Reading assessment rationale
Foundation Stage Framework
The Development Matters statements within the Foundation Stage Framework provide the necessary objectives against which to assess the children’s reading abilities. As defined in the framework, such assessment should stem from both child initiated activities as well as adult lead.
Our assessment tracking tool - O Track - exactly matches the Development Matters statements allowing assessment to be broken down further into ‘beginning’, ‘working towards’ and ‘secure’. This will allow assessment to be easily transferred from gathering data through observation/assessment per child in class, to a whole class overview on our tracking system from term to term throughout the year. At the end of Reception, both methods will allow assessment in terms of the Early Learning Goal for reading.
Our children are assessed and grouped every half term to ensure they are being taught at their level. Any child working below or not making enough progress receive daily interventions to ensure they catch up quickly. These children are then reassessed every two weeks. As soon as our children can read CVC words they receive two phonics reading books at their level. We only expect children to read books that match their phonics knowledge. Once our children know all set 1, 2 & 3 sounds and can fluently read blue/grey books then they have competed the RWI programme.
1:1, group, guided and whole class reading
Children in the early stages of learning to read need to be heard by an adult as much as possible; 1:1 reading with a teacher or teaching assistant is essential. Each class has a file dedicated to reading assessment. This file will hold 1:1 data on pupils’ reading, and be used to support judgements at pupil progress meetings and during handover meetings between teachers. To augment this, children take books home from the reading scheme and we expect parents to listen to them read regularly, recording the date, book and pages read in their reading journal and signing it. Teachers set expectations in their classroom, but reading daily for 15 minutes at home is to be encouraged and checking reading journals should be regular and recorded.
As they get older and read more sophisticated books, pupils will need to be guided in their choice. Before this, they should progress though the school’s reading scheme. If a book band is proving unchallenging, the child is to move on to the next band. Sometimes, if books are very short, it may be appropriate to give a child two reading books at a time in order to pass through the scheme at their rate of progress, or even jump to the next band before they have read every book at that level. We do not want to stunt children’s progress or enthusiasm as readers by holding them back.
When the child has completed our reading scheme (consisting mainly of Collins Big Cat fiction, non-fiction and poetry books, as well as others – or when their teacher deems it appropriate – they become a ‘free reader’, which means they are able to select their own books from the school or class library. Their book choices should still be checked by an adult to determine the pupils’ ability to access and understand the text.
Evidence to support judgements
Teacher’s evidence may include examples of the following:
- 1:1 or class reading session notes
- reading comprehension notes
- formative assessment data from optional or statutory tests
- pupil’s reading journal records
- pupil’s reading scheme records
- other examples of teacher’s and/or TA’s formative assessment data, including evidence from class novels
In addtion to these methods, classes from Years 1 to 6 also sit termly standardised NTS reading tests in order to benchmark children's progress against a notional national standard. These are modelled closely on the National Curriculum Tests (SATs) that children in Year 2 and Year 6 still sit each summer.