Primary School: Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) for KS1, Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Since September 2021, primary schools need to conduct a reception baseline assessment (RBA) to understand children’s abilities in reading and maths. An RBA has to be administered in the first 6 weeks of a pupil starting in a reception class (Y1, KS1).

A TE helping a student prepare for a phonic screening check

What is the reception baseline assessment (RBA)?

Since September 2021, it’s statutory that primary schools conduct a reception baseline assessment (RBA) to understand children’s abilities in: 

The RBA must be carried out within the first 6 weeks of a pupil starting in a reception class (Y1, KS1). 

Children join primary school reception classes with a range of abilities. Some have attended nurseries, others haven’t. For some, this will be their first experience in any kind of school environment. 

Some children’s parents and guardians will read to them, and will have helped them gain an understanding of the basics of reading, even writing, letters, and phonics. Other’s won’t come to primary school with these advantages. 

Some children will come from difficult home environments, and others will have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), or other learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, making reading, writing, and literacy more challenging for them. 

The RBA is designed to assess children’s attainment levels for Language, communication, literacy, and mathematics so that these results can be compared against the progress pupils make from reception until the end of key stage 2 (KS2). 

Although no scores are provided, teachers are given “a series of short, narrative statements that tell them how their pupils performed in the assessment. These can be used to inform teaching within the first term.” 

EFYS Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) from TES

When should the reception baseline assessment (RBA) be administered by primary schools?

The Department for Education (DfE) advises that the RBA is administered in the first 6 weeks of a pupil starting in a reception class (Y1, KS1. In most cases, this needs to be completed before mid-October, before the October half term. 

What do primary, reception, KS1 teachers need to know about the reception baseline assessment (RBA)?

ReadingWise and Primary School (KS1 - KS2) Assessments 2023 - 2024: Our Resources

In 2018 as part of a government-funded study, the impact of ReadingWise Zip was explored in 17 schools across year 1. The impact was promising as the reading gap between chronological age and reading age closed in a short space of time. 

ReadingWise Zip is extremely easy to deliver and in effect 'fills in the gaps' in learners' phonics knowledge as the programme understands each child's strengths and weaknesses and therefore focuses on the areas that need more work. ReadingWise Zip is not a full phonics programme but a supplementary resource that can support and reinforce your phonics programme.

To trial ReadingWise Zip please arrange a demo through the link below and we look forward to discussing your needs.

Find out everything you need to know about ReadingWise Zip and other ReadingWise modules for your primary school with our friendly, knowledgeable team.

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Take a look at our other modules that would benefit pupils at primary school. Over 100,000 pupils in UK schools have completed a ReadingWise programme! 

ReadingWise produces massive improvements in reading fluency, reading skills, and literacy in a short timescale. A Department for Education (DfE) RCT study found ReadingWise increased reading ages by 9.5 months in 1 term and ReadingWise pupils improved twice as fast compared to the control group. 

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