Reading tests for six year olds

(19 Posts)
muminlondon Wed 02-Jun-10 23:40:28

The only specific proposal I have read about the new Education Bill is another state compulsory test - reading at the end of year 1.

Now it would be shocking if schools weren't keeping tabs on all pupils' progress but what is the government going to do with the results of this new test? Will they label all non-readers as dyslexic? will they provide the money for extra classroom assistants where there aren't too many parent volunteers? Or just publish the info in league tables?

wheelsonthebus Thu 03-Jun-10 12:22:11

muminlondon - I take your point. But speaking for myself, I wish they would do much more one-to-one reading at my dd's school. Sometimes, without tests, schools coast along with their eco agendas, cooking buses, and 'down time' after assembly (??) and I wish they would re-prioritise. Reading standards do need to be raised across the schools. There is no doubt in my mind that private schools do much better with reading standards than state - and the state sector should think about that. It can't be all down to class sizes.

lljkk Thu 03-Jun-10 12:49:40

You can't call it a test for 6 year olds -- 10-20% of them won't be 6yo yet (depends precisely when the test is administered).

Is there any suggestion that it might replace KS1 SAT info?

Cortina Thu 03-Jun-10 13:17:00

wheelsonthebus - I am not a teacher but think a lot does come down to class size. My sister's children (in classes of 18 maximum) get 20 to 30 mins a day of one on one reading time with the teacher or teaching assistant. This does not include other reading activities, such as guided reading etc. Her DD in year one is one of 12 in a class.

DS - also year one - gets 10 mins with the teacher once a week on a good week. We try to do lots at home but clearly a child in the school I've described stands a better chance of being further along in a reading scheme etc.

Builde Thu 03-Jun-10 14:13:49

It all depends on the child and the school.

My dd is a good reader (free reader by just before aged 6) and thus she only reads (and only needs to) read with her teacher once a week. She also reads with a year 6 'reading buddy'.

However, the average and less able readers read with all sorts of people much more frequently. They have many external reading partners and a ferociously enthusiastic reading recovery scheme.

However, this is a school with a poor intake that knows it has to work hard for its children.

My dd reads with us a lot at home so I don't really care how much she does at school.

But like one of you says, do they mean aged 6, or do they mean the end of year 1?

RollaCoasta Thu 03-Jun-10 14:22:03

I think a reading test at the end of year 1 would produce very unreliable and unsatisfactory data, and also lead to a lot of parental angst.

It is far too early in a child's reading experience. Throughout KS1, the rate of reading progress varies considerably from child to child. By the end of year 2, you do get a clear indication of who is having problems, and who isn't.

The Y2 SATs are a very good assessment tool for comprehension, and nearly always mirror my teacher assessments. The APP for reading is also very clear as regards level descriptors.

Daft idea.

asdx2 Thu 03-Jun-10 16:18:06

At our school there is no individual reading certainly not in yr 1 and 2 (my dd entered after yr R so don't know about that)
Each child does a streamed phonics session of 20 minutes daily and a literacy hour which includes guided reading.
We don't have any particular reading scheme instead all library books are colour coded. Each child is assessed termly and given a colour and then the child and their parent chooses books from the library coded that colour.
Dd's first school had a more traditional method of daily reading following a scheme but I prefer the new school's method if only because we don't have to read ORT books anymore grin
From as far as I can see dd has made at least the expected progress and a good percentage of her class sat the level 3 paper so it doesn't appear to lessen their ability or progress by not reading daily to a teacher.

allchildrenreading Sun 06-Jun-10 08:52:14

The test that's proposed by Gove is a simple 'decoding' test. After about 3 weeks of synthetic phonics teaching, for instance, a knowledgeable teacher will be able to pick out those children who are struggling. They just need more time, more focused practice with their skills - in this case learning to decode automatically. As with any skill, some children need more time.
If you by-pass the 'decoding' route because some children find it difficult initially, these children may progress via 'tailored' instruction, mixed methods etc. but most of them will reach a ceiling by the age of 8,9. That's simply not necessary and throwing thousands of pounds at the situation is not the answer.

RollaCoasta Sun 06-Jun-10 11:21:41

From a Gove e-mail to the Independent:

'....We would introduce a simple reading test for six-year-olds that would tell us which children needed extra help, and then we'd use budgets from existing programmes to provide that support....'

I don't know what he thinks we do anyway to identify children who need extra help!

allchildrenreading Tue 08-Jun-10 17:25:15

An awful lot of schools don't, unfortunately. That's why there are so many children who struggle once they get to secondary school. But a clued-up teacher will know after around 3 weeks, if there is likely to be a problem.

RollaCoasta Tue 08-Jun-10 19:13:44

Surely daily phonics in KS1 will have dealt with that one? These identify the non-readers really quickly, obviating the need for a national test.

HeavyMetalGlamourRockStar Tue 08-Jun-10 19:18:36

Would it really take a teacher 3 weeks to figure out a child was struggling with reading? shock Or do you mean 3 weeks for the teacher to get around the whole class?

RollaCoasta Tue 08-Jun-10 19:22:07

Struugling with learning to read in the early years would take a few weeks, and would be picked up in the phonics lessons. They are the children who don't pick up the sounds as quickly as the others, and can't blend them to make words, etc. They will be stalling, when the others are flying ahead.

cornsilkcottagecheese Tue 08-Jun-10 19:23:35

which reading test are they planning to use?

RollaCoasta Tue 08-Jun-10 19:29:59

(Probably a new one that will take ££££M for initial consultations; to pilot, test, analyse, print, train, link to a web-site.......smile)

smee Thu 10-Jun-10 10:38:09

I can't believe schools still exist that don't test the kids internally already. I know ours does and they tell the parents what level they start each term at and end it at. The kids aren't aware they're being tested, but it's to make sure they're all progressing. It's pretty standard now I thought.

zandy Fri 11-Jun-10 17:00:51

CORTINA - 30 minutes a day for a class of 18, that would be nine hours of one to one reading?

RollaCoasta Fri 11-Jun-10 20:56:26

smile zandy!

IndigoBell Wed 16-Jun-10 22:24:45

Smee It may be standard to test the kids - but it's definately not standard to tell the parents!

Do you mean you not only test your kids, but you also do something with the results?

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