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year 1 phonics check

(576 Posts)
SmileAndNod Wed 19-Mar-14 19:59:26

Does anyone know if this is done in the summer term, or is there no set time for it? Also what exactly is it they check? That they can decode a word rather than read? It was mentioned at the start of the year but nothing since!
Thank you

columngollum Wed 19-Mar-14 23:12:49

If we just think of it as a game, which isn't supposed to have any point, but is just played the way that it is played (and you score whatever you score) surely we and our children will all come out the other end in one piece.

OK, in many ways it's stupid. But it's also pretty simple. You just read the words/non words. End of.

Parentingfailure Wed 19-Mar-14 23:55:53

I'm a bit confused why people are concerned about it? Surely if they fail and therefore get extra help that's a good thing. If they pass that's a good thing?
I hadn't even heard of this until tonight.

simpson Thu 20-Mar-14 00:05:33

I don't think people are concerned, they are just asking really...

mrz Thu 20-Mar-14 06:47:54

good readers don't try to make real words out of the non words they read what is there but children who do not have an effective strategy for tackling unfamiliar words might. It's very common for children who rely on sight vocabulary to see a familiar "chunk" and guess in day to dat reading and that's what happens in the check too.

mrz Thu 20-Mar-14 06:54:16

Feenie just read in admin guidance that the pass mark will be on the DfE site on the 30th June so after the check is completed

Mashabell Thu 20-Mar-14 08:38:53

Mrz: teaching a child to expect all words they meet to be familiar is a mistake.

Why would anyone want to do that?

What children pick up, whether taught or not, is that what they read should make sense.
That's what they have to learn to do to decode tricky words like 'machine' and 'engine' or 'surprise' and 'promise'.

So testing them with nonsense words is entirely stupid - especially for children who by that stage have long gone past the simple decoding stage and are reading quite fluently.

Teachers in England have had so much nonsense piled onto them for the past three decades, that they have lost the will to think for themselves and just go along with any daft task they are given to do - no matter how stupid.

columngollum Thu 20-Mar-14 09:37:15

No, some time in the future people are going to write books made up entirely on nonsense words. So, children had better start now practising how to read them.

maizieD Thu 20-Mar-14 09:53:43

"Mrz: teaching a child to expect all words they meet to be familiar is a mistake.

Why would anyone want to do that?"

It appears that quite a few people, including many teachers, are positive that 6y olds have become familiar with every word that they are ever going to encounter, in reading, in their entire lives. So they have no need at all to know how to work out 'unfamiliar' words; they won't actually encounter any. And, God help us, in the unlikely event that that they do ever encounter an unfamiliar word (because, let me remind you, 6y olds know them all) they will turn it into a familiar one anyway.grin

I cannot believe the utter idiocy of people who believe that it's OK for 6y olds to assume that they know every word they encounter.[banging head against a brick wall]

columngollum Thu 20-Mar-14 10:03:10

Yes, but people, whether children or adults aren't stupid. They can familiarise themselves with new things (even words!). We don't feed toddlers chicken vindaloo, or make them watch blue movies, on the grounds that they're likely to come across them later, well, I hope most of us don't.

Itreallyistimetochangethings Thu 20-Mar-14 14:57:02

DFE website has very clear info.

maverick Thu 20-Mar-14 15:18:32

''Well, this year’s results have just been published. The good news is that there is an impressive increase in percentage of children passing from 2012 to 2013, up from 58% to 69%. This suggests that the emphasis on phonics is encouraging teachers to teach children about how letters and sounds go together.

But any positive reaction to this news is tinged with a sense of disappointment that once again we have a most peculiar distribution with a spike at the pass mark''

maverick Thu 20-Mar-14 15:38:36

Y1 Phonics Decoding Check ppt. with the facts

givemeaclue Thu 20-Mar-14 15:39:29

In our school teachers have been doing practice tests since October.

maverick Thu 20-Mar-14 16:26:36
''It follows that the use of pseudo words can be reserved for assessment purposes and that children do not need to practise blending and segmenting pseudo words at all''

columngollum Thu 20-Mar-14 16:36:42

Or they could send Medway schools screening checks made up of only real words and see if the children fared no better (which presumably should be the case.)

Or Medway schools could practice reading random esoteric words out of the dictionary in the expectation that their children can't do that either. If for some reason the children fare better at the dictionary test (or the real word screening, which is effectively the same thing) then there is an as yet unknown element in children's abilities to read unknown words. There is an implication that this is indeed the case given by the fact that the screening test is not made up of genuine but obscure English words.

Feenie Thu 20-Mar-14 17:05:34

Thanks mrz - and yes, kesstrel, you are right of course. smile

Ds's school have just gone into RI because of phonics and writing. I did tell them that would happen, bet they wish they'd listened now.

Feenie Thu 20-Mar-14 17:06:18

It's 'practise', columngollum.

HolidayCriminal Thu 20-Mar-14 17:15:13

teaching a child to expect all words they meet to be familiar is a mistake.

um, no, that isn't the problem. confused

The problem is that it's easy for a fluent-reading child to read gex as "gets" because they know the real word gets. Or fop as Flop (DS has mild speech delay & tends to insert L sounds in words he's sounding out because of it), or boof as boot (at a glance easy not to see the difference). You could easily write a whole paragraph using slight changes like that and a person who can read might not spot all the typos. Brains of fluent readers read by whole word shape, not decoding each bit, and brains of small kids learn to read by approximate sounds (so gex might as well be gets). So the kids can easily think that approximate sounds are close enough especially if the approximate sounds is a familiar word.

To make the kids aware that these phonics test words will try to trick them out by almost but not quite matching real words they have heard is a very sensible thing.

mrz Thu 20-Mar-14 17:34:37

^"The problem is that it's easy for a fluent-reading child to read gex as gets^" shock any child who reads gex as gets isn't reading just guessing. Fluent readers don't make stupid mistakes because they actually pay attention to the word! I would be extremely worried if any child in my class made such errors ... what would they do if faced with geck or gels or gelt or gest? I know guess!

MrsKCastle Thu 20-Mar-14 17:49:32

It's not about making kids aware that words in the phonics test will 'try to trick them out'. It's about making kids aware that there's a whole wonderful world of language out there that they haven't yet encountered, and they need to pay very careful attention to the sounds in order to read and enjoy a text fully.

A child who can't accurately decode unfamiliar words is a child who can't read Dahl, or Dr Seuss, or the Jabberwocky, or (later on) even Harry Potter, or simply the bloody fairy books that my DD selects every bloody time. Or pretty much any decent non-fiction text.

So it makes sense to check from a young age that they are learning how to read and enjoy any text put in front of them.

columngollum Thu 20-Mar-14 17:58:36

geck or gels or gelt or gest?

What do normal people do when they come across company logos?

mrz Thu 20-Mar-14 18:02:28

They read the word columngollum but geck and gels and gelt and gest might be real words that any child who reads gex as gets might have problems with if they think they need to turn every unfamiliar word into a one they know.

Feenie Thu 20-Mar-14 18:02:42

Read them.

columngollum Thu 20-Mar-14 18:11:53

But bogus words aren't usually just scattered about. They're there for a reason and the reason often helps when reading them.

columngollum Thu 20-Mar-14 18:14:55

Names are another good example. They often don't look like, (aren't) regular English words.

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