Three-fifths of six-year-old’s reach expected standard in phonics test.

A controversial reading test has been criticized by teaching unions who say it could do more damage than good.

The first results in the controversial phonics reading test have shown that around three-fifths of six-year-old’s reached the expected standard but thousands need extra support, the government has said.

The reading test taken by pupils at the end of their first year of formal schooling (Year 1) is based on a system which focuses on sounds rather than recognizing whole words, and has been promoted by ministers as the best way to boost reading standards.

National, regional and local authority results released by the Department for Education (DfE) show that 58% of six-year-old’s reached the expected standard, and teachers have identified around 235,000 pupils who will now receive additional reading support from schools.

The department said 592,010 pupils in state-funded schools, including academies, took the phonics reading check in June this year.

Pupils are asked to sound out or decode a series of words, some of which are made up, to check their reading skill.

The test has been criticized by teaching unions who said it could do more damage than good. They suggested that including made-up words such as “voo”, “terg” and “bim” would frustrate those who could already read and confuse pupils who have special educational needs, or those for whom English is a second language.

Plans for a reading test were announced by ministers last year, amid fears that youngsters with poor reading skills were slipping through the net.

Continue Reading at Guardian.co.uk

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