Early phonics tests can reveal potential high achievers


Primary school pupils that pass the phonics reading test the first time round are nearly three times as likely to meet expected standards in Key Stage 2, the government has said.

The Department for Education has made the claim after tracking SAT reading test performances among pupils and noting the point when the phonics standard was met.

Nearly a third of pupils who do not reach the expected standard still achieve the standard in the Key Stage 2 reading test, compared to 88% who pass the first time.

Designed to ensure that core learning standards are achieved, the first phonics test takes place when children are in year one, with those who do not reach the standard then taking the test again in year two.

Pupils must correctly pronounce 32 words from a list of 40 that is marked by their teacher to reach the expected standard.

The fact that such a high proportion of pupils who pass first time go on to achieve higher standards at Key Stage 2 is a credit to the primary school teachers who support them.

Of pupils that took the phonics test again in year two, 62% went on to achieve the expected standard at Key Stage 2.

Meanwhile, 30% of those who failed to meet the standard by the end of year 2 gained the desired level of phonics.

The latest figures reveal that 82% of pupils met the expected phonics standard in year one and that the figure had climbed to 92% by the end of year two.