Literacy tests a ‘Waste of Time’ – Yet another hopeless initiative

clrtestAn official evaluation of the assessment – taken by 600,000 children for the first time last summer – found that most schools believed it told them “nothing new” about pupils’ ability.

The study also revealed that more than half of teachers thought the test was “too difficult” and was largely unsuitable for high-ability pupils or those at the other end of the spectrum with special needs and English as a second language.

It also emerged that most schools were in favour of using a variety of different methods to teach reading – not an exclusive focus on the phonics system favoured by the Government.

The conclusions will be seen as a blow to the Coalition which has ordered state primaries across the country to introduce the new assessment.

As part of the reforms, pupils are supposed to accurately “decode” a list of 40 words using phonics – the back-to-basics method in which words are broken down into constituent parts.

The list includes a number of made-up words such as “voo”, “terg”, “bim”, “thazz” and “spron” to ensure pupils are properly employing the phonics system.

It is intended to mark out pupils struggling the most after a year of compulsory education – allowing teachers to target them with extra help.

The Department for Education insisted it had been used to identify some 235,000 pupils who were not up to the required standard in reading last summer.

But an evaluation of last year’s exam – based on interviews with 940 teachers and 844 literacy consultants – also found widespread apathy towards the tests.

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Gove destroying Britain’s Entrepreneurial Spirit

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George Osborne has been trumpeting the beginnings of an economic recovery as if he was responsible for it! read the Daily Mail article here.

He talks about Britain’s Entrepreneurs leading the way. Not for long if Michael Gove has his way. His plans for introducing rote learning in schools and to focus on history and classics is trampling on the creativity I see in our young people every day.

I’ve never heard an employer ask that a new employee knows who Winston Churchill was or how to conjugate a latin verb. What’s the point of teaching kids to remember useless facts that they can Google if they need it? What employer needs kids who can remember useless facts and write them down at a certain time under certain conditions?

We need to enthuse kids with learning and make schools a vibrant, creative environment where they can gain confidence, learn through doing and make them a force to reckon with in the workplace of the future.

Michael Gove wants a conveyor belt of people who followed his path.What we don’t need is a tide of young people being trained to become politicians. If that’s what happens then the last person standing please turn out the lights.