I work at an independent school and we've recently changed from doing old Schonell to Vernon spelling tests. I used the Vernon last year on a Y4 class with expected results; the poor children scored badly, the average scored averagely and the able scored highly. However, I tested my YI/2 class today and was horrified to find that the vast majority of them fell well below their chronological age. Only my two brightest Y2 pupils gained scores higher than their chronological age, despite them being comfortably into Level 3 as writers and significantly above average in general. Of the small Y1 cohort only one of them gained more than a -5 score. I consider this particular child to be exceptionally able for a Y1 yet even she fell below her chronological age, gaining 6.1, as opposed to the 6.4 that she actually is. In order to get this 6.4 spelling age she would have needed to score 19/20 and be able to spell 'letter', 'chair' and 'earth'. In order to get more than a below 5 score, they have to be able to spell 14/20. It seems like quite a harsh test at this KS. Has anyone else had similar experiences of using this at KS1? I am going to retest them next week using Schonell and do a comparison.