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Listening to the voices of children: An illuminative evaluation of the teaching of early reading in the light of the Phonics Screening Check

Carter, Jane

Authors

Jane Carter Jane.Carter@uwe.ac.uk
Senior Lecturer in Primary/Early Years



Abstract

The Phonics Screening Check (PSC) was introduced in England in 2012 for children in Year 1. There have been criticisms in relation to its reliability and appropriateness as an assessment tool for early reading although supporters of the PSC see it as a valuable tool in securing progress in reading. The DfE funded evaluation (Walker et al, 2015 p.8) concluded however, that it “did not find any evidence of improvements in pupils’ literacy performance, or in progress, that could be clearly attributed to the introduction of the PSC”.
This article reports some of the findings from a doctoral study that sought to illuminate the voices of those most affected by the PSC: children in Year 1 and their teachers. The study used an illuminative evaluation methodology (Kushner, 2017) and focused on a range of schools in a large city, selected for their diversity in relation to attainment data (PSC and reading) and socio-economic status. The findings demonstrate the negative backwash from the assessment process which has influenced the way that phonics is taught and so raises some questions for teachers and policy makers about the approach to the teaching of early reading in the light of the PSC.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2020
Journal Literacy
Print ISSN 1741-4350
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 54
Issue 1
Pages 49-57
APA6 Citation Carter, J. (2020). Listening to the voices of children: An illuminative evaluation of the teaching of early reading in the light of the Phonics Screening Check. Literacy, 54(1), 49-57. https://doi.org/10.1111/lit.12187
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/lit.12187
Keywords phonics, phonics screening check, reading, children's voice
Publisher URL https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/17414369
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