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What are you doing to prepare for the phonics test?

(61 Posts)
Busymumto3dc Wed 04-Jun-14 10:39:19

As it says really!

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 04-Jun-14 10:44:44

I know my DD had a mock test at school as she said she'd had to go to the deputy head's office and when I asked why she said to read "alien names"! I did mention that they would probably want to do a similar one in a few weeks to check she knows her phonic sounds and she seemed happy with that. I'm not doing anything myself to prepare her though apart from the usual homework / reading that the teacher sets.

Flexibilityiskey Wed 04-Jun-14 10:53:09

Nothing. Are we meant to be doing something? The school haven't mentioned it. You've got me worried now that I should be doing something!

MsGee Wed 04-Jun-14 10:57:36

Nothing. We did a few Biff and Chip workbooks a while ago which had 'alien words' in and she told me then that they do a lot of these in school - so I assume that school is prepping them for the test...

That said, we do encourage reading a wide range of books generally.

PastSellByDate Wed 04-Jun-14 10:58:02

Hi Busy

Genuinely - KS1 SATs/ Phonics test are a screening to let the school/ teachers/ parents understand how their child is performing against national standards at that point.

There really is no point trying to prepare your child.

My DD1 didn't have the phonics test (came in after DD1/ DD2) - but scored NC L1 (below expected standard) on all KS1 SATs.

Yes, not very good - but frankly very liberating result. We had been increasingly expressing our concerns to the school about DD1s slow progress in reading/ maths - the fact that she seemed to be way behind her peers from nursery school - the fact that she couldn't even take 1 from 10. We'd been fobbed off with:

Children develop at their own speeds.
Wait until Y1/ Y2 - things will really take off from then.

And the ultimate:

from the HT no less: What you need to understand, Mrs. PSBD, is that your DD1 just isn't that bright.

We gave up on the school that day and started to do more at home, completely reorganising my working life around the school day and making time for me to support DD1's learning.

I suspect your DC will do just fine. But if she doesn't - treat it as a warning sign that you need to do more at home and that the school should be doing more. I certainly didn't appreciate that intervention was necessary for DD1 after those poor KS1 SATs results (which by the way the school didn't put into place until Year 4).


maizieD Wed 04-Jun-14 11:23:28

(big sigh) It's not a test, it's a check.

Don't do anything to 'prepare' but be worried if you've been given to understand that your child is reading well but doesn't get anywhere near the standard needed in the check. You may have been conned by the school because, regrettably, some schools still don't realise that phonic knowledge and skiils are an essential key to skilled reading. They will allow, or, worse, actively teach, guessing words from pictures, initial letters & 'context' and then be indignant because their 'good' readers don't have the phonic knowledge for decoding and blending simple wordsshock

TravelinColour Wed 04-Jun-14 11:53:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GoodArvo Wed 04-Jun-14 12:09:56


nonicknameseemsavailable Wed 04-Jun-14 13:07:17


which week is it anyway?

MmeMorrible Wed 04-Jun-14 13:09:08

Nothing. It's not an exam, no revision needed.

ShatnersBassoon Wed 04-Jun-14 13:09:58


The school tried to get parents to attend a phonics workshop so we could coach the children for the test hmm

FatalCabbage Wed 04-Jun-14 13:40:52

It is meant to happen in the week commencing 16 June.

No extra preparation here. If he can't do it, he needs to show he can't so he can get the support he needs. And if he can do it he'll show that too.

lljkk Wed 04-Jun-14 13:43:21

They have to retake in yr2 if they "fail".
I would prefer that dS didn't spend more time drilling in preparation, so I will work on some phonics with him at home, hope he passes this time.

It's not a reading test. The sooner the phonics test is out of the way the sooner he can concentrate on learning to actually read.

ShelaghTurner Wed 04-Jun-14 13:47:11

We were given a couple of websites with phonics games and told to get the children to play them but tbh we've had so much going on here that it's been the last thing on my mind so I've not given them a second thought. DD1 seems to be doing ok with reading etc so I can't say I'm that fussed.

zipzap Wed 04-Jun-14 13:54:25

Nothing, other than regular reading books that come home. And school absolutely say that that is the way to go. Even for sats tests in Y2 they don't ask the parents to do anything other than the normal homework set, and try to ensure that the dc don't have any doctor's appointments/holidays/late nights around the test time that might complicate things.

Surely the whole point is to find out what they know or don't know - I always work on the basis that it's the school that is being tested rather than the child iyswim!

simpson Wed 04-Jun-14 14:03:12

Sweet FA tbh.

Just listening to DD read every night as usual.

The school haven't even mentioned the phonics check (DD should be fine though as she has taken it twice already).

wooldonor Wed 04-Jun-14 14:13:13

This check hadn't been introduced when my older DC were in year 1 and to be perfectly honest if I didn't use Mumsnet I would have been totally unaware of its existence. Not surprisingly I'm doing absolutely nothing about it, the only effect on my child would be if extra help was needed otherwise I really don't care.

What are you doing OP?

my2bundles Wed 04-Jun-14 14:51:12

Nothing, my 6 year old is blissfully unaware that this will be happening.

maizieD Thu 05-Jun-14 08:26:38

You all sound incredibly sensible, apart from lljkk who seems to think (mistakenly) that phonics has nothing to do with reading.hmm

lljkk Thu 05-Jun-14 13:13:05

The narrow targets of the phonics testing have a lot less to do with reading English than you'd expect.

What are the correct pronunciations for these words on phonics test vs. what does the word usually sound like in our real language? Are they the same?


DS is fine at phonics, excellent maybe. But very slow to learn to read.

lljkk Thu 05-Jun-14 13:15:39

ps: the yr1 teachers agreed that the best readers often get tripped up because they mistake nonsense words for near equivalents in English that are pronounced differently from the strict phonics rules, or they have learnt valid alternative rules for the same letter combination that aren't allowed as valid alternative on the phonics test. Absurd outcome from a test that is supposed to measure underlying reading development.

TravelinColour Thu 05-Jun-14 13:57:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

5madthings Thu 05-Jun-14 14:00:19

Err nothing, we got given a list of words that we can practise if we want. I have stuck them up on the wall and not looked at it since.

Leggingsandtrainersnonono Thu 05-Jun-14 14:03:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zoemaguire Thu 05-Jun-14 14:08:09

Doing absolutely nothing. DD is a great little reader, so I'm assuming she'll pass with no preparation whatsoever. If she fails, then QED the test is categorically a load of rubbish!

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