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Question re phonics teaching in Yr 1

(14 Posts)
Jhm9rhs Wed 04-Nov-15 09:49:28

I'm a frequent reader here, but this is my first post, so please be gentle grin.

I have twins who are in Year 1. Both can read reasonably well (they each bring home turquoise level books from school).

Obviously it's early in the year, but I have been wondering about the phonics screening in June, since the HT mentioned in the year induction meeting that the school's pass rate this summer wasn't very high.

I gave them the past papers to do last night and they enjoyed them and both passed but only just, with 34 and 35.

So my question (I'm pretty clueless) is this - will they have been taught all the required sound/letter combinations at this stage in Yr 1, or will some new ones still be covered between now and the screening?

Thank you for any insight x

irvine101 Wed 04-Nov-15 13:23:21

I'm no expert, but if they got 34 and 35 now and reading turquoise books,
I think you don't need to worry about it so much.
If you have particular worry, have a chat with the teacher, otherwise, don't worry.
It's only November, and they are doing great. smile

Nearlycaughtawoozle Wed 04-Nov-15 13:32:01

Pass rate in previous years has been 32. Your twins are obviously doing well. The rest covers sounds from phase 2-5 in Letters and Sounds most of which will have been introduced by now

Nearlycaughtawoozle Wed 04-Nov-15 13:32:28


Jhm9rhs Wed 04-Nov-15 15:43:25

Thanks. I'm not worried exactly, though I am an anxious person and tend to overthink everything, it's more that there's a lot of learning sight words/guessing words from context etc at their school. I didn't realise until starting reading here that this was no longer regarded as best practice, it's certainly been an approach I've continued when reading with them at home (I've altered that now). That coupled with the HT'S comments made me a bit concerned, as well as that when the kids did the sample tests, they rushed through all the 'real' words but struggled to get the sounds in the right order when blending the alien words. Makes me wonder how much they've simply memorised.

LittleMissGreen Wed 04-Nov-15 16:55:19

Do they still have phonics lessons in school? We have them right through to year 6 to ensure that children who can read well still remember to go back to basics when they come across words that are new to them rather than guessing. If they struggled on the alien words and arent doing much phonics in school I would focus on them carefully at home not so that they pass the test per se but as it is a good grounding for the future.

Jhm9rhs Wed 04-Nov-15 17:05:19

They still have phonics lessons. It's not the screening itself at all, it's that I don't think they're necessarily able to decode as well as I believed. I haven't put in much phonics effort at home since the early days of Reception...not since ll or ck was as tricky as it got. I wasn't taught with phonics, though of course I've picked it up over time as have most of us. I think I need to do a bit more at home. Back many moons ago, I went to an independent school where we were spoon fed every step of the way and parental input wasn't vital. I've been doing school and home reading, spellings and the odd project sent home, but I'd left everything else to the school. It's only when I noticed how much more the kids' literacy and numeracy improve in holiday time than when they're at school that I started to worry.

Jhm9rhs Wed 04-Nov-15 17:06:45

Sorry for poor grammar, there's a one year old on my head grin.

mrz Wed 04-Nov-15 17:41:44

The check covers the sounds that are commonly found in a number of phonics programmes which will have been taught by the summer term of year 1 so many sounds won't have been taught yet. In schools using Letters & Sounds phase 5 is taught over Y1 so children will have just begun these.

Jhm9rhs Wed 04-Nov-15 18:08:36

Oh that's very reassuring, thank you mrz. It did seem to be what I THINK are split diagraphs and also combinations like 'scr' that were causing issues. I am going to look more into it, as I feel by trying to teach them any phonics as it stands I'd undermine their teachers and do more harm than good with my shoddy understanding and methods!

Thanks everyone x

Ferguson Wed 04-Nov-15 18:49:48

You might find this book useful, to fill in any gaps that the children, or you, may have:

An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’ and my name.

mrz Wed 04-Nov-15 18:54:14

Don't teach combinations like "scr" as a "blend" your twins will know the separate sounds /s/ /c/ /r/ and should be able to blend them rather than as a whole which puts a whole new level of demand on memory and isn't how children are taught now.

Jhm9rhs Wed 04-Nov-15 18:54:16

Thanks will look x

Jhm9rhs Wed 04-Nov-15 19:00:53

Thanks, mrz. They do sound them out in the way you describe, but seem to stumble over them and find it hard to get the blended sound out. They also both read 'glup' instead of 'gulp' yesterday. Older one (by two minutes) was a slower starter as we had no clue his eyesight was terrible until the school screening. He is also awaiting speech therapy (still says 't' instead of 'c' and increasingly says 'f' instead of 'th' or 'v'. But my younger twin has very clear speech and still stumbles over words like 'scrood' but reads 'real' words with the scr spelling with ease.

Waits for someone to tell her 'scrood' IS a real word.

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