Dear Parents/Carers

We are writing to inform you of a significant policy change within the Department for Education. This change from previous years is that ‘Running Records’ – a previous measure of a student’s reading growth is no longer a compulsory assessment for schools in 2022. This decision was taken because the collection
of Running Records in reception and year 1 is incompatible with the Department for Education focus on systematic synthetic phonics as a foundational aspect of the ‘Big 6’ of reading.

Since 2016 the Department for Education has invested in a reading improvement agenda based on contemporary ‘science of reading’ research. Running records is aligned to a whole language approach to reading rather than the ‘science of reading’ research. As a result, it no longer complements the Department’s position on reading practice.

This view was informed by a 2019 department-commissioned review of running records as an assessment tool by Professor Pamela Snow et al at La Trobe University.

We are writing to inform you that for the Reception to Year 2 students, reading assessments occur regularly throughout each term providing data linked to our systematic synthetic phonics approach and the science of reading research and therefor will not be conducting running records. This also means that your child’s reading growth will not be determined by a reader with a particular level but by our reading assessments that inform us of their growth in the elements of the big 6 of reading – oral language, phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary and/or comprehension.

These reading assessments come from our InitiaLit program as well as the science of reading resources by Dr Michael Heggarty and David Kilpatrick. Years 3 to 6 teachers will continue to track and monitor student’s reading growth using reading conferences, Heggarty and Kilpatrick’s resources and Running Records as an intervention measure.

If you have any questions in relation to the policy changes or our school focus on reading, please feel free to contact the school to enquire.

Kind regards,

Steve Freeman                                                                             Cathie Luke

Principal                                                                                        Senior Leader