Michael Rosen: An exciting new test: The DfE speaks:

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Michael Rosen On An Exciting New Test

Michael Rosen at his satirical best ridicules the test asking children to read 'blurg' and 'skonk'

...the test also has some other kinds of words. These aren't words. They're just words that look like words. Words like 'blurg'. or 'Skonk'. If you're a reader, you'll read those. If you're not a reader you won't. Now some people have said that some little children taking the test will think that if there's a word they can read but doesn't make sense, they'll try to make it make sense.  Now that really doesn't make sense. Well at least not to me it doesn't.

So, a child who can read, might see 'blurg' and because it doesn't make sense, they'll try to turn it into a word that does....'blurt' or 'blurb' or something. Then they'll be wrong and score badly. You know what we say to this? Tough. (which incidentally is a 'tricky word' or a Red Word. It just depends which of the phonics schemes you buy thanks to us and our recommendations. Though it won't be us thanking you, it'll be the people who make the books. Jolly good for business. Jolly good for Britain. Well, not Britain actually, because this only applies to England. Which isn't Britain. Which is a shame I always think. It would be better if Wales and Scotland were England.).

But the good news is that we've been listening to what teachers have been telling us about this. So do you know what we're doing? We've hired an artist who imagines what a 'blurg' might look like and he draws a 'blurg'. There it is on the page next to the word 'blurg'. A bit like a Flannimal. Now isn't that fun?Now the child looks at 'blurg' and says to him or herself...'Ho ho ho, that must be a blurg'. Problem solved.

This is the sort of thing we do at the Department for Education. We hire people to do pictures of blurgs.

So, look, press on. The phonics test is very good. Any school that fails the phonics test will have to become an Academy. Which is a very tricky word indeed.

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on February 21, 2012 7:01 AM.

Do you have an idea for a way to encourage disadvantaged children to read? The Siobhan Dowd Trust might provide funding :: Blog :: Nosy Crow was the previous entry in this blog.

Writing from the Tub: Blog Tour: Hollow Pike - James Dawson is the next entry in this blog.

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