Saturday, April 16, 2016

The phonics achievement challenge

Following on from my last post in which I reported the results of a spelling test taken by a class about to begin Y2 in St George's Primary School in Wandsworth, this time I'm publishing the results from the same spelling test for a class just about to begin Y3. 

The reason I'm putting the posts back to back is that their juxtaposition will give you a good idea of the kind of progression you can expect to see from the extra year's tuition the pupils get from the Sounds-Write programme.

I’d make clear that the test (Dennis Young’s Parallel Spelling Test) was not developed for teachers of phonics. In fact, the test moves very quickly from simple two-sound and three-sound words made up of simple one-to-one correspondences, plus some initial consonant digraphs, to the greater complexities of the code: more than one way of spelling a sound.

After Y2, the class’s third year of phonics teaching, you can see that the effects of their exposure to the code and their practice of the skills, through the excellent teaching they receive at St George’s and a wide variety of reading, is now beginning to have a much more profound and qualitative effect on their spelling.

As you look at the results, bear in mind, too, that this school is situated in the most deprived area of London, south of the river. You can see that boys do as well as girls and that summer-born children do as well as children who entered school well after their fourth birthday.

You can also see that there is not a single child whose spelling age is lower than their chronological age. The same is true also of the previous year. On a test that has been normed and standardised on thousands of children, the achievements made by the staff and children of St George’s is remarkable.
What’s more, this is a challenge to all those who say that mixed methods and whole language are superior to a systematic, very high quality phonics approach. 

To all of those sceptics, I throw down the gauntlet.

St George’s Church of England Primary School

Year 3 Young’s Parallel Spelling Test September 2015

Male/Female
Raw Score
Age yrs.mo
Spelling Age
Standardised

M
28
7.5
9.4
120
+ 23 mths
M
27
7.7
9.3
116
+ 20 mths
F
36
7.4
11.1
133
+ 45 mths
F
32
7.4
10.2
125
+ 34 mths
M
29
7.8
9.6
117
+ 22 mths
M
36
7.6
11.1
130
+ 43 mths
M
23
7.10
8.6
108
+   8 mths
F
32
7.10
10.2
120
+ 28 mths
F
32
7.3
10.2
127
+ 35 mths
F
33
7.8
10.4
123
+ 32 mths
F
19
7.5
8.1
107
+   8 mths
F
38
7.9
11.9
>135
+ 48 mths
F



abs

F
17
7.3
7.8
106
+   5 mths
F
34
7.6
10.6
126
+ 36 mths
F
33
7.2
10.4
129
+ 38 mths
F
28
7.1
9.4
124
+ 27 mths
M
38
7.9
11.9
135
+ 48 mths
M
34
7.1
10.6
133
+ 41 mths
F
33
7.7
10.4
125
+ 33 mths
F
30
7.10
9.8
117
+ 22 mths
M
23
7.9
8.6
109
+   9 mths
M
19
7.3
8.1
109
+ 10 mths
M
32
7.1
10.2
130
+ 37 mths
F
724
7.1
8.8
118
+ 19 mths
F



abs

M
31
7.2
10.0
126
+ 34 mths
M
22
7.10
8.5
106
+    7 mths
F
39
7.11
12.5
135
+ 54 mths
F
20
7.0
8.2
112
+ 14 mths

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