If you have a child in Year 2 at Leigh St Mary's they will be taking tests in May 2017. We shall be using the results of the tests to judge how well they are progressing but we won't be just using the tests results alone. Instead, we'll be thinking about what we've seen over years 1 and 2 to get a full and accurate picture of how well your child is doing.
We will send you a report on their progress by the end of the year.
The reason why the Government asks us to assess your child in Year 2 is to help us make sure they have mastered the basics in reading, writing and maths. Seeing how well your child is doing at the end of Key Stage 1 is essential in ensuring that they're on the right track when they reach the end of primary school.
At Leigh St Mary's we have lots of interventions and support strategies in place if your child is struggling with these skills. It is vital that you meet with your child's class teacher at the next Parents' Meetings, so that we can talk you through the many ways you can help your child at home.
The report which will be sent to you in the summer term will tell you whether your child is performing at the expected standard for their age in maths, English reading and English writing or whether they need more support to achieve it.
2016 was the first year of the new key stage 1 tests in maths and English reading. Last year the English spelling, grammar and punctuation was optional and it will be this year too. At Leigh St Mary's CE Primary School we did not take these optional tests and we won't this year. There is no test in science at key stage 1.
The new national curriculum tests reflect the new primary curriculum. It is a curriculum designed to be on a par with the best education systems in the world and as such the bar has been raised.
The results look very different from those of previous years and should not be compared with them. They will be reported using what's known as a scaled score, where a score of 100 means a child is working at the standard expected of them. A score below 100 indicates a child needs more support and a score of 100 or above suggests a child is working at or above the expectations for this age.
The maximum score is 115 and the minimum is 85.
The tests aren't the whole picture though, we take into consideration the judgements based on how your child has performed in class over the past 2 years. The tests are one piece of evidence towards the overall judgement.
If your child does not meet the expected standard please do not worry. This helps us to identify where your child needs extra support and assistance to get them back on track with reading and maths.
What is the Phonics screen Test?
The phonics screening check is a quick and easy way to test your child's phonics knowledge. It helps us confirm whether your child has made the expected progress. It is a statutory requirement that every child takes the check in Year 1 unless your child has no phonic awareness at all and that discussion will take place between school and parents before the date of the checks.
In 2017 the check will take place during the week commencing Monday 12th June 2017.
How does the check work?
Your child will sit with their class teacher, this will be either Miss Williams' or Mrs Weightman and they will be asked to read 40 words aloud.
Your child may have read some of the words before while others will be completely new.
The check normally takes just a few minutes to complete and there is no time limit. If your child is struggling the teacher will stop the check. The check is designed not to be stresful for your child.
What are nonsense or pseudo words?
The check consists of a mix of real words and nonsense or pseudo words. Your child will be told before the check that there will be nonsense words that he/she will not have seen before.
Nonsense words eg 'vap' or 'jound' are new to all children. The reason why the check asks your child to read these words so that they can't rely on their memory but it does rely on your child using their decoding skills.
After the check
We will inform you about your child's progress in phonics and how he/she has done in the check at the end of the summer term. If your child found the check difficult we will tell you what support we have in place already in school and what support they will have in Y2.
Children who have not met the standard in Year 1 will retake the check in Year 2.
The pass mark in 2016 was 32 out of 40. The pass mark in 2017 is unknown to teachers and is only released after the check in June.
What if my child is poorly that week?
If your child is poorly that week we have until 23rd June 2017 to administer the check.
How can I help my child at home?