Formal assessment provides a detailed picture of a pupil’s learning profile. It considers their general underlying ability, cognitive skills (eg. phonological awareness, short term and working memory, phonological processing speed, visual-motor processing etc.) and attainments in reading, spelling and writing, including handwriting skills.
Formal assessment is generally about 2 to 3 hours in length and a comprehensive report is written thereafter. A diagnosis of dyslexia is given if appropriate. Whilst this is undoubtedly valuable, the specific recommendations given in the report, stemming a pupil’s profile of strengths and weaknesses, are crucial. They suggest effective methods of support for the classroom, at home and, if needed, with a specialist teacher. Where necessary, the report also highlights relevant exam concessions (Access Arrangements) such as extra time, assistive technology etc.
Because we understand that teachers and other professionals are busy and may not have time to read an entire report, there is a concise summary of findings, diagnosis and selection of recommendations at the beginning of the report, which can be detached.