The Assessment Of Phonics Screening Check Essay

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The debatable assessment

Moreover, it is arguable whether Phonics Screening Check (PSC) is effective in measuring the outcomes of instructions and identifying the reading ability of children. In Rose Report (2007: 19), synthetic phonics is praised as ‘the best route to becoming skilled readers’. Driven by its emphasis on phonics, it points out five essential skills for reading: ‘recognition of letters, the ability to sound out phonemes, the ability to hear and blend phonemes, the reading of phonically regular words, and the reading of some irregular words’ (Rose, 2007: 22). Therefore, Phonics Screening Check was later introduced in 2012 by the UK coalition government to strengthen the teaching of synthetic phonics (Walker, 2015). Its aim is to track children’s reading progress and to ensure that individual child’s phonic decoding ability is in an ‘age-appropriate standard’ (Department for Education, 2013, cited in Dombey, 2013: 4).

According to the 2012 UKLA survey about the impact of PSC among the 494 teachers and headteachers, a considerable majority of respondents agree that its result was not an accurate reflection of children’s reading skills. Especially, it misidentifies some successful and fluent readers, who actually achieve lower mark than the less able ones in the check (Dombey, 2013: 6). This finding is supported by the research of England’s National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), which is commissioned by the Department for Education. In 14 case…

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