Written evidence by the National Literacy Trust
The Education Committee monitors the policy, administration and spending of the Department for Education and its associated arms length bodies, including Ofsted. The Committee is an investigative Committee rather than a legislative Committee: it sets its own programme and chooses subjects for inquiries. For each inquiry, a press notice is issued listing the terms of reference and inviting interested parties to send written submissions.
The Education Committee recently launched an inquiry into primary assessment. This inquiry scrutinises reforms to primary assessment and their impact on teaching and learning in primary schools. It also covers the wider effects of assessment on primary schools, as well as possible next steps for Government policy. Today, it published written evidence by the National Literacy Trust evaluating issues with the current system - one of which is particularly notable...
That new assessment practices in primary schools have created confusion as to how well our children are reading and what skills and behaviours are included in an assessment of whether a child can read well. As schools are now expected to establish their own assessment systems to suit their school, it has become very subjective as to what ‘expected’ levels look like. Schools do not always agree how they have interpreted the National Curriculum Programme of Study and how this relates to their assessment levels. The National Curriculum now incorporates requirements to support children’s enjoyment of reading, as well as decoding and comprehension skills, but assessment at the end of primary school covers only children’s comprehension skills (particularly deduction and inference). In the KS1 and KS2 Interim Teacher Assessment Framework for reading, in which pupils are expected to demonstrate consistent attainment of all of the statements, development of reading for enjoyment and motivation to read is not included as a statement, although it is the first objective in the National Curriculum Programme of Study. In KS1 the focus is on word reading, not comprehension.
STEP fully supports The National Literacy Trust Read On. Get On. campaign which takes into account both cognitive and affective processes.
You can read more about how TNLT believes a broader measurement is key to empowering teachers to embed reading of enjoyment within their teaching and also essential in developing the important affective processes required for children to reach their potential in secondary school and beyond here