It is common for critics of the phonics screening check to use Twitter to voice their criticism and general disdain.
It is usual for people such as myself to respond by raising points to show how important and informative this simple check is for our professional development.
Well-known blogger, David Didau, has increasingly jumped into these Twitter discussions because he appreciates the value of the check.
David has now written a post on his 'Learning Spy' blog as we are in the midst of yet another discussion about the advent of the phonics check via Twitter.
Here is what David has to say about the check:
What is the Phonics Screening Check for?
http://www.learningspy.co.uk/reading/ph ... ing-check/
...But still, a sizeable minority struggle to learn to decode and so efforts have been made to determine the most effective way to teach the skill of decoding and the consensus is (although there are plenty who strive mightily to ignore or disprove this) teaching using SSP is the best way to ensure the majority learn to read as efficiently as possible. That’s not to say SSP is the only way to learn to read; there are other, less efficient instruction programmes out there which depend on so-called ‘mixed methods’. These work with many, perhaps even most students, but consign the minority to failure.
Here’s the difficult bit. Accepting all the caveats above, if most children in a school are unable to decode at least 32 out of 40 words on the PCS, what does this tell us?If we accept that learning the connections between graphemes and phonemes is not dependent on intelligence, then why might some children struggle to decode? Is it the students’ fault or the teachers? My argument is that if significant numbers of children are failing (say, 5-10% in a cohort) that is an indication that teaching might be ineffective.
That’s not intended as an insult, or as a statement of fact; it’s a recognition that maybe something needs fixing and that maybe we should have a good look to make sure. The point of the PSC is not only to reveal those children who, for perfectly good, understandable reasons need extra intervention, but also to help us spot and rectify teaching deficits...
Do read the whole post and check out the graph's David includes in his posting.