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Failed phonics y1 phonics test & advanced reader

(183 Posts)
Robindrama Sat 01-Apr-17 12:40:08

( I have another thread here but will post specific question as a separate one) any ideas will be much appreciated.

Ds in y1. Just had a parents evening. End of year prediction: reading above expectation, but will fail phonics test.
Question: how can that be possible?

School reading levels are 1-26, 26 free reader. End of y1 expected level is 17/18. DS is currently on level 20. Excellent reading and advanced comprehension.
Phonics tests results 23/40. Expected to fail the test. I will have a meeting with teachers shortly.

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 01-Apr-17 12:45:33

You describe him as an excellent reader - how excellent is he? Could he read aloud your post acurately, with just possibly some words not understood? Or would he not be able to read the words?

Have you looked at the phonics screening check - why do you think he failed it?

How do they move through the levels?

BrutusMcDogface Sat 01-Apr-17 12:45:55

I'm a teacher, op, and I think the problem with advanced readers and the phonics test, is that an advanced reader will read a whole word rather than decode it. For example an adult wouldn't sound a word out (unless a very long/unfamiliar one); their experience would mean that they recognise the whole word without having to. An advanced reader would see the nonsense word "strom " and think it says "storm", quite rightly.

In other words: don't worry about the silly phonics test. I agree with teaching reading phonetically but this test has no benefit whatsoever to a child who can already read.

BrutusMcDogface Sat 01-Apr-17 12:48:01

Ps I do object to your son's teacher telling you that he "will fail" his phonics test, though! hmm

Robindrama Sat 01-Apr-17 13:02:01

Yes, he will read aloud quite fluently. Will get slower with long& unfamiliar words.
Yes - Brutus- that is what his teacher said: problem with alien words as instead of decoding them he rushes reading a similar known word. Thanks for the reassurance.

mrz Sat 01-Apr-17 13:06:38

I'd be extremely worried if a child described as an excellent reader failed the phonics screening check.
Good readers read accurately. They have an effective strategy for reading unknown words (the same applies to children and adults) they don't resort to guessing. Research tells us that poor readers are the ones who rely on context and all readers automatically read words sound by sound.

Good readers don't read strom as storm just as they don't read sliver as silver or split as spilt or fats as fast or panel as plane etc etc's a myth made up by teachers who need an excuse.

The phonics screening check is very similar to tests used by SENCOs and Ed Psychs to screen for possible reading difficulties. It's been used for decades as it's effective. There's plenty of research and evidence.

Girlsinthegarden Sat 01-Apr-17 13:13:38

I'd be interested in why you think he failed it then mrz?

sirfredfredgeorge Sat 01-Apr-17 13:13:58

An advanced reader would see the nonsense word "strom " and think it says "storm", quite rightly.

It is not a nonsense word, it is the name of a species of aliens, if they read storm, then they have severe verbal comprehension problems!

mrz Sat 01-Apr-17 13:17:19

He failed it because he's not reading accurately he's "guessing"

IrenetheQuaint Sat 01-Apr-17 13:21:41

As I understand it, made-up words are marked with a little alien symbol so that children know they're new words, not familiar ones?

Feenie Sat 01-Apr-17 13:22:27

An advanced reader would see the nonsense word "strom " and think it says "storm", quite rightly.

Wow - I can't believe that any teacher wouldn't catch themselves on at some point before they got to the end of typing that. Just shocking. shock

Feenie Sat 01-Apr-17 13:23:06

That's right, Irene.

toomuchtvandsocialmedia Sat 01-Apr-17 13:24:03

I'd be extremely worried if a child described as an excellent reader failed the phonics screening check.

^This. Struggling to read non-words (alien words) in particular is one indicator of a reading difficulty. For some children, these difficulties may not become apparent until a child is older and the reading strategies they have developed are no longer sufficient.

mrz Sat 01-Apr-17 13:24:03

Children are told throughout the check "these words are made up"

Mehfruittea Sat 01-Apr-17 13:26:10

How does the phonics test work with undiagnosed dyslexia?

I was always an advanced reader and high achiever in all subjects. It wasn't until university and a complete disconnect with one lecturer that meant I was screened and diagnosed with dyslexia. My learning/coping style was exposed due to those teaching methods, otherwise I still wouldn't know.

But I do read storm instead of strom etc.

BrutusMcDogface Sat 01-Apr-17 13:28:11

Feenie- wtaf?! The child's teacher confirmed it! I have had bright children who can read by sight and struggle with decoding nonsense words!

I just came on to offer the op some reassurance. Her son can read. He's fine. Enough of the personal attacks on me, thanks.

mrz Sat 01-Apr-17 13:31:59

Mehfruittea the phonics screening check is very similar to that used by Ed Psychs to identify reading difficulties (Dyslexia)

mrz Sat 01-Apr-17 13:33:13

Like Feenie I can't believe a teacher would make such a claim ...good readers don't misread words

Feenie Sat 01-Apr-17 13:33:51

I have had bright children who can read by sight and struggle with decoding nonsense words!

They may well be bright -.and they are struggling to read because of the method they have been taught.

The child's teacher confirmed it!

She's an idiot also.

Muddlingalongalone Sat 01-Apr-17 13:41:53

Dd's teacher said she will need to be careful with the made up words for the screening & remember to read it properly, not assume based on context etc & that it can be an issue with fluent readers but wasn't concerned that she'd fail.
What did teacher suggest to ensure your ds passed??

mrz Sat 01-Apr-17 13:42:39

Robindrama can I ask what reading scheme the school uses?

TeenAndTween Sat 01-Apr-17 13:50:40

My AD1 is now 17 so did infants before the phonics check.
I wish they had had it then, as it would have been picked up that she was remembering words as a whole and was unable to decode. It might have lead to her SpLD being recognised far earlier.

As it is she it still weak on phonics (despite me doing it with her when her younger sister learned). She will ask what a word in a book means. It won't be a word I recognise, so I ask her to spell it - I then pronounce it back to her correctly and she recognises the word. But because her phonics is poor she fails to sound out new words properly.

No 6 year old has come across every word in the English language before. They have to be able to distinguish eclectic from electric from excentric when reading, even if they don't know the words.

mrz Sat 01-Apr-17 14:18:43

From your other thread

*"End of year prediction:*
^*- reading : exceeds y1 ( he is a boy with lots of interests and reads a lot at home)
- spelling: will not meet expectations
- maths: will achieve, great mental maths but does not follow instructions
- phonics- unlikely to pass*^."

Spelling and phonics sound alarm bells to me (as a teacher and a SENDCo

eddiemairswife Sat 01-Apr-17 14:26:07

good readers don't misread words What never? I thought I was a good reader, but I've just misread a headline as 'Roger Federer touches penis perfection'!!

DandelionAndBedrock Sat 01-Apr-17 14:26:16

From the other side - last year (the year before? I forget) one of our best readers passed the phonics screening with 39 out of 40. The word the child got wrong was beehive - they knew it was a "real" word, so read it as behave. They don't know the word beehive, so although sounded it out correctly they 'corrected' it to what they thought the word would be.

Nobody could argue that a reader who says "behave" instead of "beehive" is getting it right. But that is exactly the same logic when you explain away a child getting nonsense words wrong because they read a 'real' word instead.

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