I wrote this post and then thought that it would be easier to listen to than to read, so here’s the link to the audio file. As I was asked to post the transcript, here it is below: In this audio file I’m going to talk about how spellings in English can represent different sounds.… Continue reading One spelling, different sounds
I have twice now visited schools which have had Ofsted inspections. Both praised the schools’approach to teaching children to read and spell. Here is an extract from the latest: “Good progress in reading continues across the school, the result of the consistent approach in teaching daily phonics sessions, and older pupils demonstrate increasingly accurate spelling… Continue reading What is wrong with the culture within Ofsted?
Since 1995, standards in literacy have stalled, says Michael Wilshaw. He claims that one in five children in primary schools have such low standards of literacy that they can’t access the secondary curriculum when they make the transition. So, what’s going wrong? Michael Wilshaw is in no doubt. The training that many teachers have been… Continue reading Teachers need proper training to teach phonics, says Michael Wilshaw
On our Sounds-Write courses, I’ve noticed that an increasing number of practitioners working in schools teaching phonics seem to believe that the three hundred high-frequency words included in the Letters and Sounds manual should be taught as ‘sight words’. What is the answer to this? First, we think it’s a bad idea to teach ‘sight… Continue reading High frequency words
The BBC has just broken the news that ‘just one in 15 (6.5%) pupils starting secondary school in England “behind” for their age goes on to get five good GCSEs including English and maths’. Moreover, only 34% of children classified as disadvantaged (children entitled to free school dinners or in care) reached the government benchmark.… Continue reading Lightman fails to dispel gloom
Following on from my previous posting, although the Y1 phonics screening test should literally be ‘child’s play’ for pupils taught using a good quality phonics programme, it looks very much as if it won’t be much fun for the 73% of schools not teaching phonics well. For them, the check is going to come as an unpleasant… Continue reading That Y1 phonics screening test again
At the end of last week the Standards and Testing agency of the DfE sent out to schools its ‘Y1 phonics screening check’, and I have to say that it is great news for Sounds-Write. It is proposed that the test will consist in a sample list of forty words. The structure will be as… Continue reading New Y1 phonics screening check – child’s play!
In an interview for a BBC news item about phonics with Reeta Chakrabarti, Christine Richmond, from Cannon Lane First School, said that, ‘anything that comes into schools that is going to allow children who are not achieving to be picked up by schools has got to be a good thing.’ Now, it’s not that I… Continue reading Why are advocates of phonics so defensive?
Sounds-Write now has a page on facebook.
Two days ago the Evening Standard underscored exactly how serious the problem of illiteracy is in London. Its report, which confined itself to the situation in the capital, claimed that: one in four children is ‘practically illiterate when they leave school’; that there are ‘one million adults in the capital who cannot read with confidence’;… Continue reading Reading and writing as Standard