Eng: 'Bold beginnings' - Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

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Re: Eng: 'Bold beginnings' - Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:23 pm

Whilst there is clearly much criticism of Ofsted's 'Bold beginnings' report, meanwhile, Dr Kerry Hempenstall learnt of a couple of new studies (from Robert Slavin's newsletter) featuring the potential long term outcomes of quality provision for the four to five year olds:

The long-term impact of effective teaching

Peter Tymms and colleagues at Durham University's Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring conducted a study of 40,000 children in England to examine what impact effective teaching in the first year of school has on achievement at the end of compulsory teaching at age 16.

Children's early reading and math development were measured at the start of school, at age four, using the Performance Indicators in Primary Schools (PIPS) assessments. They were assessed again at the end of their first school year and at ages 7, 11, and 16.

By assessing children at the beginning and end of their first year, the researchers were able to identify effective classes - defined as a class where children made much larger than average gains from ages 4 to 5, controlling for pretests and poverty level.

The study, published in School Effectiveness and School Improvement, found that children who were taught well in their first year of school went on to achieve better GCSE results (GCSEs are high-stakes exams in the UK) in English and math at age 16 (effect size = +0.2). Long-term benefits in achievement were also reported for those children who were in effective classes in Key Stages 1 and 2, however, these were not as large as those seen in the first year of school (Key Stage 1 is the equivalent of kindergarten to first grade in the U.S., and Key Stage 2 is the equivalent of second grade to fifth grade).

The study concludes that the first year of school presents an important opportunity to have a positive impact on children's long-term academic outcomes.


Preschool language skills a predictor of later reading comprehension

A systematic review published by the Campbell Collaboration summarizes the research on the correlation between reading-related preschool predictors, such as code-related skills and linguistic comprehension, and later reading comprehension skills.

Sixty-four longitudinal studies met the eligibility criteria for the review. These studies spanned 1986 to 2016 and were mostly carried out in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. Overall, the findings of the review found that code-related skills (rhyme awareness, phoneme awareness, letter knowledge, and rapid automatized naming) are most important for reading comprehension in beginning readers, but linguistic comprehension (grammar and vocabulary) gradually takes over as children become older. All predictors, except for non-word repetition, were moderately to strongly correlated with later reading comprehension. Non-word repetition had only a weak to moderate correlation to later reading comprehension ability.

These results suggest a need for a broad focus on language skills in preschool-age children in order to establish a strong foundation for reading comprehension.

Hjetland, H., Brinchmann, E., Solveig-Alma, H., Hagtvet, B. and Melby-Lervåg, M. (2017). Preschool predictors of later reading comprehension ability: A systematic review. Campbell Collaboration. Retrieved from https://www.campbellcollaboration.org/l ... ility.html


This is particularly interesting in view of the announcement that the Secretary of State for Education, Justine Greening (but who has just resigned following a Cabinet reshuffle) of the establishment of 'English Hubs' for four to five year olds, see:

https://www.daynurseries.co.uk/news/art ... -year-olds

Education Secretary launches 'English Hubs' for four-year-olds

A national network of 35 ‘English Hubs’ are to work with disadvantaged four and five-year-olds in a bid to improve their reading and writing.
The initiative will be run by a new Centre of Excellence for Literacy Teaching which is being funded by a Government investment of £26m.


It is one of a range of measures announced by Education Secretary Justine Greening to boost child literacy and help combat the educational gap between low income children and their better off peers.

Ms Greening said: “School standards are rising with 1.9 million more children being taught in good or outstanding schools than in 2010.

“Our ambition is that no community will be left behind on education. The literacy investment will help make sure that not just most, but every child arrives at school with the vocabulary levels they need to learn. And our investment will mean that once they are at school, every child will get the best literacy teaching. We’ve already seen what a difference our approach on phonics has made for children in England.”

The ’English Hubs’ will mirror the approach by ‘Maths Hubs’ where high performing schools share their teaching with other schools locally.

In addition, from April 2018, new phonics and reading partnerships are to be set up, to drive improvements in teaching and encourage more pupils to enjoy reading a wide range of literature.

Another 20 phonics and reading roadshows will also be run across the country and include a specific focus on reception teaching.

The Government also plans to spend £5m on trialling programmes in the North of England to help parents support early language development at home.

However, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner, claimed “these small initiatives” are not enough to “reverse the damage” the Government is doing to the education system.

She added: “This funding will do nothing to change the fact that £2.7 billion has been cut from the budgets of England's schools since 2015, and that teacher recruitment targets have been missed for the fifth year in a row.”
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Re: Eng: 'Bold beginnings' - Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Jan 09, 2018 11:27 pm

I've now added the link to this thread to the 'Research and Recommended Reading' forum.
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Re: Eng: 'Bold beginnings' - Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:16 pm

The Quirky Teacher writes a blog post about 'formal teaching' and parental teaching:

https://thequirkyteacher.wordpress.com/ ... es-of-you/



Formal teaching: not for the likes of you

11, 2018 THE QUIRKY TEACHER

I’ll let you into a secret: before my children started school, I sat them down pretty much every day, taught them how to hold a pencil and how to sound out individual letter-sounds. I also taught them how to form their letters and their numbers perfectly – while they were sitting down at a child’s table. Furthermore, I read to them and I talked to them (while expecting their full attention). I also expected them to stay quiet at the dinner table, while the adults talked, so that they would listen and learn the phrases of everyday conversation.

They went straight to the top tables in their classes and ten years later, they’re still there.

They’re not perfect and they are both such different children, very much their own characters, but mark my words, they have read more, heard more and written more than many of their peers over the years.

So, what would you call this? Was it formal teaching? But, I was ‘just’ a parent – so maybe this was something different? According to their teachers, they magically played their way to excellence!


Tom Burkard responds as a reader of the blog with reference to the 'Bold beginnings...' report:

Well said! Now we have the EYFS lobby having a hissy fit about Bold Beginnings. I’ve never quite understood how this cult has accumulated so much power–nor for that matter how the American Head Start programme has managed to not only survive but become bullet-proof despite its failure over the last half-century to produce any lasting benefits.
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Re: Eng: 'Bold beginnings' - Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:57 pm

TES journalist, Helen Ward, writes about the 'battle' for Reception and references the 'Bold beginnings...' report:

Long read: The battle for Reception

Helen Ward
12th January 2018


https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/br ... -reception

Ofsted's Bold Beginnings report has sparked an outcry in the early years community. But why do Reception teachers feel so misunderstood?

The tables in the Reception class at Globe Primary School in East London are just above knee height. They are covered in dotty wipe-clean tablecloths and on the tiny green chairs around the tables, are 14 four- and five-year-old children sitting down writing the letter “w” into their phonics books.

This is an “outstanding” Reception class – and this looks like a pretty straightforward phonics session. But initial impressions do not reveal quite how much thought goes into planning children’s experiences not just for each day, or hour, but almost minute-by-minute.

“This is as formal as it gets,” Juliana Nkoana, their teacher, says. “It is very structured, but the way I deliver it there is not too much sitting. They are on the carpet, then at the table, they move around. They get used to the routine so they know what’s coming next.”
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Re: Eng: 'Bold beginnings' - Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:01 pm

The debate focused on the Reception year in England (the 4 to 5 year olds) hots up with yet more reference to the 'Bold beginnings...' report. See this article in The Guardian:

Proposed tests for reception children ‘verging on the immoral’

Teachers are rebelling and companies refusing to tender for a planned assessment of infants in England that many say will crowd out play


https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... gland-play

A letter from child development experts, including Robert Winston, published today in the Guardian, calls on Ofsted, the schools’ watchdog, to withdraw its report, Bold Beginnings, published in November, which said reception pupils needed to be pushed harder in reading and maths.
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Re: Eng: 'Bold beginnings' - Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:11 pm

And so it goes on - read the latest development described in the TES calling for the 'Bold beginnings...' report to be scrapped saying that it is 'flawed'.

This just demonstrates what we are up against in England whereby a very strong group of people are apparently against structured teaching for the four to five year olds. This is very sad because the children who are the least likely to get lots of rich input from home are the most disadvantaged in school and pre-school and they are the most likely to benefit from specific teaching rather than a diet of 'learning through play' alone.

Ofsted's Bold Beginnings report is 'flawed' and should be scrapped, says open letter

Helen Ward


https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/br ... apped-says

Letter signed by more than 1,850, including academic and TV presenter Robert Winston, and the shadow early years minister, Tracy Brabin, damns the controversial report as undervaluing play in Reception year

More than 1,850 early years academics, organisations and teachers have signed an open letter calling for Ofsted’s controversial Bold Beginnings report to be withdrawn, saying it is a “potential disaster that play-based approaches" are undervalued.

The letter, which has been backed by Professor Robert Winston, professor of science and society at Imperial College London, and Kevin Courtney and Mary Bousted, joint general secretaries of the National Education Union, says that following the report’s publication there are “numerous examples” of leadership teams forcing changes on to Reception teachers, which teachers fear will have a “negative impact” on children.

The report, published late last year, said that Reception year was a “false start” for many children. It shocked many of those working in early years, who saw it as a push for more formal education in Reception.

The open letter to Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman and education secretary Damian Hinds says the report is “flawed and biased”.


Gill Jones defends the report thus:

Gill Jones, co-author of the report and Ofsted’s early education deputy director, said that the report did not pre-select schools but drew on those that taught reading, writing and maths exceptionally well.

I agree entirely with the authors of the letter that a wide range of learning experiences is best for Reception children. That is exactly what our Bold Beginnings report finds,” she said.

“The report drew on evidence from high-performing schools around the country which are delivering the best start for young children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our inspectors found that they offered a wide curriculum. What they had in common was that they taught reading, writing and maths exceptionally well.

“None of the schools were pre-selected on the basis of teaching methods. There is nothing in the report to suggest that Reception should be taught like Year 1. Rather, it makes clear that the schools achieving the best start for their pupils planned a good balance of class teaching, partner work and play.”
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Re: Eng: 'Bold beginnings' - Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Jan 16, 2018 8:22 pm

In the Bold beginnings report, it states:

All the schools visited planned a judicious balance of direct whole-class teaching, small-group teaching, partner work and play. They were clear about and valued the contribution to children’s learning from each.

Play was an important part of the curriculum in all of the schools visited. The headteachers knew which aspects of learning needed to be taught directly and which could be learned through play.
However, except for literacy and mathematics, the schools were not clear about the time they devoted in a typical week to the different areas of learning.
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Re: Eng: 'Bold beginnings' - Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:09 pm

All the negativity towards the 'Bold beginnings' report is circulating via Twitter (no surprises there) so I'm really pleased to see Sean Harford make a firm statement that the report will not be withdrawn just because some don't like it!

Sean Harford has responded via Twitter, thus:

For the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, our #BoldBeginnings report will NOT be withdrawn. We can't help it if some people don't like it, but we're not charged with being popular - we're charged with assessing standards and reporting on where things are/are not working.


Good!

Sean Harford is an HMI and Ofsted's National Director, Education - leading on our policy for EY, Schools and FE & Skills.
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Re: Eng: 'Bold beginnings' - Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:26 pm

I am also really pleased to see well-respected Michael Tidd's comments, via Twitter, about the 'wilful misreading' of the Bold beginnings report! Thank goodness for this much welcome comment:

Where can I sign the open letter that says Early Years people shouldn't be allowed to let their own wilful misreading of #BoldBeginnings stop education being improved for millions of children?
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Re: Eng: 'Bold beginnings' - Reception teachers are failing a third of five-year-olds, major Ofsted report finds

Postby Debbie_Hepplewhite » Wed Jan 17, 2018 12:28 pm

The latest 'alarm' piece written in Day Nurseries:

https://www.daynurseries.co.uk/news/art ... ytime-more

Robert Winston calls on Ofsted to value child-led play

16-Jan-18
Article By: Angeline Albert

Child development expert Robert Winston says child-initiated playtime is undervalued and wants Ofsted to reject the ‘flawed’ findings of its own report, which recommends four-year-olds be pushed harder to improve their writing, reading and maths.

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