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PI -Whole School Approach- Y6/Y7 pupil comments

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Joined: 21 Oct 2007
Posts: 14
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:18 am    Post subject: PI -Whole School Approach- Y6/Y7 pupil comments Reply with quote

Our school began using PI as a whole school programme in January 2008.

I had introduced SP to the school in Sept. 2006, when I began teaching reception/Y1 using Jolly Phonics, and so, by this time, the children from reception up to Y2 had been 'SP taught' right from the beginning.

As these 'SP taught' children moved on to the next classroom, the benefits of using systematic SP as the method to teach beginner reading and spelling had become obvious.

These children were far more independent and, as a cohort,were generally reading and spelling at a higher level than any previous cohort of that age, in our experience.

This year, while I continued to use my Jolly Phonic resources with reception, I also began to use the PI resources, with both classes, which comprehensively provided so many of the additional resources I had been hard pressed to source and compile to suit my setting.

The learning support teacher, who had begun using JP, was very interested in the integrated and vast PI resource bank also began using the materials with the older strugglers.

When, impressed by results of systematic SP, my principal suggested extending an SP approach right up throughout the school so that, not only would be the method used to teach beginner reading and spelling and as an intervention programme for strugglers, but it would also be used to fill in the gaps in code knowledge of older pupils, and also as a spelling programme for older pupils, I felt that PI was an ideal programme for the diverse teaching and learning intentions which would be involved..

The fact that we would all be using the same core resources ( with differentiation to suit our different requirements) , and very importantly, that we would all be using the same alphabetic code chart both to plot and track progress, but also as a teaching and learning tool , would ensure familiarity and continuity of approach from class to class..

And so the ‘adventure’ began almost 2 months ago!

Obviously it will take time and trial for each teacher to become fully familiar with the SP principles and with the programme resources and to “make it their own”.
Everyone is willing to come on board, which is great!

Today I had as I was chatting with the Y6/Y7 teacher I inquired as to how she felt things were going with the PI programme in her classroom.

Her immediate response was “it’s going amazingly well”!

She explained that she found there were many positive side effects due to the structured, systematic and organised nature of the teaching and that, as a result, she finds that it has positive (unexpected!) effects, both in other curricular areas but also for classroom management.

She says that it engages all children - everyone experiences success and that it holds the interest of, and poses challenges for, all pupils, regardless of ability.

‘It is doable but also challenging and interesting”

She invited me in to talk to the pupils to hear their views.

This is a mixed class of perfectly normal and ‘cool’ (naturally) 10-12 year old boys and girls.

Their response was 100% positive and enthusiastic.

When I asked for a show of hands as to those who felt their reading and spelling had improved as a result, every single child raised their hand!

They were all interested, enthusiastic, confident and eager to share their experience and their successes.

They were proud to display their SP notebooks and to explain how they are working through the programme and the various programme materials they are using.

For teacher and pupils,the lynchpin is the alphabetic code overview chart- each has a copy and both this and the SP notebook are never mistreated/misplaced/forgotten!

I thought others may be encouraged by some of the comments made by the Y6/Y7 pupils when asked how SP and PI had helped them or had changed things for them and so I post a selection below:.

“I can read a lot of words now. Before I used to skip words I didn’t know but now I stick with it and work it out!”

“My mother thought it was 'stupid' at first, but I told her to listen to me reading and now she thinks it’s a good thing!”

“I used to slow down when I came to a word I didn’t know. I slowed down a lot but now I read too quickly!”

“It helps us read quicker”

“It helps us spell better”

“It helps us pronounce words we don’t recognise and then we can find out what they mean- like ‘etiquette. and ‘statuesque’”

“It helps us understand words better and I found out that words that sound the same can be spelt differently like ‘key’ and ‘quay’”

“We’re reading better ‘cos we understand more”

“I was reading Harry Potter and I came across the word ‘feast’. I started to say fe/ast but then I remembered we learned that ‘ea’ is a way to write /ee/ and so I could work it out.

“ Now I can work out words I skipped over before”

“_ keeps trying to find words that don’t follow the ‘rules’ – he found that the word ‘Celtic’ can be pronounced with either a hard or soft ‘c’”

“It’s really helpful”

I really enjoyed sitting chatting with them and feeling the positive vibes- they love it and they know they’re doing so well!

Unfortunately I had to go but I left feeling extremely proud of them and buoyed up by their enthusiasm!

I hope this inspires others who are considering using PI as a spelling programme with older pupils!
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