• Autumn phonics check 2020: What schools need to know

    The government has confirmed details of this year’s autumn phonics screening check, following the cancellation of the test in June. The Standards and Testing Agency announced in July that schools would be asked to administer a previous version of the check in the autumn term to year 2 pupils, who would normally have sat the

    10.31 Sep. 7th, 2020 | News

  • STA plans autumn phonics check for year 2s who missed June test

    Schools will be asked to administer a phonics screening check for year 2 pupils in the autumn, after the June test was missed because of coronavirus. The Standards and Testing Agency announced in its most recent update for schools that it is proposing an autumn check to avoid all year 2 pupils having to take

    13.18 Jul. 15th, 2020 | News

  • Government's 'obsession' with phonics is driven by need to help working-class white boys

    The underperformance of white working-class boys in England’s education system is what has driven the government’s “obsession” with reading and phonics, the schools minister has said. Nick Gibb told a Westminster Hall debate today that a belief that children’s educational background has more of an impact than their social or cultural background was the “essential philosophy”

    12.16 Feb. 12th, 2020 | News, Politics

  • Phonics check 2018 pass mark announced

    The pass mark for the phonics screening check will remain at 32 this year, the Department for Education has announced. It is the seventh year in a row that the test’s pass mark has been set at this level. Details of the pass mark have been published today, along with test materials, scoring guidance and

    9.07 Jun. 25th, 2018 | News

  • The reception year isn't all about learning to read

    The UK’s dogmatic approach to teaching reading does a disservice to the different ways and speeds at which young children learn, writes Jan Dubiel Ofsted’s recent Bold Beginnings report was controversial for several reasons, not least because it appeared to suggest that the core purpose of the reception year is learning how to read. Literacy

    5.00 Jan. 27th, 2018 | Opinion

  • Nick Gibb is wrong: PIRLS data does not support synthetic phonics

    The schools minister is looking at the results of a major international reading test wrong, and his dogmatic insistence on teaching children to read with phonics is a sham, argues the NEU’s Kevin Courtney Overwhelmed by problems of teacher supply and faced with rising evidence of the effects of funding cuts, it’s understandable that Nick

    15.00 Dec. 8th, 2017 | Opinion

  • Schools are streaming the youngest children by phonics ability

    Schools are using phonics to divide primary classes into ability streams – and pupils born in summer are paying the price. Phonics teaching involves six phases in which children learn how to read and spell using progressively harder phonemes and graphemes – sounds and the letters that represent them. But the National Education Union has

    0.01 Dec. 1st, 2017 | News

  • FSM pupils falling away in phonics

    The achievement gap in phonics has grown between pupils qualifying for free school meals and their wealthier peers, government data has revealed. In this summer’s exams, 68 per cent of pupils eligible for free school meals met the expected standard in phonics, compared with 84 per cent of all other pupils. This marked a one-percentage-point

    17.53 Sep. 28th, 2017 | News

  • Phonics boosts reading accuracy, study finds

    Phonics has a “dramatic impact” on the accuracy of reading aloud and comprehension, researchers have claimed. A study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General today, tested whether learning to read by sounding out words (as done in phonics) is more effective than focusing on whole-word meanings. Researchers from the Royal Holloway, University of

    13.34 Apr. 20th, 2017 | News

  • Government abandons year 3 phonics check after trial prompts workload concerns

    The government will not extend its phonics screening check re-takes to year three pupils after a trial run prompted concerns from teachers. Officials told Schools Week that a check for eight-year-olds will not be rolled out to all primaries following a pilot in which saw 51 per cent of pupils achieve the government’s ‘expected standard’. Pupils

    11.06 Feb. 2nd, 2017 | News

  • Phonics check needs rethink after data shows 'something dodgy'

    The government’s phonics screening check needs an “urgent rethink” after new figures show “something dodgy” with scores, a policy expert has warned. Figures published last week show 81 per cent of year 1 pupils met the “expected standard” in phonics checks this year, up from 77 per cent in 2015. But the reliability of results

    5.00 Oct. 7th, 2016 | News