Bug Club assessment resources
In this section, you’ll find a range of support for using the Progress & Assess resources in Bug Club.
Dee Reid has created some of the UK’s most popular reading programmes, including Rapid Reading and the successful Catch Up programme as well as a whole host of ‘How To’ books for parents. She has over 30 years’ experience of education and an unparalleled depth of understanding of how children learn.
In this article, Dee explains how Progress & Assess Reading can help you ensure your children are on track for the 2016 tests.
The ‘raised bar’ of the new curriculum
The 2014 Curriculum specifies that teachers should set high expectations for every pupil and that they should use appropriate assessment to set targets which are deliberately ambitious.
The overarching aim of the curriculum for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy and that pupils should read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
In the statutory requirements of the new curriculum, there is a renewed emphasis on comprehension, resulting in a more demanding curriculum.
What exactly is being tested and where?
This summer, pupils are to be assessed through external tests and teacher assessment.
English reading tests
These tests focus on the comprehension elements of the national curriculum. The sample English reading test for Key Stage 2, in particular, indicates an increase in challenge in terms of in thinking skills and intellectual processes needed to answer the questions.
Teacher assessment frameworks
These statements reflect the broader English curriculum and include skills which are not possible to assess in a test; for example, ‘participate in discussions’ or ‘make comparisons within and across books’.
In Key Stage 1 there are 3 standards for reading:
- Working towards the expected standard
- Working at the expected standard
- Working at greater depth within the expected standard
In Key Stage 2 there is just one standard for reading:
- Working at the expected standard
To be able to award a pupil a standard at Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2, teachers will need evidence that a pupil can demonstrate success of all the ‘pupil can’ statements within the standard.
Most teachers agree that the statements within the ‘expected standard’ for both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 Reading are very demanding. Indeed, it is generally agreed that the new ‘Secondary-ready’ standard at the end of Key Stage 2 is closer to a former level of 4B than a 4C.
How do the Progress & Assess resources you have in Bug Club help?
Help with formative assessment
The purpose of the Reading Progression Map is to assist teachers in assessing all skills and knowledge in Reading and Writing across the English curriculum. In the absence of National Curriculum levels, some teachers requested guidance in mapping the progress from one skill level to another.
Progression Maps give you a hierarchy of skills against which to evaluate progress – all linked to the familiar levelling of Book Band colours. They also include examples of all statements so that teachers can quickly relate the skill to classroom experience and make judgements on small steps of pupil progress.
The Progression Maps also support teachers in making judgements as they include examples of all statements so that teachers can quickly relate the skill to classroom experience.
The Maps work in two ways:
- To indicate a pupil’s performance and to reveal any weaknesses
- To support teachers in their planning to deliver full curriculum coverage.
The Reading Progression maps support teachers:
- in their delivery of all aspects of the Reading and Writing curriculum
- to make judgements on small steps of pupil progress.
But teachers also wanted evidence to support those judgements.
That’s where the Progress and Assess Reading Tests come in.
Help with summative assessment
The Reading Tests link closely to the Reading Progression map for each sub-level of Book Bands. In this way, teachers can target tests accurately as pupils would only be tested once they had shown achievement on the Reading Progression map and were reading fluently at the relevant Book Band level.
Why do the tests seem more difficult than the end of Key Stage test?
Each Pearson Test is assessing a much narrower band of ability than the end of Key Stage tests. So all the questions in the Blue B (KS2) Test, for example, are addressing skills at that level (there are no ‘easy’ questions). This means teachers can be confident that pupils who score 80% or over in the appropriate book band for their year are securely meeting age-related expectations. Remember, children should not sit the test if:
- they have not been taught the range of skills specified for that level
- they have not shown in whole class work and Guided Reading sessions that they have good understanding of those skills.
The Introduction to the curriculum for English explains: ‘Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction.’
This reference to sharing whole class texts and, in particular, sharing texts in Guided Reading is the clue to how to meet the challenge of the increased demands of the end of key stage assessments.
Pupils will benefit from regular Guided Reading sessions to extend and challenge the depth of their comprehension (both literal and inferential). Children who regularly participate in discussions in ability-organised groups (based on their Book Band level) will become familiar with the kinds of questions that are practised in the Pearson Progress and Assess Tests and which they will meet in the end of Key Stage Test.
Guidance on helping pupils get the most out of the practice tests
After a group of children have completed the relevant Progress and Assess test for their Book Band level, and the test has been marked, take the test papers back to the group to:
- discuss exactly what a question was getting at
- explain why a pupil/pupils did not achieve the mark for a question
- share the Answers in the Assessment Guide with the group. Pupils should be encouraged to share any misconceptions and also to make explicit to other pupils any new understanding they have acquired. This peer-tutoring is particularly beneficial.
- use the ‘Advice’ on the Marking Guidance to prompt further discussion and to suggest good strategies for pupils to adopt in future tests
- select 3 questions (from the test just taken) and challenge the pupils to write answers to those questions (drawing on discussions that have taken place) while the teacher is doing Guided Reading with another group.
As a Bug Club customer, you have free access online to Progress & Assess Reading!
This assessment resource is directly correlated to the progression in Bug Club – meaning that it is easy for you to set your children exactly the right test according to their reading level.
With Progress & Assess Reading you have:
- Half-termly tests by book band, designed to be carried out in guided reading sessions without putting pressure onto children.
- Termly progression maps written by Bug Club consultant Dee Reid to track key skill areas and key outcomes, so that you can easily see where children are relative to age-related expectations.
- Marking guidance for each test that links each question to our reading progression map, as well as national curriculum objectives. It also provides information on possible/common errors, and advice on what to do if a child does not grasp a concept.
- Tracking and progress reporting and calculation via ActiveLearn Primary.
Finding the tests
Finding all of the tests couldn’t be simpler – simply go to the Resources tab in ActiveLearn Primary, select ‘Bug Club and Phonics Bug’ and filter just as you would to find other resources.
Narrow it down by year to find the spread of book bands you are likely to need for your year group, and then select ‘tests’ and ‘assessment guides’ in the ‘Type’ section.
The marking guidance for each test can be found as a ‘linked resource’ to the test itself. This marking guidance identifies possible errors to look out for and advice for tackling or revising questions that children have answered incorrectly.
In order to get the full value out of the tests we recommend that you enter the data into the Progress & Assess tracker that comes as part of your Bug Club subscription. To find the tracker, click on the ‘Assessment’ tab in the top bar, and select ‘Literacy’ under ‘Test Results’ to open the Overview page.
And don’t forget, you can download the full Progress & Assess Getting Started Guide below.