14 April 2024

Using classroom assessments and monitoring

Use classroom assessments to identify specific learning needs and continue to monitor whether teaching is meeting those needs

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Assessing pre-reading skills

Assessing pre-reading skills

Students with weak pre re-reading skills at school entry often struggle with reading and writing.

Knowing the letter names and sounds and having phoneme awareness, even at a simple level, is highly predictive of later reading development.

Students may need further assessment of their pre-reading skills, especially if they are in the early years of school.

Further testing to assess pre-reading skills is available in The New Zealand Dyslexia Handbook

  • Alphabet knowledge test – Appendix 1C
  • Phonemic awareness test – Appendix 2

Use classroom assessments

Use classroom assessments

Take action as soon as difficulties with reading are identified. Use classroom assessments to identify and plan to meet specific needs.

About dyslexia: Supporting literacy in the classroom lists assessments you can use on pages 12–13.

11797 [Tests.png]

Source: Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Ministry of Education | Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga

Identify specific needs

Identify specific needs

Plan targeted support for a learner who is having difficulty learning to read. Identify which component reading skills are sources of difficulty.

This requires assessment of the child’s knowledge in each component skill. Scarborough’s Reading Rope is a useful starting point.

Further diagnostic assessment of these skills is required to plan an instructional programme tailored to the child’s needs.

An ongoing process

An ongoing process

Discuss specific assessment tools with your literacy leader, SENCO, or LSC.

Assessment is a process rather than an end product. Use assessment to monitor your planned interventions. The information provided from assessments should support the learner’s next steps.  

Assessment should be a holistic and collaborative process that takes place over a period of time, using a range of observational and assessment methods.

Source: Addressing Dyslexia (opens in a new tab/window)

Useful resources

Useful resources


Assessment tools and resources

Access all the assessment tools provided by the Ministry of Education.

Publisher: Assessment Online

Visit website


Three steps in screening for dyslexia

The New Zealand Dyslexia Handbook outlines three steps in screening for dyslexia. This screening approach is recommended by the Ministry of Education. The steps and tests listed on pages 61–75 are listed with links to the tests.

Download PDF (70 KB)

The Literacy Learning Progressions

Literacy Learning Progressions

Read time: 96 min

This tool for teachers describes and illustrates the literacy-related knowledge, skills, and attitudes that students need to draw on in order to meet the reading and writing demands of the New Zealand Curriculum from years 1–10. Teachers should refer to them when gathering information about their students’ literacy strengths and needs (using a variety of reliable formal and informal assessment tools and procedures) in order to plan effective literacy learning programmes.

Publisher: Literacy Online

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Next steps

More suggestions for implementing the strategy “Support early literacy development through a structured literacy approach”:

Return to the guide “Dyslexia and learning”

Guide to Index of the guide: Dyslexia and learning

Strategies for action: