#studywithCREC - Leading Literacy and Phonics


The third instalment of our #studywithCREC series comes from Sally Teare, who will be delivering the new Leading Literacy and Phonics MA module, starting in September 2016.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check - What does it really test and how useful is this data?

Literacy has once more been at the forefront of teachers, parent and pupils minds in recent weeks, as the Year 1 Phonics testing took place.

Since its inception in 2012, questions have been raised about what the Phonics check really tests, and how useful this data is.

Evidence shows that more than three in four children achieve the national expectation, and depicts an increase in “passes” year on year.

However, alongside this, websites promising parents help to get their child to “pass the test” have sprung up, while questions have been raised about the true value of improved pass rates as teachers “tighten up” their phonics teaching to better suit the test.

Doubts remain about what can really be gained from a test that assesses reading ability without any reference to context, and which presents itself as a threshold which everyone aims to get pupils over, rather than as a tool to identify pupils who require extra (or alternative) support.

With test papers for SPAG (Spelling and Grammar) being leaked, as well as the ongoing controversy around changes to expectations within the curriculum, those in the role of Literacy Leaders find themselves in positions of additional challenge and tension.

Throughout the new Masters module of Leading Literacy and Phonics, we will be engaging in critical dialogue around these, and other, highly relevant issues in Literacy.

Participants will be encouraged to share their experiences from their own settings with other practitioners, and lead a piece of action research to develop an area of Literacy within their school or setting, to improve outcomes for their pupils.

A bit more about Sally

Sally Teare is an independent Early Years consultant and writer.

As assistant head teacher, she has led on Literacy and the Early Years Foundation Stage, as well as Child Protection and SEND.

Sally delivers early literacy training for undergraduates working towards QTS at several universities in the Midlands.

She is also a regular contributor to Practical Preschool magazine, writing on a range of topics relevant to the Early Years sector.


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