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East Lancashire teachers criticise controversial new reading test
1:42pm Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in News
A TEACHING union has criticised a controversial new reading test for six-year-olds after around 40 per cent of children in Lancashire failed.
Of the 15,070 pupils in our region who sat the phonics test, which focuses on sounds rather than recognising whole words, 9,221 passed, meaning 5,848 did not meet the grade.
As part of the test, which pupils sat in June this year, children are asked to sound out or decode a series of words, some of which are made up, to check their reading skill.
Nationally, 58 per cent of children passed the test.
Simon Jones, NUT secretary for Blackburn with Darwen and national executive member, said he did not believe the test accurately represented children’s reading abilities.
He said: “The whole thing is a complete nonsense. Getting children to read 20 nonsense words as well as 20 real words just so they can decode the text means children are just barking at letters.
“It is not what reading is all about, there should be sentences to give them context.
“Children should be reading for pleasure and in context.”