Towards the end of each term children sit a PIRA (Progress in Reading Assessment) test paper. This provides a summative, standardised assessment of a child’s reading attainment. The test questions match the 2014 National Curriculum for reading and the content domain assessable elements of the reading test framework. The questions have been written to reflect the style of questions the children will come across in their end of key stage SATs tests.
The children are provided with a test booklet. The children complete the paper in test conditions within their classrooms. This is not a stressful experience as our children are well rehearsed in answering the types of questions set. If any children are not clear about what to do, they may be given additional explanations to help them understand the requirements of the test, but teachers cannot read any of the actual questions or help with individual words. There is a maximum time limit of 50 minutes for the tests.
Over the four years of junior school the tests assess children’s reading of different text types and genres – fiction, various forms of non-fiction, poetry and playscripts – in line with national guidelines across the primary phase.
Once the tests have been completed teachers are able to input the data into a digital marksheet which allows for detailed analysis of the scores. Each set of data provides teachers with;
- age-standardised scores, which take into account a pupil’s chronological age so that you can see how a pupil’s performance compares with other pupils of the same age;
- standardised scores, which show the standard score for a year cohort;
- reading age;
- whether children are working towards, working at or exceeding the level for that year group.
Teachers are able to analyse the questions which the children found difficult/easy and plan their reading lessons accordingly.
Teachers discuss the results of these tests, alongside their teacher assessment of reading, with Mrs Brown (Headteacher) Mr Kemp (Assessment lead) Miss Lewis (Deputy Head Teacher and reading lead) as part of a termly pupil progress meeting.