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  • Katie Emerson

Phonics for Primary!

Pen to Paper Ghana are excited to announce that they have recently started working in a primary school. The school has provided the NGO with a timed slot in the school timetable, allowing them to teach every day there before their after-school class at a secondary school. This will increase the number of children Pen to Paper Ghana work with by over 50%; having a total of 65 students that regularly attend the free daily classes.

When taking on a new class, Pen to Paper Ghana conduct a reading assessment on the pupils; identifying whether they understand phonics, their ability to read word recognition and phonemic blending words, and their reading level by reading different passages. Not only does this allow them to see who requires the extra lessons, it enables them to see the pupils’ progress in a few months when they are re-assessed.

At the primary school, the assessment was undertaken on 40 of the pupils (the whole of the two classes the school have provided).

  • 50% of the group understood the idea of phonics; however their knowledge on all the letter sounds was limited.

  • For the word recognition words, just over 50% could not read all the words, such as me, she, and that.

  • Phonemic blending words were a bit more of a struggle for the pupils, with 78% of the pupils unable to read all the words, such as cup, top and zoo, and one child not being able to read a single one.

  • Only 14 out of the 40 were a level 3 reader, which is the minimum standard they should be for their primary class. 13 of them were a level 1 reader, which are books aimed at 5 year olds.

In Ghana, pupils can be held back years if they cannot reach the level required for the next class. Therefore, in the two primary classes that Pen to Paper Ghana have, the ages range from 10, all the way up to 17. Since most of them did not know all the letter sounds, Pen to Paper Ghana has commenced lessons with all 40 of the pupils so that the pupils all have a good grounding in phonics. Over time, the number will likely reduce to those that are particularly struggling.

Keep an eye on our blogs to see how Pen to Paper Ghana get on with the classes!

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