Articles in SEN Magazine: Joining the dots of official reports v actual practice

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Articles in SEN Magazine: Joining the dots of official reports v actual practice

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:17 am

At the time of writing this first post for this thread, a second article I was invited to write by Peter Sutcliffe, editor of SEN Magazine (England) has just been published in the hard copy magazine and online.

I've been very grateful for the opportunity afforded to me to write some 'analysis' pieces providing an overview of developments in England based on official reports - in other words, I do try to bring evidence to the table utilising what others have written and not just my 'opinion'.

As a teacher-trainer and consultant in the field of phonics (reading and spelling instruction), I am invited into schools routinely and observe very hard-working, committed teachers who just want to know what they might do better or differently to improve all their children's literacy standards. I have no doubt at all that it is the advent of the statutory Year One Phonics Screening Check in England that has actually enabled the teachers in these schools to appreciate that no matter how hard they work to provide phonics lessons, there are other schools and 'like schools' that are clearly so much more successful.

The headteachers of these schools can also see patterns of different teachers being more or less 'effective' thanks to the Year One Phonics Screening Check - in other words, the effects of individual teachers' provision are beginning to become apparent through the use of a common check across England and within schools from year to year and within parallel classes.

Anyway, here is my latest article online followed by the one from May 2014, also still relevant, followed by a thread I developed historically which includes plenty of information about why it is so very important that teachers understand that multi-cueing reading strategies are doing a disservice to our primary teachers and their pupils.

This is a matter, of course, for ongoing professional development - and it is also an international matter with England merely being an example of failure to understand fully enough, or pay heed to, the evidence gained from research. I am told by Americans, Canadians, Australians and New Zealanders that 'whole language' with its multi-cueing reading strategies is so much worse in their countries, that Reading Recovery dominates their special needs provision and influences mainstream practices, and that their systematic phonics provision has generally not yet reached the levels achieved in England to date either in the schools or in the teacher-training establishments:

Phonics: Policy and Practice (July-August 2015): ... d-practice

Where next for phonics? (May 2014): ... or-phonics

Historic thread on the topic of 'context-guessing' not being evidenced in research but still remaining as common practice amongst teachers: ... .php?t=655

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