Given that 1 in 5 children aged 11 fall short of expected reading standards, it would seem that the kids who are struggling aren’t necessarilly being picked up on though.
These children ARE picked up and recieve targeted help from age 5,6,7 … or are part of reading recovery programmes. When a child isn’t exposed to books at home, lives with non-readers and doesn’t see themselves as a reader no amount of phonics testing will turn them into one. Often these kids can decode using a phonic method but still can’t read.
Lot’s of children are struggling with reading but because they memorise what familiar/common words look like they can “wing it” as such when reading with their parents/teachers and give the impression that they can read just fine
Believe me you can’t ‘wing it’, there are enough elements to reading that this isn’t possible and as books get more challenging a child that only uses a ‘key word’ strategy will start to falter.
I think the idea of this test is that the non-words mean they have to rely solely on their phonics skills rather than their memory and so it identifies the children who can’t decode unfamiliar words.
Yes it does, but it doesn’t identify children who can’t learn key words quickly (often those with mild learning difficulties) or those who can’t use contextual cues (sometimes children with an Autistic Spectrum disorder or English as a second language) or those with poor comprehension. As I said above there’s more to reading than just phonics.