England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results

News articles, interviews, research, events and lots more - ready for your comments.
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2173
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:22 pm

England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-34348626

Most phonics passes in London boroughs

By Judith Burns


Nine of the 10 local authorities in which most six-year-olds passed the government's phonics reading test this year are in London, figures show.
Across England, 490,000 (77%) pupils met the required standard, up 120,000 on 2012, when the tests began.

The National Union of Teachers said the jury was "still out" on the "obsession" with one teaching method.

But the schools minister pledged to challenge councils with poor results to come up with swift plans to improve.

Nick Gibb said the results showed the focus on phonics was ensuring children were becoming "confident, inquisitive and fluent readers".

Top boroughs

The top performing local authority was Richmond-upon-Thames, where 86.5% of six-year-olds made the grade, followed by the London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea, Lewisham, Wandsworth, Newham, Greenwich, Harrow, Bromley and Bexley - with Darlington, on 82.3%, the only non-London borough in the top 10.

By contrast only 69.5% of six-year-olds met the standard in Nottingham, the worst performing council - followed by Peterborough, Wakefield, Doncaster, Derby, Liverpool, Bury, Oldham, Middlesbrough and Tameside.

Mr Gibb said: "Today's results demonstrate the effectiveness of the government's continued focus on phonics as the primary way of helping young people to read.
"For years, children were being denied the joy of becoming fluent readers because of a reliance on teaching methods that failed too many children.
"We will continue to challenge those local authorities whose phonics results are below the levels achieved elsewhere.

Some teachers fear reading for pleasure could be sidelined by the government's approach

"The evidence is clear that the systematic teaching of phonics is the most effective way to help children master the basics of reading so they can go on to become confident, inquisitive and fluent readers."

Not conclusive

But NUT general secretary Christine Blower said the point was not whether test scores were rising.

"It's whether the government's decision to focus the teaching of reading on one method, synthetic phonics, is producing an improvement in children's literacy.
"Here, the jury is still out.

"The [Department for Education's] own study, published earlier this year, found no conclusive evidence that any improvements are attributable to the check."

This "very narrow approach to learning to read" risked sidelining reading for pleasure, Ms Blower added.
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2173
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Sep 24, 2015 5:30 pm

Helen Ward provides us with some statistics in the TES:

https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/br ... year-a-row
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2173
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:26 pm

Here is the link to the Department for Education official results:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/s ... 5_Text.pdf

753 schools have at least 95% of the pupils achieving the phonics standard in year 1 in 2015 compared with 611 in 2014. This figure excludes schools with fewer than 11 pupils.
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2173
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:51 pm

Official press release about the published phonics results for 2015:

http://ukedchat.com/2015/09/24/england- ... published/
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2173
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:11 pm

Press release:

Focus on phonics vindicated by results


https://www.gov.uk/government/news/focu ... by-results

Schools Minister Nick Gibb said:

Today’s results demonstrate the effectiveness of the government’s continued focus on phonics as the primary way of helping young people to read.

For years, children were being denied the joy of becoming fluent readers because of a reliance on teaching methods that failed too many children. We will continue to challenge those local authorities whose phonics results are below the levels achieved elsewhere.

The evidence is clear that the systematic teaching of phonics is the most effective way to help children master the basics of reading so they can go on to become confident, inquisitive and fluent readers.

Today’s figures show that for 2015:

*the proportion of 6-year-olds achieving the expected standard has risen by 19 percentage points since 2012 to 77% (nearly 490,000 pupils), equivalent to 120,000 more children doing well, based on the 2015 cohort

*the proportion of 6-year-olds achieving the expected standard rose by more than 3 percentage points, equivalent to more than 16,000 additional children in just 1 year

*the gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and their peers achieving the expected level has closed by 2 percentage points since 2012

In line with the government commitment to ensuring every child is able to reach their potential, Schools Minister Nick Gibb will be challenging local authorities with the poorest results in the latest phonics check results to swiftly demonstrate how they plan to improve.
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2173
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:13 pm

Thanks to Susan Godsland for flagging this up via Twitter:

England's Department for Education provides advice and links to supportive organisations as a follow-up to schools' findings in the Year One Phonics Screening Check:

http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/15579/1/respondin ... 0final.pdf

The phonics screening check – responding to the results Departmental advice for Reception and Key Stage 1 teachers

The purpose of this booklet

This advice is designed to support you in thinking about your next steps after the phonics screening check. It is not only for teachers of pupils in Year 1, but also for those teaching in Reception and Year 2.

Remember that the check is not a reading test. It was designed simply to identify pupils who might not have gained the phonic knowledge and skills they need to make a secure start to decoding.

What best describes the outcomes for your Year 1 pupils this year?
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2173
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:21 pm

IFERI committee member, Gordon Askew, comments on the Year One Phonics Screening Check via his blog:

http://ssphonix.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/ ... ening.html

The other big negative so often raised about the screening is that it is completely unnecessary because it doesn't tell teachers anything they don't already know. Well I'm afraid my answer to that is very short and sharp. Currently far far too many children fall short of the standard. If their teachers already know everything they need to, then why do so many children nationally have reading issues when evidence shows us that almost all of them could and should learn to read perfectly well?


You can learn more about Gordon's work here:

http://www.iferi.org/cmt-management-team/gordon-askew/
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2173
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Oct 01, 2015 3:14 pm

I thought it might be of interest to add my 'Simple View of Schools' Phonics Provision' here as this might provide some explanation of why some schools can achieve so much higher results for their pupils in the Year One Phonics Screening Check.

This is my own interpretation and analysis of the state of affairs in some schools in England based on experience and first-hand observations. Teachers are working hard everywhere and may not necessarily realise that they can achieve much higher results with a deeper understanding of the type of content and activities which will enable even the slower-to-learn children, and children with individual difficulties in learning, to excel in decoding new and unknown words:


http://www.phonicsinternational.com/Sim ... chools.pdf
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2173
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Thu Oct 01, 2015 10:51 pm

Gordon Askew writes a post on his blog with reference to the Year One Phonics Screening Check in England:

http://ssphonix.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/ ... ot-to.html

There are two far more important issues flagged up by this apparent lack of impact. It is these which need to be tackled if we are to reach our ambition, as we so easily could.

The first issue lies with the administering of the screening check itself and suggests that in some schools improvement might not be as great as superficially appears. At present far too many schools in England see the outcome of the check as a gold star to be won (or not) by the school. Consequently many teachers prime children very specifically for the check and push some to achieve a minimum 'pass' even if this does not reflect their overall skill level. Sadly they do not relate these outcomes to the future reading success of individual children. That is to say, they do not see the statutory check for what it is, a mechanism for screening to find out which children have not yet learned the core reading skills they need. Consequently they do not begin to appreciate the great harm they do by trying to make children seem better than they are. (Please refer to my earlier posts on the Phonice Screening Check.)
User avatar
Debbie_Hepplewhite
Posts: 2173
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:42 pm

Re: England's 2015 Year One Phonics Screening Check results

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Oct 27, 2015 11:39 am

It's very good to see the chief inspector of Ofsted (the inspectorate), Sir Michael Wilshaw, heading up a pro-phonics piece!

I'm posting this link on the 'General Forum' as well because I think it is an important piece in a number of ways, not least being that we still have influential union leaders undermining the importance of the official introduction of systematic synthetic phonics in England and decrying the introduction of the statutory Year One Phonics Screening Check which is so very important in moving the profession along to adopt SSP teaching (although bear in mind that many teachers provide SSP teaching alongside multi-cueing reading strategies which is not great!):

https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/br ... ts-phonics

Wilshaw: 'Nobody can argue against the benefits of phonics'

Richard Vaughan
27th October 2015


The teaching of phonics has been one the most significant factors behind the increasing success of primary schools in England, according to the head of Ofsted.

Debate over the method has become hugely fraught, with opponents of phonics claiming it is tantamount to “child abuse”.

And in a move that is likely to fan the flames, Her Majesty’s chief inspector Sir Michael Wilshaw has stated that “nobody can still convincingly argue that systematic phonics isn’t the most effective method of teaching children to read”.

Sir Michael makes his comments in the first of what will be a monthly series of commentaries on the education system, in which he claims that primary schools are responsible for “highly impressive and encouraging statistics”.

One of the key drivers behind the success of primary schools, he says, is the widespread teaching of synthetic phonics.

“While far from universally popular when first introduced, the emphasis on phonics teaching is certainly bearing fruit,” Sir Michael writes. “As noted recently by schools minister Nick Gibb, the national phonics screening check demonstrates continuing, strong progress in this vital area of learning for the youngest pupils.

He adds: “Surely nobody can still convincingly argue that systematic phonics isn’t the most effective method of teaching children to read. The structured yet engaging way in which this is being done is something my inspectors increasingly report.”

The chief inspector also points to the teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar as another important factor behind the primary success story. But such benefits are being lost by the time pupils enter secondary education, he says.

In his own blog, Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT headteachers' union, refutes Sir Michael’s claims, stating that the relative stability of the primary sector is a major contributor to the success of schools.

“Could it be that politicians' desire to look busy with reform could actually be one of the things standing in the way of a truly successful education system? It is notable, for instance, that the steady gains in literacy that we're seeing at the end of primary actually precede the introduction of the government's flagship phonics screening check. The chief inspector could usefully draw attention to the price of excessive of change.”

Return to “Around the World: News and Events”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 12 guests