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Teaching Early Reading: More than phonics (and the phonics check) David Reedy Immediate Past President UKLA Principal Primary Adviser Barking and Dagenham.

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Presentation on theme: "Teaching Early Reading: More than phonics (and the phonics check) David Reedy Immediate Past President UKLA Principal Primary Adviser Barking and Dagenham."— Presentation transcript:

1 Teaching Early Reading: More than phonics (and the phonics check) David Reedy Immediate Past President UKLA Principal Primary Adviser Barking and Dagenham Local Authority

2 The Policy Context We still have nearly one in five 11-year-olds leaving primary school still struggling with reading. Again, the ideologically-driven, child-centred approach to education has led to the belief that the mere exposure to books and text, and the repetition of high frequency words, will lead to a child learning to read – as if by osmosis. We still have nearly one in five 11-year-olds leaving primary school still struggling with reading. Again, the ideologically-driven, child-centred approach to education has led to the belief that the mere exposure to books and text, and the repetition of high frequency words, will lead to a child learning to read – as if by osmosis. …that Look and Say, or whole language approach to reading ignores the importance of teaching children the 44 sounds of the alphabetic code, and how to blend those sounds into words. (Gibb, N. July 2010) …that Look and Say, or whole language approach to reading ignores the importance of teaching children the 44 sounds of the alphabetic code, and how to blend those sounds into words. (Gibb, N. July 2010)

3 Phonics is the proven method that will drive up reading standards. Phonics is the proven method that will drive up reading standards. A solid grounding in phonics will help many children who are weak readers to improve. It will also see more pupils achieve a high Level 2 or a Level 3 score at the end of Key Stage 1. (Gibb, N. December 2011). A solid grounding in phonics will help many children who are weak readers to improve. It will also see more pupils achieve a high Level 2 or a Level 3 score at the end of Key Stage 1. (Gibb, N. December 2011).

4 Research has consistently and comprehensively shown that systematic phonic instruction by a teacher is the most effective and successful way of teaching children to read. Research has consistently and comprehensively shown that systematic phonic instruction by a teacher is the most effective and successful way of teaching children to read. Michael Gove(2013) Michael Gove(2013) Speech on improving the quality of teaching and leadership, given on 5 September 2013 at Policy Exchange, London

5 Y1 Phonics Check Introduced in June 2012 for all Y1 children Introduced in June 2012 for all Y1 children

6 2014 National Curriculum Year 1 Reading POS: Read aloud accurately books that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words.

7 Phonics is essential but not sufficient :A broader view of the development of early reading is needed Phonics is essential but not sufficient :A broader view of the development of early reading is needed

8 Really successful primary schools : have a broad and rich reading curriculum and have a balance of phonics, whole word and meaning based approaches to teach children to read. have a broad and rich reading curriculum and have a balance of phonics, whole word and meaning based approaches to teach children to read. are clear that the purpose of reading is to make sense of what is read not simply to say the words. are clear that the purpose of reading is to make sense of what is read not simply to say the words. promote engagement and enjoyment. Engagement is increasingly seen by researchers as central to progress in reading. Children who are motivated want to read more and more, and get better and better at it. promote engagement and enjoyment. Engagement is increasingly seen by researchers as central to progress in reading. Children who are motivated want to read more and more, and get better and better at it. are knowledgeable about high quality reading resources and have many of them, organised in a welcoming school and class library. are knowledgeable about high quality reading resources and have many of them, organised in a welcoming school and class library. introduce all children to a wide range of children’s literature and explore ways in which reading literature can broaden the experience of life and give a sense of what is possible. introduce all children to a wide range of children’s literature and explore ways in which reading literature can broaden the experience of life and give a sense of what is possible.

9 Word reading Phonics is essential for decoding words: Phonics is essential for decoding words:catdogphotographpedantinfirm But is not sufficient for pronouncing accurately all words!

10 Word reading English has more vowel sounds than most other European languages. English has more vowel sounds than most other European languages. Some of these vowel sounds can be spelled in as many as seven ways, as is the unstressed vowel in station, polite, career, decision, division, persist, table, figure. Some of these vowel sounds can be spelled in as many as seven ways, as is the unstressed vowel in station, polite, career, decision, division, persist, table, figure.

11 To multiply this complexity still further, some letters or letter combinations represent five or more different phonemes, such as the ‘a’ in mat To multiply this complexity still further, some letters or letter combinations represent five or more different phonemes, such as the ‘a’ in mat mall mall make make mast mast many many

12 Word reading: Meaning connections SignTwo

13 SignTwo Signature, signal Signature, signal Twenty, twin, twice Twenty, twin, twice

14 Word Reading: More meaning connections lead lead sow sow close close tear tear

15 They stole all the lead from the roof. They stole all the lead from the roof. A female pig is a sow. The farmer will sow the seeds. A female pig is a sow. The farmer will sow the seeds. They were to close to the door to close it. They were to close to the door to close it. If I tear that I will shed a tear. If I tear that I will shed a tear.

16 heteronyms wind wind rowing rowing leading leading bowed bowed minute minute bass bass does does ?

17 GOVE

18 GOVE Love, glove, shove Love, glove, shove move move

19 Sight words Many very common words are phonically irregular said, was, once, the and need a ‘look and say’ approach Many very common words are phonically irregular said, was, once, the and need a ‘look and say’ approachsaidwasoncethecome

20 Teachers use their professional knowledge and judgement to make informed decisions about what kind of strategy is needed to help children read words Teachers use their professional knowledge and judgement to make informed decisions about what kind of strategy is needed to help children read words

21 Reading is not just pronouncing written words. Children who become avid and accomplished readers focus on making sense from the start: they develop a habit of mind that expects the words they decode to make sense. This allows them to monitor their own performance from an early stage, and to make corrections when they misread. (Dombey et al., 2010:4) Reading is not just pronouncing written words. Children who become avid and accomplished readers focus on making sense from the start: they develop a habit of mind that expects the words they decode to make sense. This allows them to monitor their own performance from an early stage, and to make corrections when they misread. (Dombey et al., 2010:4)

22 Really successful primary schools : have a broad and rich reading curriculum and have a balance of phonics, whole word and meaning based approaches to teach children to read. have a broad and rich reading curriculum and have a balance of phonics, whole word and meaning based approaches to teach children to read. are clear that the purpose of reading is to make sense of what is read not simply to say the words. are clear that the purpose of reading is to make sense of what is read not simply to say the words. promote engagement and enjoyment. Engagement is increasingly seen by researchers as central to progress in reading. Children who are motivated want to read more and more, and get better and better at it. promote engagement and enjoyment. Engagement is increasingly seen by researchers as central to progress in reading. Children who are motivated want to read more and more, and get better and better at it. are knowledgeable about high quality reading resources and have many of them, organised in a welcoming school and class library. are knowledgeable about high quality reading resources and have many of them, organised in a welcoming school and class library. introduce all children to a wide range of children’s literature and explore ways in which reading literature can broaden the experience of life and give a sense of what is possible. introduce all children to a wide range of children’s literature and explore ways in which reading literature can broaden the experience of life and give a sense of what is possible.

23 National Curriculum 2014 :Y1 Pupils should be taught to: develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, and understanding by:  listening to and discussing a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently  being encouraged to link what they read or hear read to their own experiences  becoming very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics  recognising and joining in with predictable phrases  learning to appreciate rhymes and poems, and to recite some by heart

24 Research Building Communities of Readers (2006-8) Building Communities of Readers (2006-8) Building Communities: Researching Literacy Lives ( ) Building Communities: Researching Literacy Lives ( )

25 Increased knowledge -awareness of children’s reading materials Increased knowledge -awareness of children’s reading materials They adore comics and magazines and when you read them you can see why- many adults read magazines don’t they? ( Interview, Birmingham) The children have taken me on a journey into what they read outside school – I never realised really it was so wide- now we have a much greater choice in school. (Interview, Kent) I’d never read a graphic novel before- it was quite demanding – the children love them. (Interview, Medway )

26 Improving pedagogy- Reading environments physical and social I like to read when I’m relaxed. I like to read something I can switch off to. How does this work in the classroom? I hadn’t thought of those questions before. (Written reflection, Birmingham) Now they can relax and move around to share reading with friends. If they choose to read comics or magazines they can. (Interview, Birmingham)

27 Improving pedagogy - Reading aloud Reading aloud has given me back my enthusiasm…showing them how to develop their own expression …children have learnt a lot and so have I. (Questionnaire, Barking & Dagenham) I will now read to the class without thinking ‘I could do this with it or I could do that with it’ and I think the children sit back and think ‘I can just enjoy this’ … that had been a big struggle - thinking how many boxes can I tick, what objectives can I cover and you actually then lose the impact of…the book. You know, just enjoy it for a book and a good story and a good emotional journey. (Interview, Kent) Nathan …when she stops [reading aloud] she leaves us on a cliff-hanger and it’s really exciting…. Will: Yes, because it’s really expressive. (Interview, Year 3, Kent)

28 Improving pedagogy- independent reading time Now there is ERIC own reading time and since SATS this has gone to 10 to 15 minutes every day at least. This has prompted more book talk and lots of informal recommendations (Written reflection, Medway) I don’t think we’d thought before about planning to support them as readers, for their own reading. We’d just expected them to get on with that whilst we did guided reading or comprehension… But now we’re encouraging them as readers, helping them make good choices, accepting much more reading material and giving them a chance to be readers really. (Interview, Kent)

29 Improving pedagogy- independent reading time Now there is ERIC own reading time and since SATS this has gone to 10 to 15 minutes every day at least. This has prompted more book talk and lots of informal recommendations (Written reflection, Medway) I don’t think we’d thought before about planning to support them as readers, for their own reading. We’d just expected them to get on with that whilst we did guided reading or comprehension… But now we’re encouraging them as readers, helping them make good choices, accepting much more reading material and giving them a chance to be readers really. (Interview, Kent)

30 Really successful primary schools : have a broad and rich reading curriculum and have a balance of phonics, whole word and meaning based approaches to teach children to read. have a broad and rich reading curriculum and have a balance of phonics, whole word and meaning based approaches to teach children to read. are clear that the purpose of reading is to make sense of what is read not simply to say the words. are clear that the purpose of reading is to make sense of what is read not simply to say the words. promote engagement and enjoyment. Engagement is increasingly seen by researchers as central to progress in reading. Children who are motivated want to read more and more, and get better and better at it. promote engagement and enjoyment. Engagement is increasingly seen by researchers as central to progress in reading. Children who are motivated want to read more and more, and get better and better at it. are knowledgeable about high quality reading resources and have many of them, organised in a welcoming school and class library. are knowledgeable about high quality reading resources and have many of them, organised in a welcoming school and class library. introduce all children to a wide range of children’s literature and explore ways in which reading literature can broaden the experience of life and give a sense of what is possible. introduce all children to a wide range of children’s literature and explore ways in which reading literature can broaden the experience of life and give a sense of what is possible.

31 What texts? texts with subtleties; that stand exploration, re- reading, and raise genuine questions; texts with subtleties; that stand exploration, re- reading, and raise genuine questions; texts that are capable of engaging children texts that are capable of engaging children texts that contain high quality language texts that contain high quality language texts that are representative texts that are representative texts that can be read aloud texts that can be read aloud

32

33 The dangers of the ‘Phonics Check’ Promotes a narrow and erroneous view of reading Promotes a narrow and erroneous view of reading high stakes tests have a pronounced negative impact on the curriculum high stakes tests have a pronounced negative impact on the curriculum Workload issues: the average time for preparation and administration was 15.5 hours in the pilot Workload issues: the average time for preparation and administration was 15.5 hours in the pilot Many higher attaining pupils are confused by pseudo-words Many higher attaining pupils are confused by pseudo-words No relation between phonics check result and attainment in reading in Y2 No relation between phonics check result and attainment in reading in Y2 Undermines the professionalism and capacity of teachers when decisions are made about how to help children to get better at reading Undermines the professionalism and capacity of teachers when decisions are made about how to help children to get better at reading Is expensive Is expensive

34 UKLA Survey:Y1 Phonics check The evidence overwhelmingly indicates that in teachers’ and Headteachers’ professional judgment, the Phonics Screening Check for six-year-olds is time-consuming and unnecessary. They feel that checks like this should not be imposed on all children, but used judiciously where a teacher thinks it would help to identify specific needs in a particular child. In schools’ experience the results have labeled some successful and fluent readers as failures. The check does not differentiate at the top end. It does not identify high experience readers but, on the contrary, it is potentially holding them back and undermining their assurance as readers. The evidence overwhelmingly indicates that in teachers’ and Headteachers’ professional judgment, the Phonics Screening Check for six-year-olds is time-consuming and unnecessary. They feel that checks like this should not be imposed on all children, but used judiciously where a teacher thinks it would help to identify specific needs in a particular child. In schools’ experience the results have labeled some successful and fluent readers as failures. The check does not differentiate at the top end. It does not identify high experience readers but, on the contrary, it is potentially holding them back and undermining their assurance as readers.

35 The evidence makes it clear that the Phonics Screening Check should not be used in subsequent years for all children in year 1, but implemented at teachers’ discretion to identify specific developmental needs in particular children for whom it is appropriate.

36 Spelling Punctuation and Grammar tests Y2 and Y6 in 2016 Y2 and Y6 in 2016

37 A typical question Which sentence contains two verbs? Tick one. The lambs played happily. The lambs played happily. The cows sleep in the field. The cows sleep in the field. The puppies growl and bark. The puppies growl and bark. The horses eat grass and hay. The horses eat grass and hay. 1 mark

38 Research on grammar Repeated studies show no evidence of formal teaching of grammar of impact on writing or reading (Hillocks, 1986; Andrews et al., 2006). Repeated studies show no evidence of formal teaching of grammar of impact on writing or reading (Hillocks, 1986; Andrews et al., 2006). However studies investigated teaching a grammar course and teaching writing separately However studies investigated teaching a grammar course and teaching writing separately No studies before 2012 which investigated teaching grammar meaningfully in the context of writing in UK. No studies before 2012 which investigated teaching grammar meaningfully in the context of writing in UK. No studies in UK context of primary age pupils No studies in UK context of primary age pupils

39 Grammar teaching However, Myhill’s recent work with Secondary students has shown the value of including explicit attention to relevant grammatical constructions within the context of writing (Myhill et al., 2011). However, Myhill’s recent work with Secondary students has shown the value of including explicit attention to relevant grammatical constructions within the context of writing (Myhill et al., 2011).

40 The writing of primary school children might be improved where teachers: The writing of primary school children might be improved where teachers: introduce key terms such as ‘synonym’ ‘verb’, ‘noun’, ‘sentence’ and ‘noun phrase’ in the context of shared writing (Hunt, 2001). introduce key terms such as ‘synonym’ ‘verb’, ‘noun’, ‘sentence’ and ‘noun phrase’ in the context of shared writing (Hunt, 2001). Research is not clear about which grammatical terms are likely to be most productive in the primary years, at which stage, or how they might best be introduced. Research is not clear about which grammatical terms are likely to be most productive in the primary years, at which stage, or how they might best be introduced. What is clear is that any teaching of grammar needs to be carried out in the context of purposeful reading and writing. What is clear is that any teaching of grammar needs to be carried out in the context of purposeful reading and writing.

41 What next? How can teacher associations and subject associations work together to mitigate the baleful effects of high stakes and narrow tests? How can teacher associations and subject associations work together to mitigate the baleful effects of high stakes and narrow tests? How can we work together to ensure evidence based approaches to the teaching of early reading and writing are promoted? How can we work together to ensure evidence based approaches to the teaching of early reading and writing are promoted?


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