[ARCHIVE] Grade 1 and Grade 2 assessments to anticipate learning difficulties

To ensure all pupils master basic knowledge, it is essential to meet their needs from the early years of education. Assessments have therefore been introduced in French and Mathematics and resources have been provided to teachers to help pupils make progress in the areas they find most difficult.

The essentials 

So that all pupils can become proficient in fundamental skills, it is essential to understand their needs in detail, from the first years of learning, and to respond on a one-to-one basis.

Thus, since the start of the 2018 school year, the Ministry has introduced assessments at start Grade 1, mid-Grade 1, in Grade 2 and Grade 6 to give each teacher uniform markers in French and maths.

The assessments are extended by resources available to teachers to help pupils to make progress in the skills in which they are the least competent.

Assessment timetable 2019-2020

  • Grades 1 and 2 : Monday, 16 September to Friday, 27 September 2019.
  • mid-Grade 1 assessment : Monday, 20 January to Friday, 31 January 2020.
  • Grade 6 : Monday, 30 September to Friday, 18 October 2019.

In line with these date slots, every teacher will choose the assessment times in their class. It is recommended to spread the exercises out over several distinct half-days to avoid overloading the pupils.

Research-based assessments

The assessments have been designed by the Depp, the Scientific Council for National Education (Csen) and Dgesco. They have been developed to mark and understand the type of difficulties that pupils may encounter in learning to read and write and the first elements of maths

Csen has drafted a document entitled ÉvalAide that explains the choices adopted for this national assessment system: goals, scientific foundations and educational advantages.

All the strictly anonymous data will be collected by Depp to provide objective indications in clarifying the Ministry's education policy.

The Ministry for National Education and Youth has appointed a service provider to have an efficient IT tool and offer a large number of teachers quality inputting of assessment results. This service provider and the site hosts will not have access to personal data on pupils and teachers.

Assess to respond precisely to the needs of each pupil

Assessing what pupils have learned at school

The national assessments provide teachers with a detailed overview of knowledge acquired and needs of each pupil in the key skills in French and maths.
They are also a way of :

  • involving the parents in the schooling of pupils by giving them the assessment findings
  • adjusting the educational project of schools, educational establishments and districts.

Assessing to help better

In Grade 1

September : marker assessments. The teachers check that the pupils have the necessary knowledge to starting learning to read and maths in good conditions.

In French, the assessments measure the level of agility of the pupils to handle syllables and sounds. This ability is an excellent barometer of their ability to learn to read. They also cover pupils' ability to understand words, sentences or a short text read by the teacher.

Pupils are checked in maths for their knowledge of numbers up to ten and their ability to use them in a simple situation.

January-February : an assessment gives the teacher clear indications on changes in their pupils' acquired knowledge, mainly reading fluency.

In Grade 2

The Grade 2 assessment takes place in September and covers reading, writing and numeracy.

In French : ability to decipher quickly the words, read fluently out loud, understand a simple text and spell the most frequent words correctly.

In maths : use whole numbers higher than ten, use the first notions of geometry.

In Grade 6

The national assessments for Grade 6 pupils in French and maths are taken online and corrected automatically. The nature and difficulty of the questions that the pupils are asked vary according to the accuracy of the pupil's responses. Pupil monitoring is adjusted during Grade 6 based on the results of these assessments.

The pupil receives one-to-one feedback from the teachers for all these assessments. This can give rise to a collective or individually meeting organised with the parents.

Assessments 2018-2019 : first encouraging results

Depp has published the assessment results for school year 2018-2019.

At the start of Grade 1 class, 23 % of pupils struggle with knowing letters and sounds and using numbers.

At mid-Grade 1, the assessment results show that the pupils have made progress.
They have made progress in acquiring the reading basics with a drop of six points in the number of pupils struggling.
They have become more proficient with numbers : the proportion of struggling pupils has dropped from 23.9 to 13.2 %, i.e. a drop of ten points in the number of pupils struggling.

At start Grade 2, in French, the pupils still have difficulties too frequently in reading and dictation of words.

In maths, the results highlight difficulties in solving problems and online calculations.

Between start Grade 1 and mid-Grade 2, the discrepancies are dropping between priority education pupils and non-priority education pupils due to the splitting of classes and educational mobilisation :

  • for the knowledge of letters and sounds, the discrepancy is almost divided by 3 (dropping from 9 to 3.4 points)
  • for the recognition of phonemes, it drops from 12.1 to 5.2 points
  • for the comparison of numbers, the discrepancy is almost halved (dropping from 12.8 to 7.6 points)
  • for digital line placement, it drops from 14 to 9.4 points
More key policies

Together for a School of Trust
Pre-primary school at three years old for all
Grade 1 and Grade 2 classes with twelve pupils : 300,000 children involved
Grade 1 and Grade 2 assessments to anticipate learning difficulties
Annual benchmarks in primary and lower secondary school to guide pupil progress better
Consolidate primary school in all regions
Support the most vulnerable families
Provide better facilities for disabled pupils
Homework done : work towards success of all pupils
Culture and arts at the heart of the school system
Mobilisation for Paris 2024 : boost sport at School
Guide pupils better and lead them to success
Stronger vocational pathway
Upper secondary general or technological school : new Grade 10 and Grade 11 classes
New dynamics for living languages through all school levels
Digital learning aids
A School at the forefront of ecological transition
The principle of secularism at the heart of School and the society of trust
The School of respect for others
Develop the culture of engagement : the UN system and the civic service
Boost initial teacher training
Support personnel throughout their career
Improve labour conditions for staff
Involve families better in School life
Wednesday plan and education cities : enhance out-of-school times
An ambitious boarding school policy serving pupils and territories
100 % success in primary school : strengthening French and mathematics instruction
Opening French schools to Europe and the world
Banning the use of cellphones in primary and lower secondary schools
Supporting books and reading
Enriching the lower secondary school curriculum
Promoting a culture of innovation

Mise à jour : septembre 2022