The school’s management has received a number of queries from parents and guardians recently over how best to assess our Primary students’ standards and progress in the area of English Language. English is a key subject for all Bloomsbury students: not only is it taught in its own right as a major timetable component; it’s also the medium of instruction for all other subjects (such as Science, Mathematics etc) except Thai and Chinese.

A good way to determine students’ proficiency in English at Bloomsbury is to assess their ability in various language skills and then compare this to how native speaking students of the same age perform in the UK. Reading is a key component of learning English Language – it’s sometimes described as the key to understanding. Reading helps build a student’s English vocabulary, comprehension and usage confidence. It also develops a child’s interests and skills and helps refine their growing intellectual acumen and brain power.

For the past 5 years, Bloomsbury has been monitoring its Primary students’ English reading skills by using the New Group Reading Test (‘NGRT’). The NGRT is a world famous testing service which is owned by a body called GL Assessment. GL Assessment has over the past 30 years become the leading provider of formative assessments to UK schools, to overseas ministries and to British, bilingual and international schools in over 100 countries worldwide. Its educational and technical expertise is acknowledged globally; its powerful digital assessment system has delivered over 7,000,000 online tests across the world.

The NGRT is used to assess and monitor pupils’ reading and comprehension skills – and, if necessary, phonemic awareness. This can help identify, for instance, competent readers with weak comprehension skills. Further details of GL Assessment and its NGRT may be viewed at <https://www.gl-assessment.co.uk/about-us/> and <https://gl-education.com/products/new-group-reading-test-ngrt/>

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