Articles on: Literacy

End of Early Years Attainment Levels? Should students know just 1 alphabet group? or 2? or 3?

The Science of Reading challenges us all, to move through the learning content. likely faster than we have in the past.

PLD advocates for three targeted teaching groups, that reflect Tier 1, 2 and 3 students within a class.

One group (ideally 70-75% of the class) should be keeping up with the teaching sequence and hence the end of year outcomes.
One group (likely 20% of the class) will be lagging a little, not picking up concepts as quickly, will be requiring further teaching, added repetition and small group work. These students typically present as Tier 2 students and who finish the year at an end of Term 3 or early Term 4 level.
One group (likely 5-10%) who even after all of the additional small group work are still in a semester 1 position and also likely require outside assessments. These are the Tier 3 students.

Attainment levels for the end of Early Years.

The challenge is to teach the alphabet sounds at a whole class and small targeted group level, in a manner that reflects the needs of the Tier 1, 2 and 3 students within the class (and the testing results).

Alphabet groups 1, 2 & 3 have been in the Teaching Sequence Manuals for the Early Years for some time now (below).

Alphabet instruction begins in Term 3 and continues through to the end of Term 4.
Introduce all sounds within a group at one time. Continue to rehearse the sounds until the group of sounds has been acquired.
It is ideal to rehearse each set several times a day. The 'little but often' method of presenting the groups of cards several times a day, typically produces superior results. Each rehearsal session typically takes less than three minutes.
The ability of the students and the frequency at which sounds are presented will impact the rate of acquisition. Some students pick up the alphabet sounds at the rate of the Teaching Sequence Manual. Other students will require additional repetition and additional intensity (i.e. small group work).

Updated on: 12/01/2023

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