-13 22:06:13

Complete bollocks though - gh wouldn't be found at the beginning of a word and ti would never be at the end.

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