Reading assessment focuses
1 What are assessment focuses (AFs)?
2 Why does APP use AFs?
3 Reading assessment focuses
4 Writing assessment focuses
5 Mathematics assessment focuses
6 Science assessment focuses
7 Speaking and listening assessment focuses
Reading assessment focuses
TABLE OF READÌNG ASSESSMENT FOCUSES AND POÌNTS TO REMEMBER
LeveI Assessment focus
AF1 Use a range of strategies including accurate decoding of text, to read for meaning
Understand, describe, select or retrieve information, events or ideas from texts and use quotation and
reference to text
AF3 Deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from texts
Ìdentify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts, including grammatical and presentational
features at text level
Explain and comment on writers' uses of language, including grammatical and literary features at word and
AF6 Ìdentify and comment on writers' purposes and viewpoints and the overall effect of the text on the reader
AF7 Relate texts to their social, cultural and historical contexts and literary traditions
Understanding the assessment focuses for reading
There are 7 assessment focuses (AFs) for reading that describe the key elements of performance in this attainment
target. They are linked to the National Curriculum programmes of study and the level descriptions and are designed to
give a detailed, analytic view of pupils' attainment across all the key stages and in all types of reading.
What the assessment focuses mean in practice:
Published on www.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/NationalStrategies 03-Mar-2011
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· AF1 Use a range of strategies incIuding accurate decoding of text, to read
AF1 has most prominence in describing the early stages of reading.
Evidence comes from listening to pupils read aloud and observing how they decode words to make
meaning from texts.
Reading aloud with fluency, understanding and expression also involves taking note of punctuation
and other written language conventions.
· AF2 Understand, describe, seIect or retrieve information, events or ideas
from texts and use quotation and reference to text
AF2 applies to all levels of reading and all kinds of texts.
Pupils' skills in retrieving information from texts are shown in different ways, from comments to
paraphrase or retellings to summary and synthesis.
At the highest levels, work in AF2 demonstrates critical insights based on close reading, merging
· AF3 Deduce, infer or interpret information, events or ideas from texts
AF3 is vital to making progress in reading and underpins attainment across all the AFs.
Opportunities to develop inferential skills come from engagement with whole texts that challenge
thinking and encourage different interpretations.
Ìn APP, classroom discussions about books and open-ended questions from pupils as well as
teachers provide effective evidence for this assessment focus.
· AF4 Identify and comment on the structure and organisation of texts,
incIuding grammaticaI and presentationaI features at text IeveI
AF4 makes most sense in relation to whole texts so that pupils can explain what is significant about
the overall shape and structure of what they are reading.
Work on the grammar of texts encourages pupils to explore how different elements hang together
and contribute to their distinctiveness.
This reading assessment focus is the counterpart of AFs 3 and 4 in writing.
· AF5 ExpIain and comment on writers' uses of Ianguage, incIuding
grammaticaI and Iiterary features at word and sentence IeveI
AF5 applies to information as well as fiction texts: deliberately crafted language can be found in
many different forms of writing.
Pupils may learn to spot specific features in texts but attainment in this AF depends on being able
to explain why particular usages are effective and what they mean.
Ìn APP, evidence for this assessment focus sometimes comes from comparative work on a range
of texts or different treatments of the same topic.
· AF6 Identify and comment on writers' purposes and viewpoints and the
overaII effect of the text on the reader
AF6 has two strands: understanding that all texts have a point of view, and that this can impact on
At the most basic level, pupils detect overt purposes and express personal likes and dislikes.
Progression in AF6 is about developing evaluative skills supported by an analytic vocabulary.
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· AF7 ReIate texts to their sociaI, cuIturaI and historicaI contexts and Iiterary
AF7 demands engagement with a wide repertoire of reading.
Even young readers can talk about some of the ways that texts are the same or different from one
Working with texts from different cultures is one way of exploring the significance of context on
what is written; another is comparing books from different times, in different genres or media.
Assessment guideIines for reading
Ìn each of the 7 AF strands, level-related criteria provide the standard of expectation for judging particular aspects of
reading. Progression within the strands is shown by differences in the criteria but also by the use of stems:
· Level 1: Ìn some reading, usually with support
· Level 2: Ìn some reading
· Level 3: Ìn most reading
· Level 4 and above: Across a range of reading
The stems signal the expectation that as pupils' reading develops, they will work with less teacher support and show
what they can do with a wider range of more challenging texts. The assumption is that evidence for making judgements
will demonstrate pupils' increasing abilities to make informed choices about what and how they read, with some
Within each strand of the AFs, criteria are set out as bullet points, no more than 3 per level. The bullet points follow a
pattern to explain the scope of each AF. Although the AFs are not intended to be hierarchical, in practice the judgments
about early stages of reading rely most heavily on evidence for AF1 and AF2. From level 3 onwards, attainment of AF1
To develop as readers who can make sense of a wide range of texts, pupils need to be secure on AF3. Securing AF3 is
a vital underpinning for progress through level 4 and above. The AFs which highlight evaluation and analysis (AFs 4÷7)
build on the skills in AFs 1÷3.
To see the AFs in practice, watch the following video clip.
Ways of observing and recording evidence for reading and writing
download the video file by accessing the download page from the Attachments and Resources section on this page.
You will then be able to play the video locally. Both Quicktime (.MOV) and Windows Media Format (.WMV) versions are
Read complete transcript
Source URL: primary/primaryframework/assessment/app/waaf/page003
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