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Phonics in Secondary School Between January and June, 2012, funded by the Teaching Agency, several schools in Torbay took part in action research into.

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Presentation on theme: "Phonics in Secondary School Between January and June, 2012, funded by the Teaching Agency, several schools in Torbay took part in action research into."— Presentation transcript:

1 Phonics in Secondary School Between January and June, 2012, funded by the Teaching Agency, several schools in Torbay took part in action research into the teaching of early reading and phonics. Ours was the only secondary school. Learning curve!

2 Our concerns and what drove us forward. Ofsted The risks for students who slip through the net. The sheer numbers of students who struggled to access various aspects of the curriculum due to gaps in their reading. The need to make 2 levels of progress from KS2 to end of KS3. Students being stuck on levels due to their inability to access the curriculum because of gaps in their reading. Inability to reach floor targets at Key Stage 3 impacting on Key Stage 4 results.

3 MAKING THE DIFFERENCE worries END OF KEY STAGE 3 GCSE : chances of 5 A* - C ENGLISHMATHSSCIENCE 4444% 54415% 45510% 55554% 65579% 66697%

4 Revised Ofsted framework: 2012- the year at the time! Evidence about literacy across the curriculum will contribute directly to the: judgements made on: - the achievement of all pupils - the quality of teaching.

5 Revised Teacher Standards: 2012 A teacher must: Demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of standard English, whatever the teachers specialist subject.

6 Ofsted 2013 Phonics teaches children the complex connections in English between sounds and letters, essential to understand when learning to read and spell. The report finds that phonics helps every child read well, but only when taught rigorously and consistently. It shows that the best phonics teaching involves active participation by all children, detailed tracking of their progress and intervention for any children who are struggling.

7 Ofsteds own highlighting of the problem Every teacher is expected to be a teacher of literacy. But what does this mean? Every teacher is expected to be a teacher of literacy. But what does this mean? And is it just a matter of focusing on the correct use of standard English? The teaching of phonics and early reading has been explicitly referenced in the schools white paper, together with a broader expectation that schools should ensure that all pupils can communicate effectively. This raises an additional question as to what communication is to be assessed and what standards are to be used to assess it. schools white paper Primary schools regularly provide opportunities to develop their literacy skills in different curricular contexts. Describing an example of best practice in a middle school, the guidance notes that teachers used key subject terminology from English and set common expectations so that pupils would clearly recognise that they were expected to apply skills learnt in English to the concepts and knowledge required for the subject. The approach above is less common in secondary schools: good examples of literacy schemes in secondary schools are more difficult to find.

8 Of the number of school age prisoners currently in custody, 26% have Literacy and Numeracy levels of an average 7 year old. The future for those who slip through without the skills required.

9 63% of men with low Literacy skills and 75% of women have never received a promotion, once in employment.

10 Re-assessment of our systems Dissatisfaction with the testing methods. (k) Invitation to Janet Brennan to visit our school and observe practice at the time. Some conference with key members of staff. Putting in place a new diagnostic testing of Reading which examined reading for comprehension instead of mechanical reading.

11 Problems encountered in 2011-2012 The size of year groups- year 7 -210, year 8- 246, year 9-284 The size of groups and time required to teach out the gaps systematically The number of children with an alarmingly low Reading Age.

12 Year 7 Number in year group -210 Reading age <11- 123 of this: <10 years –76 < 9 years – 43 of which < 80SS- (standardised score where reading support is put in place for exams)- 33- below Functional Reading Age.

13 Further implications in the school Research done within school shows failures in the past in the Phonics area which then has impact across the curriculum. Having established Phonics as the foundation of addressing gaps in learning –how to push it forward?

14 Further research for suitable systems to address gaps at the bottom end Fresh Start –teaching of phonics - put in place. Read, Write, Inc Spelling – phonically based – Ruth Miskin (as is Fresh Start) Fresh Start comprehension purchased to be used later. Cross-curricular target students identified in year 7 on a weekly basis- based On English levels.

15 Started with the year 7 as our pilot group in 2011-2012 Number in year group – 210 New Diagnostic test planned for students 3b or below. K

16 Not just about Phonics- our bold move Our growth in awareness of the whole school literacy implications.

17 Worries and obstacles The large number of students needing Phonics help across the year groups. Curriculum pressures to deliver various elements of the different subjects. Grade descriptors in English which are unclear to some staff, especially if they are not English teachers. The constancy of pressure to complete the next unit and enter data to demonstrate progress.

18 Some solutions Raising the profile of Literacy in all areas. Literacy Targets across the curriculum established September 2012. More funding for Literacy. Discussion with and agreement by the Principal for resourcing a wider group of students with Fresh Start. Plan to increase Fresh Start staff by September 2013. Development of the target students to an at risk register for the lowest achievers at Key Stage 3 in each year group which highlights their base problems in Literacy- involvement of Heads of Year, based on English and Maths levels. Agreement within the English faculty to suspend the schemes of work in the Long Term Plan at Key Stage 3 for the weakest groups in order to address weaknesses in Literacy. Appointment of a cross-curricular Learning mentor who can further identify the weakest students who require Fresh Start.

19 Further changes in 2011-2012 A greater integration of Learning Support and the English faculty. New post for literacy across the curriculum mentor (one year only) More collaborative sessions to take Literacy forward. New Reading tests for Reading age which address comprehension. Twice-year Reading for Meaning test for all year groups (Access) which tests for comprehension and inference. (old test NEFR Nelson- reading and Vernon- spelling) Feeder schools signed up to Fresh Start.

20 Future developments planned in 2012 Dissemination of dialogue between LS and English to other curriculum areas. Informing all staff of the use of Phonics as a cross-curricular literacy move – a Literacy training day. Use of Fresh Start comprehension year 6-11. Age appropriate materials needed- not yet developed. K

21 That was last year!

22 Recent developments in staffing structure impacting on Literacy and Phonics 2012-2013 Two day Phonics (Fresh Start) training for English staff and teaching assistants. Complete re-organisation of Learning Support and job allocation to provide 3 Fresh Start teachers 2 Learning mentors (English) to support weakest students Change in student culture and attitude to Learning Support /Fresh Start Appointment of new posts in senior management with specific responsibility for Literacy and, separately, for primary literacy liaison.

23 Moves to improve continuity between feeder primaries and us This term (2013) saw the beginning of a cross-phase initiative involving English staff, senior management and a governor from our academy and year 5 staff from two of our feeder primaries who are in our academy family.

24 Spreading the responsibility for literacy tasks Discrete literacy across the curriculum lessons in years 8 and 9 for the weakest students Spread of literacy target-setting to form tutors across KS3 More formalised literacy elements to tutor-time – Heads of Year more involved in addition to tutors.

25 You?

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