Using the New Group Reading Test at Roath Park Primary School

Roath Park Primary School is a two form entry school based in Cardiff, Wales. Jane Marker, Leader of Teaching and Learning, explains how and why they introduced GL Assessment’s New Group Reading Test (NGRT) and the impact this has made on the school. 

We decided to use NGRT at Roath Park Primary School as, at the time, we did not have an online system in place to measure our pupils’ reading skills. We were doing paper tests which teachers had to mark themselves – this proved to be very time consuming and we also found discrepancies within the marking process from teacher to teacher.

Our SENCo had seen NGRT being administered at another school, therefore we knew it was easy to use and the reporting process would be a lot faster for our teachers. We arranged a twilight session to train our teaching staff on how to administer the test and our assessment leader also runs through the process with any new teachers who join the school.

Key outcomes:

  1. 1

    Identify pupils who require reading interventions 

  2. 2

    Easy to administer with instant reporting 

  3. 3

    Track pupils’ reading progress by testing year-on-year 

Our SENCo had seen NGRT being administered at another school, therefore we knew it was easy to use and the reporting process would be a lot faster for our teachers.

Jane Marker, Leader of Teaching and Learning, Roath Park Primary School, Cardiff

The assessment leader schedules the test sittings on GL Assessment’s online learning platform, Testwise, and usually allows a three week window for the tests to be administered. She sends the login details to the teachers along with the Testwise access codes for the pupils – so all the teachers need to do is print these off. Our older pupils sometimes set up the logins for the younger year groups, since it is such an easy process.

The pupils sit the tests on Chromebooks and afterwards the assessment leader downloads the reports and sends them to the individual teachers. Our teachers then go through the pupil data together in phase meetings. Any pupil identified with a Standardised Age Score below 80 will have interventions set up for them.

NGRT has also often picked up reading issues with our non-SEN pupils. For example, the results from one of our Year 2 pupils confirmed their teacher’s suspicions that they had problems with their reading but these were not due to SEN. After interventions were put in place, the pupil took NGRT again at the end of the year and their results showed that considerable improvement had been made. It is likely that we would not have achieved this as quickly through standard classroom teaching alone.

Pupil Sample
NGRT raw data which identified this learner Autumn Term 2020
SAS: 79
Chronological Age: 7.4
Spring Term 2021 Summer 2021
SAS: 113
Chronological Age: 7.11
Intervention (based on NGRT data) Comprehension was low as focus was on decoding.
Intervention (1:1) on phonemic awareness during Autumn Term.
Rapid improvements then in comprehension and understanding in Spring and Summer terms.

The ability to track pupils’ reading progress by testing year-on-year has had a massive impact on the school. When we set up our teacher packs for transition we include NGRT data so that teachers can identify pupils who might need more focus on reading at the beginning of the school year. We have also used NGRT data as part of our package of evidence when having pupils officially assessed for SEN.

As we administer NGRT twice every year, the pupils have become familiar with it and have no fear of taking the test since it has become a part of their everyday life at school. NGRT has given us consistency in how we measure pupils’ reading skills across our year groups and this has been hugely beneficial to the school. 

NGRT has given us consistency in how we measure pupils’ reading skills across our year groups and this has been hugely beneficial to the school.

Jane Marker, Leader of Teaching and Learning, Roath Park Primary School, Cardiff

Roath Park Primary School is one of our Centres of Assessment Excellence