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Vernon Spelling Test

Discussion in 'Primary' started by pinkfairy, May 20, 2011.

  1. 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.
     
  2. Msz

    Msz Established commenter


    1. It is a fine day. (Write the word is)
    2. I am at school. (Write the word am)
    3. Can you see the board?
    4. The sun is up in the sky.
    5. You should not do that.
    6. George has a red pencil.
    7. Mary bit the apple.
    8. The soldier fired his gun.
    9. Go down to the cellar.
    this test?
     
  3. That's the one.
     
  4. In fact , a September born Y1 child, tested in June or July, would not be able to score above their chronological age with this test, as 20/20 only constitutes a reading age of 6.7; unless you test them beyond the recommended word set. That's crazy. Not that I've been laying awake half the night worrying about it or anything!
     
  5. karentee

    karentee New commenter

    It was introduced this year in our school and we had 'odd' results especially with our lower ability children, then our SEN said something about there being 2 scales and depending on whihc you used you could adjust the score to make it more realistic, which to me made no sense at all!
     
  6. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Isn't the point with all these tests not to look at the spelling age or reading age or maths age that it spews out, but to look at how when this is age standardised it places children percentile-wise - i.e. does it put a child of his/her actual age on the day of the test in the top 10%, 20%, 50% etc of the population as a whole. It's going to be statistical nonsense otherwise.
     
  7. hpblossom

    hpblossom New commenter

    A year one child would not be older than six surely - or have I missed the point?
     
  8. The oldest a Y1 child could be at this point in the year is 6 years 7 months assuming their birthday is at the start of September. The youngest would not be 6 until August.


    This test only allows for awarding a maximum spelling age of 6 yrs 7 months providing I keep within the parameters of the recommended Y1 spelling list. If I were to delay testing until the end of the summer term in July, potentially I could be testing a child of 6yrs and 10 months, older than the spelling age it is possible to achieve on the test.

    As I said in order to achieve anything over 5yrs 0 months they have to score over 14/20. The words start easy enough with very high frequency and cvc words then progress to more complex blends; cold, milk, sick, story, grass, all of which are (if my memory serves me correctly) within the first 14 words. I know of few Rec age children who could manage all those independently but that is the implication of a 'below 5' score.
     
  9. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    This test is all about a spelling age (our EP usually asks for a reading and Spelling Age when we are discussing children )
    I'm tempted to try it with my class on Monday [​IMG]
    A September born Y1 child would need to get 11 correct to reach their chronological age (if tested June/July) which I don't think is a huge ask... is, am, see, up, do, red, bit, gun, down, milk, sick ...story, grass, cold, letter, head
     
  10. No. A September born Year 1 would be 6.7 years old. They have to score 20 out of 20 to achieve this. That's my point.
    They have to get 14 out of 20 to even get above 5.0.
     
  11. Or are you looking at a completely different scale to me. My Vernon teacher's guide says score 0-13 = below 5
     
  12. www.eysuk.org.uk/.../VernonSpellingTestVersion1Sept2007RevisedJune2010.doc

    Ah. Found this, which does not agree in any way with what the official teacher's guide says. If I'd marked using this scale I'd be sorted!!
     
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Yes it's the revised test I've seen
     
  14. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

  15. Thanks. I need to have a really good look at that teacher's guide when I get to school on Monday. I've printed out the revised version too. The weird thing is we only bought that teacher's guide last year so it should be the most up to date. Oh well. :)
     
  16. mystery10

    mystery10 Occasional commenter

    Msz, I know the test under discussion is about spelling age, but it should also be possible to standardise the results and see what percentile a child falls into. It doesn't give you much information as a teacher really otherwise. Let's say a reading age test shows that the child's reading age is 2 years beyond their chronological age, this could sound good, great, or amazing.
    Without seeing where this places the child centile-wise you are guessing, particularly if the school changes the test it uses.
     
  17. Hi, wondered if anyone is still following this thread ... I'm trying to get hold of standardised results for vernon spelling. I have the age scores but wanted more. Think it's a 2010/11 edition of the test. Thanks for any help!
     
  18. toniviz

    toniviz New commenter

    How many errors is a child allowed to make before they have to stop and we calculate raw score?
     

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