Six year olds are to be given basic reading tests after just a year of schooling, under new Coalition plans.
Infants in Year 1 will be tested on their ability to read words such as 'mum', 'cat', 'zoo', and 'pride' as part of a return to traditional teaching.
Ministers yesterday announced details of back to basics plans to run reading tests in year 1.
The ten-minute 'informal' tests will be based on phonics, where pupils learn the sounds of letters and groups of letters before putting them together.
Around one in six seven year olds, and one in five 11-year-olds fail to reach the levels expected of their agegroup, according to official statistics.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said: 'We are determined to raise literacy standards in our schools, especially of those not achieving the expected level.'
But some teachers are unconvinced by the move. Martin Johnson, of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, said: 'There is a huge consensus that reading is best taught using a mixture of methods, but the Government ignores the evidence in favour of its outdated hobby-horses.'
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