In recent years there has been an emphasis on assessment through the use of standardised tests that give reading ages or standard scores.  Such tests have a place in reporting the progress of large samples of learners over time, annually or bi-annually.


However, we have found that they are very blunt instruments for measuring and celebrating the progress of those children who need a cumulative and repetitive programme.   In Book One of Direct Phonics, for example, children are taught consonant-vowel-consonant words, but standardised tests contain other words that have not been taught.  There is then little recognition of what the children have actually learnt.


For this reason, we think that curriculum-based tests are the best way to demonstrate progress as they contain the items from the learning programme.  Direct Phonics has checks and tests at the end of each block of lessons that enable teachers to judge how well the children have learnt.  Records at the end of each Direct Phonics book then give an overview of the children’s progress.


Below are comments from one of the schools using Direct Phonics.


"Pupils’ progress was monitored in several ways to measure improvement in their ability to blend, segment and decode words and their ability to read and spell a variety of ‘sight words.’  At the end of every block each child completed a reading and spelling test linked to the work covered.  All children received a certificate of achievement award on completion of each block.  Individual results were recorded on an overview sheet and evaluation of pupil progress discussed with our co-ordinator.  Results were shared with the children and their parents."