My class has recently completed the Supplementary Test of Achievement in Reading (STAR). The purpose of the STAR is to supplement the assessments teachers make about progress and achievement in reading.

At years 4, 5 & 6 the test is made up of four subtests:

Word recognition: this subtest shows how well students can decode words that are familiar in their spoken vocabulary. In the absence of any verbal context, the students must decode, accurately, using letters and sounds.
Sentence comprehension: the task is reading for meaning. This subtest assesses the skills of decoding and the ability to use a range of sources to gain meaning.
Paragraph comprehension: the “cloze procedure” here assesses reading comprehension by requiring students to replace words which have been deleted from the text. Students use the context of the surrounding text as cues to meaning.
Vocabulary range: this subtest assesses students’ knowledge of word meanings in context.

Students’ results are put into a level, known as a stanine level. Stanines let teachers compare their students’ results with a similar national representative groups of students. What do these levels mean? If your child gets a stanine level of nine, they are considered to be in the top 4% of achievers in New Zealand at their age group. If they have achieved a stanine level of 1, then they are in the bottom 4% in New Zealand at their age group. You can see in the diagram below that for the six year four students in room 12, the average stanine score for the class is 6.5. This is very pleasing for me as the average stanine for a class is usually 5.0. Go the year fours!

Year 4 stanine levels

Room 12’s Year 4 stanine levels


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