Assessment and testing
We continuously assess how well children are learning to read so that we can identify early if children are struggling and put support in place. We do this in many different ways:
- observation - listening to children read. Children are heard reading regularly by their class teacher. We have 'Whole Class Reading' sessions in which most children read the same text and discuss it, but children (particularly in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2) also read 1-1 to an adult each week.
- phonics checks. Children's knowledge of sounds is assessed each half term so that they can be grouped according to their stage of learning, and any child not making the expected progress can be identified for 1-1 sessions to catch up.
- 2Eskimos reading assessment provides us with an overview of children's sight vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.
- staff regularly look at the progress children are making using the digital resources we have in school, these include Bug Club, Lexia and Reading Plus. (see 'How technology supports reading' section)
- written comprehension tests. Every half term, children in KS1 and KS2 who are able, sit a written comprehension test. The tests are non-threatening and children know it is just another way for us to check how great their reading is. These tests are a good way for teachers to check children's understanding, as well as how resilient they are in reading independently.
National Tests and assessments
Every school must report how well children read to the government and to parents in the following ways:
- at the end of Reception class. There is no 'test' here; teachers use their judgement to say whether a child is below, at or above the standard expected.
- at the end of Year 1 in phonics. Children are screened in how well they can read real and nonsense words by applying their knowledge of phonics. Children are either working towards or working at the standard expected.
- at the end of Year 2. Children sit a SATs test in reading and this score is combined with the teacher's other knowledge of the child's ability to form a final judgement. A child can be working below, at or at greater depth of the expected standard.
- at the end of Year 6. Children sit a written comprehension test in reading, which is submitted alongside, but not combined with, the teacher's assessment of what the child can do.