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NUT video protesting about Y1 phonics screening check...

 
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debbie



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:28 pm    Post subject: NUT video protesting about Y1 phonics screening check... Reply with quote

NUT (National Union of Teachers) video clip anti the Year One Phonics Screening Check:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1kzpEcYos4

Oh my goodness, how little they appear to understand. Confused

I'll address their points but I need to go back to the video to write them down so that I don't miss anything.

Meanwhile, I visit many schools and teachers describe how different children are nowadays thanks to phonics - how well they can read and write - and how this is so much better than methods they used in years gone by.

I've also added this video clip to the thread dedicated to the Y1 phonics check but thought it was worth flagging up as a 'new topic' too.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Title of NUT video:

Quote:
'Five is too young to fail'


This is an emotive title - the children are not being failed. By the way, most of the children will be six+ by the time they do the Year One Phonics Screening Check.

The notion that children are 'failing at five' is coming from the detractors of the check.

The following are the points raised on the video"

Quote:
1) The test is really to check that phonics 'first, fast and only', as the 'preferred method' is being used.


Teachers may well choose to use other methods to teach reading. Whatever methods they use, however, the children should still be able to decode the list of words accurately.

This notion of 'first, fast and only' is often misconstrued. It means specifically that teachers should not teach children to get through their reading books by the 'multi-cueing reading strategies' (often referred to as the 'searchlights') when these strategies amount to guessing words from picture cues, initial letters, context cues. This is a very flawed, misguided way to teach early reading and can damage the reading profile of children in the short and long-term. This is well-researched.

Children are not prevented from exposure to any kind of books, and to share books with adults, hear books read, share books in groups supported by adults - but with systematic synthetic phonics, children are NOT expected to read INDEPENDENTLY books with letter/s-sound correspondences in that they have not been taught. In other words, being given 'reading books' which they cannot read without guessing their way through the books.

Quote:
2) 'Illustrators are being completely undervalued' 'Conversations being lost' 'Social interaction being lost'



Illustrators are not under-valued and the illustrations in children's books are hugely important for supporting and developing LANGUAGE COMPREHENSION - NOT to support children to guess the words and to guess their way through their reading books.

Children need knowledge and understanding of the world, good oral language and to be introduced to the world of 'how books work' 'authorial intent' and so on as well as the technical skills of being able to lift the words off the page.

The Simple View of Reading diagram has been heavily used and promoted in our universities and should be in all professional development for reading instruction to make sure that teachers fully appreciate that, yes, phonics is just one aspect of 'being a reader' and they also need 'language comprehension - and all the other enrichment that comes from literature, language - and, yes, illustrators.

If teachers think they are no longer providing for all the social interaction and conversations focused on literature and language, then this is a fundamental weakness in their understanding of the way to teach reading in its entirety. If they are diminishing the time and quality of any 'social interaction', 'appreciation of the illustrators' and 'conversations' then that is the fault of the teachers, not the advice from government about the need to teach phonics systematically, and not the advent of the phonics screening check.

Quote:
3) 'Pseudo words are a load of nonsense' 'Children should read for pleasure with a whole host of skills - not just one'


Of course children should read for pleasure with a whole host of skills - but they should be taught how to sound out and blend WELL for lifting the words off the page.

Children who cannot apply the alphabetic code and blend well are not well-served - and they are not likely to 'read for pleasure' if they struggle to lift the words off the page.

Pseudo words are a recognised, appropriate way simply to check for alphabetic code knowledge and the skill of blending. Teachers should appreciate this, and it's very worrying to think so many teachers cannot see how the pseudo words are probably levelling the playing field for a check more than the real words in the check. Ideally, perhaps the whole check should consist of pseudo words!

Quote:
4) 'Five is too young to start a formal testing regime. They should still be involved with a kindergarten regime'


The 'formality' is not for the child, it is an adult issue in that every Year One teacher in England is in the same boat, allowing for a snapshot of teaching across the country.

The children themselves do not need to have any notion of 'formality' or 'testing' - and the experience of the check itself does not have to be any different from reading lists of words to their teacher which should be part of their routine phonics experience in class anyway.

Many aspects of children's experiences in Year One will no doubt be very much like a 'kindergarten regime' and, in any event, four, five and six year olds really love phonics when they have good teaching and a good teacher. Why wouldn't they? It empowers them to read and write and opens up the world of literature to them in an independent way!

Quote:
5) 'I'm a Year Two teacher and I already get information from the Year One teacher'

Yes - but the parents may not - and the government does not know if the method it has heavily promoted (Systematic Synthetic Phonics) has had the desired effect on the children themselves.

Also, there are times when it is fit-for-purpose to keep assessment informal and in-school and times when it is fit-for-purpose to take national snapshots of what is happening to children's knowledge and skills. Weak literacy and illiteracy is so incredibly serious that it is right for governments to take an interest - and it is certainly right for governments to advise the teaching profession that the methods they previously used have been shown by research to be potentially damaging. It is right that governments having put forward a change in methodology should be accountable for finding out the consequences.

The Year Two teacher may well be introducing her children to the notion of 'fair testing'. Why is it good enough to teach our infants and yet not understood and valued enough in our teaching profession?

Quote:
6) 'I have a Year Six pupil who has achieved level 5 who would have failed the test'.


Then, on my goodness, that is really worrying. It is worrying for the lad himself not to have sufficient alphabetic code knowledge and a blending skill for his future reading. Of course we don't understand 'what' his circumstances are.

Worrying, however, that a Year Six teacher would think it is OK for Year Six children not to be able to decode the simple words in the Year One Phonics Screening Check. This is a real illustration of how our teaching profession simply does not share a common understanding of the importance of phonics and decoding.

We need far more rigorous training for our teaching profession.

Quote:
7) 'The teachers are spending too much time on phonics'


This could mean many things:

Too much time because the teacher does not value phonics teaching highly enough?

Too much time because the teachers are worried about the results of the check?

Too much time at the expense of other subjects and activities?

The time that should be spent on teaching children phonics, and allowing them to practise phonics, should be commensurate on what the children need - some needing more time and help than others.

In general terms, there is a myth about '20 minutes of phonics per day' which is a very misleading idea. It is inadequate for any length lesson for classes of 30 children and it is mainly inadequate to allow for children receiving the full teaching and learning cycle: revisit and review, teacher-led introduce the new or focus correspondence, each pupil practises the code core skills and sub-skills at code and word level, each pupil applies and extends the code at sentence and text level, children read cumulative, decodable reading books, children build-up knowledge of spelling word banks.

Teaching the literacy basics is FUNDAMENTALLY important for the children's life-chances and self-esteem. So who decides what is 'too much time'?

Quote:
Cool 'Teachers are teaching to the test and already spending too much time on pseudo words'


Then that is the teachers' responsibility.

It may not be a bad thing to 'teach to the test' if this means in reality that the children are getting proper opportunities to decode banks of new, cumulative words to apply their code knowledge and hone their blending skill.

The pilot check results were woefully low and since then results have risen suggesting that the check has sharpened teachers' minds regarding their effectiveness in teaching phonics compared to other teachers. It is shocking that teachers can achieve results of 90%+ of children reaching the benchmark in inner city, multi-cultural schools when some schools in leafy suburbs have very low results.

In terms of lots of practice with pseudo words, there is no need for this when children routinely have the opportunity to read a bank of new, cumulative decodable words as part of the phonics provision. These words can be 'new' in the sense that they are decoding words for the very first time which may be in their spoken language - or 'new' in the sense that they can decode the words and they don't even know what they mean. This makes such words the equivalent of pseudo words.

So, I don't personally recommend that children need lots of practice with pseudo words. If teachers were more knowledgeable and confident with their teaching, however, they should realise this.

Quote:
9) 'Government policy parachuted the test without evidence of its benefits.'


It's very logical that anything promoting phonics by government is going to focus teachers' minds on teaching phonics. We now have evidence that the check does have benefits in the sense that we have had year on year improvements in the numbers of children reaching the benchmark. This suggests that teaching could always have been more effective and that many teachers were not as focused on their phonics teaching as they need to be for the children's sake.

Quote:
10) 'Teachers will automatically teach to the test'


Well - so be it - but this should not really be any different from what teachers should provide for phonics teaching anyway. So, in the case of this check, that is perhaps a good thing!

Quote:
11) 'All children learn in different ways. They think one size fits all and it doesn't'


Jim Rose himself addressed these notions of 'all children learn in different ways' and 'no one size fits all' by pointing out in his Final Report (March 2006) that even though children are individuals they all have the SAME alphabetic code and phonics skills to learn.

See paragraph 33 here:

http://www.syntheticphonics.com/pdf%20files/Extracts%20from%20the%20Final%20Rose%20Report%20March%202006.pdf

It isn't a case of teachers picking and choosing which children should be taught by which method. This teacher's comments reflect the deep lack of understanding about teaching and learning methodology - not just for phonics but for other subjects too.

I'm afraid this is the overall impression given by the NUT leadership and other teachers' unions and literacy organisations. They just don't 'get it'.

They don't represent all teachers' knowledge and understanding, however. Teachers are increasingly seeing the huge benefits of good quality phonics teaching - and I'm sure some of them are in the NUT and other teaching unions and literacy organisations.

The NUT leadership needs to take care that they are not seen as being woefully in the dark ages in terms of what they understand and promote regarding effective reading instruction.

The leadership, arguably, should be encouraging teachers to become more knowledgeable about reading instruction and they should 'lead' in terms of appreciating the benefits we are seeing already from the Year One Phonics Screening Check existence!
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debbie



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just for interest, here is my response to David Reedy representing the United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) - Reedy and his colleagues also attacking the Year One Phonics Screening Check:


http://www.phonicsinternational.com/reedy_response.pdf

Don't all these people want all the children to read well and independently?

Can't they, by now, acknowledge how the advent of the phonics check has raised teaching effectiveness which means more children will be able to read, to read better and to read more independently - and that will have a huge knock-on benefit for the individuals and for schools. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read Mike Lloyd-Jones's and John Walker's views on the current phonics detractors:


http://www.phonicsblog.co.uk/#/blog/4565770755/The-Literacy-Club/7821506
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2014 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The UK Reading Reform Foundation thread about the NUT video:

http://rrf.org.uk/messageforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5950
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I highly recommend 'Phonics and the Resistance to Reading' by Mike Lloyd-Jones:


http://rrf.org.uk/messageforum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5953

Quote:
'Phonics and the Resistance to Reading' by Mike Lloyd-Jones is a very succinct, easy to read, no nonsense book which everyone should read who can read.

One of the major issues in the world of education that is played out in the public domain and behind the scenes is the level of detraction, misunderstanding and misinformation undermining the fundamental importance of teaching phonics systematically and explicitly for all children.

This book should be on all the reading lists of teacher-training universities and schools - I would go further than that and make sure that it isn't just 'recommended reading' but that it is compulsory as an introduction to teacher-training.

It should be compulsory reading for all Ofsted inspectors and any consultants, advisors, publishers - anyone associated with literacy in any way.

The reason it should be compulsory for inspectors is because there is no wriggle-room in its clear message and because we, daily, still hear tales of people with considerable authority in schools that they 'don't like phonics', 'you don't need phonics for every child' - even 'phonics is tantamount to child-abuse for able readers' - children have been 'phonicked to death and now they need something different' and so on. This includes from members of the inspectorate.

This is not an 'academic book' per se in that it has no references - but it is academic in the sense that the issue of undermining phonics teaching - and what phonics is or isn't - and the damage that is done by multi-cueing reading strategies which amount to guessing words from various cues IS ABSOLUTELY an issue that should concern academia.

Shame on those publishers who are undermining their own efforts to publish and promote systematic synthetic phonics reading books and programmes by continuing to promote multi-cueing practices, programmes and materials.

Shame on the teachers' union leaders and literacy associations and children's authors and intervention programmes who continue to promote multi-cueing reading strategies.

Shame on the intervention organisations who, having promoted phonics for intervention not so long ago, now turn on phonics and suggest that some children need 'something else'.

Shame on the intervention programmes, such as Reading Recovery, that have not (to my knowledge) publicly rejected the multi-cueing reading strategies that have been the basis for their training, practices and reading material for children for so long.

Having read this book in just a few hours, I wish I had read it before now.

I am going to provide it for schools and attendees for any of my training events.

When teachers encounter colleagues, headteachers, or others, who continue to undermine phonics teaching, I recommend that they thrust this little book firmly in the hands of the detractor and say, "Read this".

DAILY, I hear from people all over the world who are up against the prevailing multi-cueing reading strategies approach to reading - intransigent colleagues who are adamant that they know what they are doing despite the research on reading. They know best. They don't.

In Australia, great strides made as a consequence of their national inquiry in 2005 were later undermined by new people in authority.

This is such an easy-to-read and straightforward book - but it is chilling in its message.

Highly recommended - and essential if anyone works alongside phonics detractors in any shape, size, role or gender.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scroll down to the bottom of this school's homepage. It is a rare school that makes it explicit that the systematic synthetic phonics teaching principles do not include the multi-cueing guessing strategies:


http://www.ctsprimary.org.uk/index.php/learning/systematic_synthetic_phonics

Quote:
It is important that texts are of the appropriate level for children to apply and practise the phonic knowledge and skills that they have learnt.
Children should not be expected to use strategies such as whole-word recognition and/or cues from context, grammar, or pictures.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2019 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm flagging this thread up for Twitter-use.
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