A thuismitheoirí/ a chaomhnóirí,

Prior to the issuing of Circular 0056/2011 Belgrove Senior Girls’ School always administered the Micra T Reading Attainment Tests in early September. This allowed us to identify those pupils who needed extra help in reading.

There is abundant research evidence which demonstrates that the sooner reading problems are diagnosed and appropriate interventions undertaken, the more likely it is that the child will be enabled to overcome her reading problems.

Since c0056/2011, it is a requirement of the DES that we furnish them with end of year results in both literacy and numeracy for 2nd, 4th and 6th classes. We therefore have been administering the reading tests in May to comply with the new regulations. This means that the purpose of the test has been to monitor the progress of pupils and not identify their difficulties, as all pupils make progress each year, following on from teaching and learning.

Therefore we intend to return to the practise of administering the Micra-T at the start of the school year and we will issue the Drumcondra Reading Tests to the girls in 2nd, 4th and 6th during the month of May. This will allow us to both identify the girls who have reading difficulties and also comply with the Department Circular 56/2011.

Pupils’ scores can sometimes vary significantly from one reading test to another, or, indeed, from one level of the same test to the next level. There are several reasons why this may happen.

  • Firstly, the two tests may differ in the weight attached to the various components of the reading process. One may contain a much higher percentage of items that test children’s comprehension abilities whereas another test may contain a high proportion of decoding items. Pupils’ scores may be affected by the balance of item types in the two tests.
  • Secondly, the type of item format in a test, such as whether the test consists of multiple choice items or cloze-type items, can affect the performance of pupils in different ways. For example the willingness or reluctance of a pupil to guess when they do not know the answer can have a significant impact on their scores on a multiple choice test.

Please be aware that your daughter’s scores on standardised tests may vary from year to year and from test to test.

Le gach dea-ghuí,

Anne McCarthy