Preparing for national computer-adaptive testing with Renaissance Star Assessments™

Following the news that paper-based National reading and maths tests are set to be replaced by online computer-adaptive assessments, schools across Wales are using a similar assessment tool to measure progress and attainment. 

Computer-adaptive tests for reading, maths and early literacy


Star Assessments™ can be used for progress monitoring and intervention, reporting results immediately to help inform planning and teaching.

Used by over 1 million children in Primary and Secondary schools across the UK, Star Assessments™ have been found by over 50 independent research studies to be valid and reliable.


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Tracking progress over time at Cardiff High School


Cardiff High School, which was found to be the top performing secondary school in Wales in the 2016 Real Schools Guide, has used Star Reading™ since 2014, administering the test four times per year across Key Stage 3.  Laura Cope, Literacy Leader, explains:


Star really allows us to understand progress over time, and we have found it to be a very useful tool in informing the way we as an English department and a school look at our literacy. In a classroom capacity Star tells us where students are reading at and what skills they need to develop; at Key Stage 3, this information helps us examine how prepared they are for national assessments. The data informs what books students will read next, and helps us to show Estyn how we teach within the classroom.

Read the full testimonal

A wealth of consistent data on progress and attainment


Over 5,000 schools across the UK are using Star to accurately monitor student attainment and progress, and to identify which students are on track to meet expectation. Star provides you with a consistent set of data across reading and maths immediately upon completion, including:

  • Scaled Score
  • Norm Referenced Standardised Score
  • Percentile Rank
  • Student Growth Percentile (SGP)
  • Zone of Proximal Development

Monitoring comprehension at The Maelor School


The Maelor School have been administering Star Reading™ four times per year since 2014 to highlight pupils who are struggling with reading comprehension.  David Thomas, Literacy Coordinator, says that:


It’s a similar kind of test to the new WJEC English GCSE, and the types of texts, the range of texts, the kinds of comprehension and the types of question are very similar also to the Welsh National Reading Test... Overall we’re confident about the results from Star because they more or less tie in with those from the Welsh National Reading Test and the CATs tests that we administer.  Reading age is one of the measures we look at, and we find the Standardised Score particularly useful... Through the Star test, we track the reading age term by term and highlight support for those who have not improved, and there are fewer and fewer of those as time goes on.

Read the full testimonal

Compare the strength of children’s growth


Knowing a child’s level of achievement tells you whether they are performing below, above or as expected. Star goes further by reporting a Student Growth Percentile (SGP): a measure of the relative strength of progress a child is making.

For example, a child may be performing at a low level but experiencing a high rate of growth. Conversely, a high-performing child could be stagnating. SGPs help teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of teaching programmes and intervention strategies.

Read from Dr Betebenner, who developed Student Growth Percentiles, how this measure works within the Star Assessments to provide a uniquely useful insight for teachers:


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