General Guidelines (for recording results) using the ‘The Phonic & sight word sequence Placement Test’

Step 1: Locate the correct screen. The beginning of the year screen is located on page 10 and the end of term reviews are located on pages 23 and 24 in the 2018 Phonic & sight word sequence or is available to download here.

Step 2: It is essential that the screening commences from stage 1. Although it might seem attractive to shortcut the placement process, by limiting the number of stages presented, this is NOT recommended. Refer to the examples provided on pages 13-15 in the 2018 Phonic & sight word sequence. Please note that the testing templates on pages 11 and 12 all commence from stage 1. While the testing needs to commence from stage 1, so does the entry of results. The following short-cut process is not recommended.



Step 3a: When marking the spelling test, remember to convert student scores into percentages. Below is a quick reference table to make this a time efficient process:



Step 3b: Remember when marking to judge what level you are going to base your next term's teaching on. Typically this is where students drop below 85% in their scores (but keep in mind a degree of teacher judgement may be required for some students).

Step 4: Enter the percentages into excel. For each student, highlight the cell that indicates what you intend to teach over the next cycle/term.



Step 5: Finally, so that the Excel documents are organised in a practical and user friendly way, it is possible to group students together who have similar needs. To do this, highlight rows, right click and cut and paste to group like students together. The following examples have students clustered in 3 ability groups.





Common error:
When processing the placement tests, make sure that decisions are made about students on the basis of their results and not too much teacher judgement. Typically, the first stage at which students score under 85% (hence allowing a few errors to be made) is the level that teaching efforts need to be made to strengthen skills. See below (within the notes column) the accuracy of how this particular teacher has grouped the students is being questioned For example the 7th student is listed as requiring stage 3 concepts but they have tested at 69% in stage 2. It is likely that some stage 2 teaching is required, or a combination of stage 2 and 3 concepts are presented. It is unlikely that by just presenting stage 3 concepts that this student will progress at a satisfactory rate over the term. By identifying and targeting the initial point at which accuracy drops, this typically has a significant impact on student outcomes over a term of instruction.



If you require additional support, we recommend taking a look at the short online courses . Each of the courses recommend screening to track student development and to assist programming. The courses can be viewed here.

Alternatively, do not hesitate to contact the PLD office. mail@pld-literacy.org
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