Term 1: Using PLD Screens and Tracking Sheets for Monitoring Student Progress.

Step 1.  Term 1 Week 1 Pre-reading & Pre-spelling Skills

It is essential that we set up our students for success by explicitly teaching pre-reading and pre-spelling skills from Week 1 in Term 1 in the form of:

  • Alphabet sound recall (with a focus on lowercase sounds to support decoding)
  • Lower case letter formation (to support spelling and writing)
  • Phonemic awareness blending (which will support decoding/reading)
  • Phonemic awareness segmentation (which will support spelling and writing)

Typically students require three (or four) 10-minute instruction session each day (presented to the whole-class but also delivered in small group rotations and also from the education assistants in the room supporting the students with low entry levels).

See PLD’s Whole School Literacy Plan for more information on what to teach and when.

Step 2.  Term 1 Week 6/7 Term 1 Pre-literacy Screening

Upon reaching Week 6 or 7 in Term 1 the students will have received intensive short, sharp and regular pre-literacy training.  Therefore it is now appropriate to screen every student with the following Foundation Pre-Literacy Screen (download the latest version HERE):

  • Subtest 1b: Phonemic Awareness Blending
  • Subtest 2: Alphabet Sound Knowledge
  • Subtest 3: Phonemic Segmentation
  • Subtest 4: Alphabet Sound Recall & Formation (this element of the screen, which supports spelling and writing, is not tracked on the PLD Tracking Spreadsheets.)

NOTE: Subtests 1b, 2 and 3 will need to be presented individually and should take no more than 3 minutes per student. Subtest 4: Alphabet Sound Recall & Formation is designed to be presented to a group of students at one time.

NOTE: This screen and other screens are also found in the Pre-literacy and Early Literacy Screens resource.

Step 3. Marking Screen Results

There are 5 items in each phonemic awareness subtest which are marked and the score out of 5 is then converted into a percentage.  The alphabet subtests are not converted into a percentage but rather scored out of 26. The results are then transferred into the PLD Tracking Spreadsheets for each Foundation class on individual sheets.

  • Subtest 1b: Phonemic Awareness Blending – column F on the 2020 PLD Tracking Sheets
  • Subtest 2: Alphabet Sound Knowledge – column D on the 2020 PLD Tracking Sheets
  • Subtest 3: Phonemic Segmentation – column G on the 2020 PLD Tracking Sheets

NOTE: The 2020 PLD Tracking Sheets include a column (E) for Blending Onset and Rime. This is an area taught and screened in the late stages of the Early Years and/or early in the Foundation year. Some schools may find it appropriate to screen this area also and will therefore need to have students also complete Subtest 1a of the Foundation Pre-Literacy Screen. If not testing this, please remove or hide this column.

Step 4. Creating Targeted Teaching Groups

Once the testing results have been entered, it is important with the PLD process to establish three targeted teaching groups. While every class is different, this will likely consist of:

  • Students who are either starting to decode (or who are close to reading); identified by a high alphabet sound score 21-26/26 and/or 80-100% for phonemic awareness blending and segmenting. 
  • Students who are acquiring their pre-literacy skills but still require further targeted teaching. Their test scores for alphabet sounds being 12-19/26 and/or 20-40% for phonemic awareness blending and segmenting. 
  • Students who are struggling to acquire the pre-literacy skills and who require early in the year focused efforts to develop their low alphabet sounds (e.g. 4/26) and/or their blending and segmenting skills (which may be as low as 0%)

View the Term 1 video above to watch Diana Rigg demonstrate this process using sample class data.

For the purposes of this demonstration please note:

  • The class sizes have been reduced to 20 students 
  • Surnames (column B) have been hidden
  • A fairly general sample class’s test results have been entered
  • If an Early Years/Foundation Year class eg K/PP, it will be necessary to set up and maintain two spreadsheets.  One for the Early Years program and one for the Foundation program. 
  • For schools of particularly low socio-economics, the student test scores may be initially somewhat lower and teachers will need to factor in additional explicit and targeted teaching experiences. For example targeted whole class, small group teaching delivered in the rotational tasks, and additional education assistant targeted teaching. 
  • For schools of particularly high socio-economics, the student test scores may be somewhat higher and students may be ready to progress onto the next skills earlier.

Stay tuned for the second instalment: Term 1 Week 10 Screening and Tracking in Foundation.

Want to know about screening and tracking across other year levels?

Introduction early years year 1 & 2 year 3, 4, 5 & 6