Resource: Reading Assessments

History006With an upcoming level apocalypse being faced by many schools in England, many teachers and leaders are scouring alternatives for assessments in their schools, with the comfort of curriculum levels being withdrawn. Part of the solution for this accountability within primary schools has been addressed by Sarah Threlkeld-Brown at Andrell Education who has published a free Big Reading Criterion Scale.

The scale is organised into ‘grades’, from W to Grade 6. Each grade has been broken down into specific criteria against which reading can be assessed. These criteria are organised in order of ‘general’ hierarchy from ‘c’ through ‘b’ to ‘a’. Many children will, however, be demonstrating skills at all three sub-grades at one time, whilst not having skills at sub-grades below their main grade of attainment. It is for this reason that a ‘best fit’ judgement must be made, and the point score system in the ‘Assessment’ box gives an indicator of the sub-grade demonstrated. It should be regarded as an indicator to within a point each side.

Within the grades, each statement is numbered with a corresponding column to direct the user to the ‘READing skill’ the point relates to:

Read: Decode

Retrieve (R): Retrieve literal information from the text

Explore (E): ExplORE – AUthor – language & viewpoint – (the ‘orr’ sound in the two words gives the clue)

Analyse (A): Analyse structure and organisation

Deduce (D): Deduce and Infer

The scheme has been approved by the National Foundation for Education Research (NfER) and Oxford University Press have now aligned their reading levels to this criterion scheme. Also (did we mention?) the scale is free to download as a PDF along with a teachers guide (see links below), which gives a clear and concise introduction to Big Reading and the key strategies used.

The Big Reading Teachers’ Guide Introduction <- Click to Open at Andrell Education.


The Reading Criterion Scale <- Click to Open at Andrell Education.



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The Editorial Account of UKEdChat, managed by editor-in-chief Colin Hill, with support from Martin Burrett from the UKEd Magazine. Pedagogy, Resources, Community.

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