Keen eye for detail counts against pupils

Children are proving too clever for their own good when it comes to taking the new reading test for six-year-olds, according to research published today.

In the test, which is designed as a phonics check, pupils are asked to sound out or decode a series of words, some of which are made up. However, when encountering pseudo words such as "strom", pupils assumed the teacher had failed to spot an error and changed the word to "storm" – and getting the answer wrong.

The Government, however, insists the test – jointly carried out by the National Association of Head Teachers, National Union of Teachers and Association of Teachers and Lecturers – is essential in spotting children who have a reading problem early.

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