Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SOUND BITES; / Nearly Half of Tees Kids 'Fail' Made-Up Words Reading Test / Head Warns over Results and Says Even Able Pupils Struggled

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SOUND BITES; / Nearly Half of Tees Kids 'Fail' Made-Up Words Reading Test / Head Warns over Results and Says Even Able Pupils Struggled

Article excerpt

Byline: LINDSEY SAMPSON Education Reporter

lindsey.sampson@eveninggazette.co.uk AROUND half of Teesside six-year-olds will need extra help to meet national reading standards, according to the results of a controversial new test.

Just over 50% of youngsters across Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton achieved the expected standard in "phonics" tests.

Phonics is based on a system focusing on sounds rather than recognising whole words or sentences.

The test, taken by pupils at the end of Year 1 of primary school, checks six-year-olds' ability to read aloud a mixture of 40 real and made-up words, sounding them out using the phonics system.

The phonics test has been promoted by ministers as the best way to boost reading standards.

However it has come under fire by some teaching unions, who said including made-up words such as "voo", "terg" and "bim" will frustrate those who can already read and confuse pupils who have special educational needs, or those for whom English is a second language.

Middlesbrough headteacher Jane Wilson, of Brambles Primary Academy, said that while she did not object to youngsters taking the test, she had concerns about its validity.

She said: "I have no issue at all with the test, but my concern is what the results will be used for. I just hope it's not another stick to browbeat schools with.

"Reading is not all about phonics, and looking at other reading tests the same children have done, there's no correlation between their phonics scores and their actual reading ability. Some of our more able children didn't do particularly well in the phonics test, because they've moved beyond using phonics to read."

Results released by the Department for Education show that nationally, just 58% of six-year-olds reached the expected standard, with Teesside coming just below the average, with Middlesbrough at 52%, and Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton both at 55%. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.