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Can anybody advise on an alternative up to date reading test please? We use the Salford in our primary school which bears no relation to the new synthetic phonics letters and sounds programme. We have 2 children for example on reading book band levels 2b where one scored 4.5 on the test and the other 5.6. I have no idea where the idea that a child of 4.4 should be able to read 'train', when they probably haven't even started school. It could just be that I have no clear understanding of how the test works. Please enlighten me if you can.
We use nfer nelson with our year 7's when they come in. I doubt that it is applicable for the very young child, though. I think 'testing' a four year old for reading age is ludicrous. With a sane teacher at the helm you should be able to tell whether a child is 'reading ready' and start them off accordingly. Kids who have had some exposure to books pre-school will often whizz through the early reading material and find their level somewhere around a reading age of 5 or 6 years or higher. Later developers might take a while to catch on - why do you need a test?
There aren't any tests which align with synthetic phonics teaching as they have all been developed and normed on children who have, in the main, been taught by whole word/look and say methods. As such the words which children aresupposed to be able to read at a certain age will be very much aligned to the sight vocabulary the majority of children were being taught at the time the test was developed.
I can understand that you want some sort of objective, standardised test for measuring progress and year on year comparisons. Standardised tests can offer this to a certain extent, but not, I would think, until at least KS2.
It will be interesting to see how the proposed decoding test for 6 y olds fares.
We don't use them on Reception children but we have to use them from Year 1 onwards as a 'tracking' resource. I personally think the Salford is a waste of time as a Year 1 child may be expected to read a word they have yet to be taught following letters and sounds programme therefore it gives an inaccurate assessment.I believe they may have some more use for tracking in KS2 but as we all know they do not consider comprehension or inference and deduction. As the Literacy subject leader I am trying to find a more recent and relevant test.
I work in a privately run special school and used the Salford test a few years ago. Our Educational Psychologist has since reccommended the " Neale Analysis of Reading Ability" (NARA 2) published by GL Assessment. This test can be used from age 6-12 years and also tests comprehension at the same time. Think all tests are designed for mainstream students but with NARA and the spelling tests I use, they take into account special needs and excellence by providing supplementary assessments and extension diagnostic testing. We use the Single Word Spelling Test (SWST) also published by GL Assessments. Hope this is of help x
I had this same problem so along with the Salford reading test I also use the Holbourn reading test which is more synthetic and surprisingly the ages do rougly come out the same except it shows your LA and SEN child have progress rather than being stuck at 4.3 years for the year!
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