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Dispatches- Phonics Teaching


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Did anyone see the C4 programme on why children can't read? I would love to know your views and whether anyone is adopting some of the ideas referred to in the programme?

Suzybell

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was it "last chance kids".

I have watched this for the last 3 nights and thought it was very good.

I found it hard to take in that some children in year 5 +6 couldnt sound out.

these were the children born and raised in england and gone through the system.

I know some were fom deprived areas but what have they been doing in school for the last 5 years. :o

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What I should have said was that I missed the programme - I was told about it but really wanted to know whether it was any good and if anyone could summerise the main points of the programmes. - forgot to set the recorder.

thank you

Suzybell

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What I should have said was that I missed the programme - I was told about it but really wanted to know whether it was any good and if anyone could summerise the main points of the programmes. - forgot to set the recorder.

thank you

Suzybell

Try the Channel 4 website - you can download their programmes to watch again (but sadly I don't think you can record them).

 

I watched the second half of the programme leading up to beginning of the Easter break - but I'd like to see them all to put it into context.

 

Maz

 

PS Loved Benjamin Zephania - fantastic!

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Guest tinkerbell

I agree with Marion

The school in the programme had big problems and good on the head teacher for tackling the reading issue.

 

Tinkerbellx

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I followed the link to Channel 4 - thanks Marion! To clarify, was the 'Dispatches' programme based on the 'Last Chance Kids' series about the headteacher who had vowed to make sure all children were readers within the year, with the help of Ruth Miskin?

 

I seriously need to get up to date with what's on TV - I would like to have seen the 'bringing up baby' programmes so I could make an informed judgement rather than relying on the Daily Mail!

 

Maz

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Yes it was Maz. It started on Monday with a documentary "Why our kids can't read" and was followed by the 3 part Last Chance Kids about Monteagle school and followed a group of children through the time the school was using the Ruth Miskin materials.

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It was one stressed out staff though. :( The absence list on the staffroom board said it all and the teacher who was covering the maternity leave only managed 4 weeks before walking out! xD

 

Peter was a star and good on him! But he had an ebgaging personality with or without the reading.The poet Zafariah was great but even he couldn't handle the boys and admitting he wouldn't beable to teach them. I did laugh when the child called him p**t and walk out-thats just what its like! My work partner got smacked across the face by a 4 year old for trying to sort out 'sharing' of bikes the week before half term.

 

Sorry but Ruth Miskin really got up my nose. :( I admire the head but ended up I thinking thank*** I don't work for her! (afraid to say she reminded me of my old head :o ) She was aimming for all the children reading after a year.The result was half couldn't read before and 1/4 still couldn't at the end of the year.

 

Worth watching if only to stimulate debate in the staffroom

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Guest tinkerbell

Was dyslexia ever mentioned in the programme and specific reasons for why some children do find it hard to read?

 

Tinkerbellx

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Was dyslexia ever mentioned in the programme and specific reasons for why some children do find it hard to read?

 

Tinkerbellx

From my limited viewing, I do remember either Ruth Miskin or the voice over man saying that Read, Write Ink is designed to help everyone - even those who are dyslexic - learn to sound out phonetically.

 

Maz

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Peter was a star and good on him! But he had an ebgaging personality with or without the reading.

Was he the little boy with glasses who formed a close relationship with Benjamin Zephenia - and did I spot them at the end of the documentary dancing in the child's bedroom? Or did I imagine it?

 

Maz

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My personal feeling is that given one to one children would have made significant progress no matter what method was used. I'm with Biccy, Ruth Miskin annoys me with her one size fits all attitude to children and I thought the morale in the school was very low and the head didn't care.

 

The programme also mentioned the amount of money the government is putting into Every Child A Reader programme which is Reading Recovery (apparently Gordon Brown is a big fan) so they are saying phonics is the best way for children to learn to read (Rose Report) and then putting their money into a non phonics method :o

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That's right Maz even phoned him from china to wish him well in the poetry reading competition

Wow! I'll bet having someone like Benjamin in his corner made a real difference to his self-confidence: if someone you like and respect has faith in you it does give you a boost. I wonder if he'll keep up the contact and act as his mentor in the future?

 

Maz

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I watched with interest ... and some scepticism. We're doing Letters and Sounds for 20 mins each day - they were having a full hour, but I suppose this was replacing literacy hour and maybe, though I couldn't be sure from the program, incorporated all elements of literacy hour! Also, if children who aren't keeping up have the luxury of one-to-one, this makes it easier. Not sure what I thought, but it was interesting viewing. Thought Peter was a delight too ... hope his enthusiasm continues.

 

Harricroft

 

PS - I agree about stress levels and staff morale. Still good for headteacher's CV.

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I saw most of all programmes and wondered whether Ruth Miskin was being paid by channel 4 or whether she was doing it for free. Would other schools in similar circumstances be able to afford the teacher training and all the visits, both by her and by Benjamin?

 

It was good to see how the children changed when they finally 'got it', but if that school is indicative of other schools I do wonder at the education system as a whole. I told my 14 year old son about the first programme where they said around 30-50% of yr9 students have a reading age of 8 and he said thats what their tests in yr 9 showed.

 

I think government should back off and let the teachers decide which way is best for each child. Clearly the phonics worked for a lot of children but some still didnt learn to read so what now? Leave them? Try a different way? Or keep plodding on with the phonics?

 

The Nigerian man they spoke to who had a daughter at the school expressed his disbelief when a woman at a prison he worked in asked him to read a letter to her , he was flabbergassted that in this country people cant read.

 

What a terrible education system that has produced adults who cant read enough to help their own children.

 

I agree, Peter was great, but I wondered what happened to Jordan. I dont remember seeing much of him towards the end of the last programme.

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No Jordan seemed to disappear (maybe he didn't make enough progress for the show) I also felt sorry for Liam (and his brother) I thought exclusion when he owned up to breaking the window was a bit harsh (though there may have been other factors we didn't see but was putting him out of school encouraging him to improve?)

 

Incidently Ruth Miskin charges £1800 for a training session

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Thats utterly amazing!! xD:(

 

 

Do heads really have so little faith in their staff, or do teachers really feel themselves to be so incapable that anyone can justify spending that much money on a scheme that is basically an ego trip for someone who claims to be passionate about teaching all children to read?

Try working for minimum wage in a shared rented hall, with no pay for planning, merely for the joy of seeing children develop and the honour of sharing their achievments with their families.

 

Laughing all the way to the bank. :o

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So, is this a new phenomena, Low literacy levels at secondary entry age levels ?

 

Could it be anything to do with entering formal education at a too early age, which started, oh yes about a decade ago?

 

I saw one of the programmes so didn't see the whole context of the series. My two 10 & 12 yr old foster boys are at age 8 / 9 yrs reading level but that, it has been said, is due to 'missed' schooling at age 5/6 yrs. Yet it appears they are actually level with many of their peers. :o

 

I wonder when Letterland will resurface, should the synthetic phonics prove to be not as successful for everyone as many are confident it will be?

 

Increase age for start of formal education and let teachers use the appropriatte, various methods for their childrens individual learning styles. Oh and write some books which children will actually want to read.

 

Peggy

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Iactually thought the letter pictures were letterland as the g had the golden girl picture we used to do with letter land .

It appeared to be a mix of jolly phonics and letterland.

I personally much prefer jolly phonics to letterland.

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me too MARYS.

 

We abandonned letterland a long time ago.It worked for bright children but they would respond to most methods.It was the lower ability children who struggle to make the leap from Fireman Fred to fffffffff when sounding out.

 

I'm sure Jolly Phonics will be refined/binned in a few years but wait long enough and it all comes around again. :o I just sigh when some fresh new approach or idea is something we did **** years ago. Too many years in education has also taught me to wait and let the dust settle, select the bits my instinct likes and then go forward.Too many younger collegues (sorry) want to reinvent the wheel and think each idea is new and the ONLY answer.

 

I feel that about child orientated planning.20 years ago we just planned weekly 'hey little Jonny likes trains lets have a station'.Then came long term/medium term planning, nursery vouchers, OFSTED,evidence and SATS which took all that creativity away and now they want us to go back to that. xD

 

rant over (must be PMT) I'll crawl back in my corner.....

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