KS2 reading test (09 May 2016)

s wren made this Freedom of Information request to Standards and Testing Agency

This request has been closed to new correspondence. Contact us if you think it should be reopened.

The request was successful.

Dear Standards and Testing Agency,

Today students in Year 6 undertook their KS2 Reading National Curriculum Test ('SATS') paper. The format of this paper is students are provided with some reading material and are asked a series of questions about that material to test their reading and comprehension.

There has been considerable comment today about the text used for this particular text being inappropriate for Year 6 students (and perhaps more appropriate for Year 11 students).

There are a number of internationally recognised tests that calculate "Reading Ages" of written material for examples the FORECAST formula; the FOG index and the FLESCH formula.

These produce estimates for the 'reading age' required for a particular text (ie. the age at which an average reader would be able to accurately read the text).

Could you please provide for me:

a) Documentation that explains your policy on determining whether a text is appropriately challenging for a National Curriculum Test. Notably I am interested in whether it includes formally calculating, using internationally recognisied measures, reading ages to ensure the text used it is age appropriate in terms of challenge.

b) Any reading age calculations undertaken in the preparation or 'signing off' of the KS2 Reading tests taken today and similar for the sample test produced and available on the Gov.uk website.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Yours faithfully,

Steve Wren

STA, Standards and Testing Agency

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| [1]Image   |
| |
|   |
| |
|   |
| |
| Your question has been received. |
| |
|   |
| Subject |
| Freedom of Information request - KS2 reading test (09 May 2016) |
| Question Reference # 160509-001340 |
| * Date Created: 09/05/2016 09.01 PM |
| * Date Last Updated: 09/05/2016 09.01 PM |
| * Status: Unresolved |
| |
| --------------------------------------------------------------- |
| |
| Department for Education |
| 53-55 Butts Road |
| Earlsdon Park |
| Coventry |
| CV1 3BH |
| |
| Website -  www.gov.uk/dfe |
| |
| DISCLAIMER This e-mail and any files transmitted with it, |
| including replies and forwarded copies (which may contain |
| alterations) subsequently transmitted from DfE, are |
| confidential and solely for the use of the intended recipient. |
| If you are not the intended recipient or the person responsible |
| for delivering it to the intended recipient, you have received |
| this e-mail in error and any use of its content is strictly |
| prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error please |
| delete this e-mail and destroy any copies of it. Opinions, |
| conclusions and other information contained in this message |
| that do not relate to the official business of DfE shall not be |
| understood as endorsed or given by it. |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+

[---001:000932:24376---]

References

Visible links

J Teacher left an annotation ()

I suggest that reading age analysis should be applied to the questions as well as the texts.

DfE, Standards and Testing Agency

[1]Department for Education logo
This email is an official communication from the Standards and Testing
Agency.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Dear customer,

You recently requested assistance from the national curriculum
assessments helpline. We are always looking for ways to improve our
service and you can help us with this by completing our survey. It will
only take five minutes of your time and we value your input.

[2]Click here to begin

Yours sincerely,

National curriculum assessments helpline
 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Standards and Testing Agency
Tel: 0300 303 3013 (Monday-Friday 8am-6pm)
Email: [3][Standards and Testing Agency request email]
Web: [4]http://www.gov.uk/sta

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Social media makes it easier for you to keep up to date with the latest
news in education - wherever you are.  Why not join us at:

 

[5]Subscribe on YouTube  [6]Follow on Twitter  [7]Become a Fan on
Facebook  [8]Image

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

[9]Privacy policy | [10]Copyright | [11]Disclaimer | [12]Accessibility

You will need to access this mailing with at least Internet explorer
version 9 or above to ensure that you are accessing the full content. 

© Crown copyright 2016
 

References

Visible links
2. https://dfe.custhelp.com/ci/documents/de...
3. mailto:[Standards and Testing Agency request email]
4. https://dfe.custhelp.com/rd?1=AvMi~wqXBP...
5. https://dfe.custhelp.com/rd?1=AvMi~wqXBP...
6. https://dfe.custhelp.com/rd?1=AvMi~wqXBP...
7. https://dfe.custhelp.com/rd?1=AvMi~wqXBP...
8. https://dfe.custhelp.com/rd?1=AvMi~wqXBP...
9. https://dfe.custhelp.com/rd?1=AvMi~wqXBP...
10. https://dfe.custhelp.com/rd?1=AvMi~wqXBP...
11. https://dfe.custhelp.com/rd?1=AvMi~wqXBP...
12. https://dfe.custhelp.com/rd?1=AvMi~wqXBP...

Standards and Testing Agency

Dear Steve,

Thank you for your request for information, which was received on 11/05/2016.

You requested:

a) Documentation that explains the Standards and Testing Agency’s policy on determining whether a text is appropriately challenging for a National Curriculum Test. Notably, whether it includes formally calculating, using internationally recognised measures, reading ages to ensure the text used is age appropriate in terms of challenge.

b) Any reading age calculations undertaken in the preparation or 'signing off' of the 2016 Key Stage 2 English reading test and similar for the sample test produced and available on www.gov.uk website.

I have dealt with your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please find the requested information below containing Flesch-Kincaid reading age scores of the texts using the scoring tool at https://readability-score.com/text/.
Table 1 Details of the sample and 2016 live tests
Test

Text

Readability scores* (US school grade)

School year equivalent in England

2016 live test

Lost Queen

3.7

Between Year 4 and year 5

Wild Ride

3.6

Between Year 4 and year 5

The Way of the Dodo

4.9

Approximately Year 6

Overall 4.1

Approximately Year 5

We calculate readability scores at the start of the three-year test development process and some texts are subject to minor changes which may affect their Flesch-Kincaid score by the time they go into a live test. Readability scores can vary depending on the tool used to calculate them.
Throughout the test development process, we gather feedback from expert review panels comprised of teachers, other education professionals and SEND experts on readability so that questions and texts can be amended to ensure their accessibility. This process of expert review happens three times during the three-year test development process. Teachers and other expert review panel members indicated that these texts were suitable for inclusion in a live test.
We also consider feedback from the children who sit the tests when they are trialled as well as their teachers. These large-scale trials happen twice during the three-year test development cycle. From the trials we are able to gauge performance on the test questions to inform our decisions on which texts to take forward to a live test; as part of this decision, we consider feedback on the suitability and accessibility of the text and questions and the difficulty and reliability of individual questions and the overall package.
The information supplied to you continues to be protected by copyright. You are free to use it for your own purposes, including for private study and non-commercial research, and for any other purpose authorised by an exception in current copyright law. Documents (except photographs) can be also used in the UK without requiring permission for the purposes of news reporting. Any other re-use, for example commercial publication, would require the permission of the copyright holder.

Most documents produced by a government department or agency will be protected by Crown Copyright. Most Crown copyright information can be re-used under the Open Government Licence (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/o...). For information about the OGL and about re-using Crown Copyright information please see The National Archives website -http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/infor... .

Copyright in other documents may rest with a third party. For information about obtaining permission from a third party see the Intellectual Property Office’s website at www.ipo.gov.uk<http://www.ipo.gov.uk/>.

If you have any queries about this letter, please contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number above in any future communications.

If you are unhappy with the way your request has been handled, you should make a complaint to the Department by writing to me within two calendar months of the date of this letter. Your complaint will be considered by an independent review panel, who were not involved in the original consideration of your request.

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint to the Department, you may then contact the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Yours sincerely,
Stephen Goodman
Senior Test Development Researcher
Standards and Testing Agency