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Letters And Sounds Assessment


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Just wondered how everyone else was assessing for Letters and Sounds. Our literacy leader says that we should assess at the end of each phase which is a good idea but takes so long. We assessed our September intake at Christmas (phase 2) and now have to assess the January intake (also phase two). The assessment form we have is from PALS and we have to see if they recognise the sound, can name it, can write it. Then we have to se if they can blend CVC words for reading and write them. Also have to read non words, spell and read high frequency words and be able to clap out two syllable words. We also have to lelvel the children for for a piece of writing each term, carry out a practical maths assessment, a recorded reading assessment and now have to reintroduce PIPs as the SLT are saying we need to show value added. All this on top of the FSP and we're told not to do any other assessments apart from the Profile! Does anyone else have a similar problem? It just seems that a soon as one thing is done we have to start another. It wont be long before our phase three children eed assessing again!

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Our LA has also been drumming it into us not to do any summative assessment except the profile throughout FS. However it is very difficult when headteachers are asking for these. Personally I think it is very important to assess literacy progress if you are doing systematic phonics so you can identify where support is needed early on and track progress so I do do that, but just once in February (for Autumn entrants) and again in July. I do phases 2 and 3 together on the whole tho'. Our Head fortunately does not want anything else and uses my obs as a baseline. I know our EY advisors would be knocking on our HT's door if they heard we were doing PIPs again!!

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Hi Vicki,So agree with you about the length of time taken with Phonics assessments.We work as a whols FS and KS1 unit and it's a real pain when there are different time spans for each phase. When we first started this I was unaware that there was any assessment material so made up my own using the criteria from the Letters and Sounds assessment criteria.

You have got an awful lot on by the sound of it and I really do empathise. I find the idea of using PIPS when you have already got the phonics up and running quite ludicrous! Keep your chin up.luluj

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I agree that the end of phase assessment does take a long time, but it is improtant to find out who is ready for the next phase. We split our reception/Y1 and Y1/Y2 class into 4 groups for our phonics time, and focus on phases 3,4,5,6 at the moment (with a little support group for some phase 1/2 SEN children). The TA who takes the phase 4 group (mixed Y1/Y2) has just completed an assessment for her group. (She worked with each child individually in her sessions, while others practised basic letter formation / hfw tricky word writing/ sentence writing) and also grabbing the children at other times in the day. She realised that they are not all completely ready to move onto phase 5, so she is going over some of the sections again for the next couple of weeks.

 

I am still in phase 3 with my group (reception with 1 Y1 child), but will need to do an assessment at the end, even though I have a good idea about who can blend / segment / recognise graphemes - it will be individual tricky word checks I will need to do, but i will plan to do as much as possible in small groups to save time- it needs to be a best fit anyway, I would have thought.

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Thanks for all your thoughts on this subject. Seems like we are all in a similar boat! We're told one thing from the advisors and another from the leadership team at school! I guess we'll just have to plod on!

 

:o

 

Thanks again

 

Vicki

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Hi Vicki, I sympathise about the amount of assessment above and beyond the FSP! We also seem to spend an increasing amount of time on assessment. However I do find the letters and sounds assessment very useful as it shows who is secure in their knowledge and who needs reinforcement. I assess each half term with myself and the TA sharing the workload. Like you on top of that I also have to have an assessed piece of writing and a numeracy assessment for each child every half term. We also complete school tracker sheets to conform with rest of school. I count my blessings I don.t have to do PIPS!! Not quite sure how alonside this I'm supposed to make sure 80% of my assessment is based on child initiated activities which is what the moderation team want to see. Seems at the moment you just can't win whatever you do it's wrong in someones eyes!!

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The 80% CI, quoted as good practice should actually be 80% from CI, teacher knowledge of the child and anecdotal observations but often gets miss quoted as just CI so this implies our instincts are to be trusted (some of the time!)

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The assessments will also come from your ongoing knowledge - hearing chn read, thier writing in play etc etc. If a child is clearly segmenting cvc words when they do a piece of writing on a daily basis why do additional stuff just to prove it's so? Assessing through omission and exception are useful strategies to speed up the process.

 

We have a total hatred of "assessment weeeks" in my consultant team - the number of times people tell us they don't know where chn are because "we haven't had assessment week yet" - how on earth can they be teaching if they don't assess as an ongoing thing??

Cx

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Sorry Catma but I don't feel my ongoing assessments give me a detailed enough picture . Yes I know which children can segment and blend the cvc and ccvc words they are using on a day to day basis but once we have covered all 45 phonemes and started to learn alternative ways of writing diagraphs it doesn't really tell me which we need to revisit. So for the sake of spending an extra few minutes one to one I think its worth the effort.

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Yes I know, essential reviews of some skill/knowledge are also part of the process and in relation to Letters and sounds can be useful - my point is the ongoing stuff is often ignored as part of the picture, and no assessments are done for ages as if you can't possibly be assessing if it's not "the week".

Cx

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