For anyone losing the will to live, or nearly, in relation to SSP/no SSP

I really am interested in the details of how the different SSP programmes work in practice: how they are implemented, and what other changes need to accompany the implementation (including to SEN or EAL).

If I seem to be picking holes, it’s because I have questions about how the various issues are handled, not because I am deliberately trying to put SSP down.

If I end up putting off people who have found SSP to be a successful model, then I would be very sorry, and to be honest there wouldn’t be any point in continuing this blog, because I absolutely don’t want it to become one-sided.

Anyone is welcome to put their views, no matter how irritating to other readers (or even to me!) as long as they are polite, and not dismissive out of hand of others’ perspectives.

[Edited to add this comment which I managed to bury elsewhere, and which might clarify what I’d like to hear about from successfully SSP schools:

I’m really interested in the specifics of the success stories: what worked, what didn’t? How was change managed? How were changes integrated with/adapted to SEN & EAL support? What changed in terms of wider classroom practice (for instance, what knock-on effects did SSP have on other literacy work, but also was there anything else that changed)? How does that flow through the school – do teachers in the upper school find that they’re picking up on different issues post-implementation, and if so what are they? How is the PSC handled? How were parents informed of/engaged with the changes? That sort of thing….]


3 thoughts on “For anyone losing the will to live, or nearly, in relation to SSP/no SSP

  1. On page 151 of Early Reading Instruction, Professor Diane McGuinnes writes

    “The term synthetic phonics is particularly troublesome.
    It was defined as ‘‘teaching students to convert letters (graphemes) into sounds (phonemes) and then to blend the sounds to form recognizable words.’’
    This definition suggests synthetic phonics is synonymous with what I call visual phonics.”

    She goes on to say:

    “The panel does not seem to recognize the distinction between visual phonics (letter driven) and linguistic phonics (phoneme driven). …. Visual-phonics programs and linguistic-phonics programs were both coded as ‘‘synthetic phonics.’’

    I am not sure, but I think ‘panel’ refers to the the National Reading Panel in America in 2000.

    In the UK, SSP is ‘phoneme driven’. This is called ‘linguistic phonics’ by some programme authors. Programme authors will be able tell you the difference between LP and SSP far better than me, but they are both taught from a ‘sounds to letters’ perspective rather than ‘letters to sounds’.

    I think the DfE SSP criteria of 2011 is ‘sounds driven’ and I assume that ‘systematic phonics’ in the NC2014 is also ‘sounds driven’, but this may not be explicit. However, to me, this is the crucial aspect of how the ‘phonics’ programmes are implemented in England.

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