During May, STANDARDISED TESTING is carried out in St. Mary’s NS with all pupils from 1st to 6th Classes in English Reading, Spelling and Numeracy.
For 2nd, 4th and 6th Class pupils, the DES requires that results must be reported to parents. Although it is not a requirement by the DES, St. Mary’s NS. also reports the results of standardised tests carried out in other classes. This is done through the Annual end of year Report Card.
New Tests in 2019
Standardised tests are straightforward in many ways but interpreting them can cause confusion for parents. Standardised Tests are independently set and marked and schools across the country buy them in. The best known ones are the Micra T/Sigma T and Drumcondra Tests
In May 2019 we will use new, up-to-date tests from the ERC (Educational Research Centre, Drumcondra), which were standardised in 2018 and reflect recent changes in performance on English nationally..
Why were the tests redeveloped?
- The tests were redeveloped as research suggested that tests generally get easier over time, as familiarity with content increases.
- There have also been national improvements in achievement levels, which have meant that results in schools and nationally, have been heavily skewed in recent years, compared with test norms.
What does that mean for your child?
Over the last number of years test results in schools have been heavily skewed compared with test norms. As this year we will be testing English Reading using the new tests (standardised in 2018), we would expect that the results will be more in line with test norms.
For some children this may mean their result in their English standardised test (compared with previous years) may be significantly lower, or indeed significantly higher. This should not be a cause for alarm for parents.
It is important to remember that by comparing to last year or previous results, you are NOT comparing like with like – these are NEW tests, with NEW standardised norms. Please click on this LINK for a letter from the ERC, which explains in further detail the changes.
Please remember that as the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) states, Standardised Tests are NOT intelligence tests and their main purpose is to help a teacher identify strengths and weaknesses in individual pupils and to offer some guidance to parents. Standardised tests are only one of a number of ways that we monitor and measure a child’s progress.
Here are some tipsheets in various languages to help you understand your child’s score: