The purpose of this assessment is to guide you as parents/educators and to help you see where your child’s gaps are in literacy. 

Assessments are KEY and should be one of the first things you or your educator/tutor should do. This assessment includes reading (decoding) and spelling (encoding). It will help you understand what your child does and doesn’t know and give you a place to start. 

This assessment does not include all the steps of a full scope and sequence, but it does include the main spelling patterns and rules that should be taught. 

This Assessment pack includes:

  • Instructions 
  • Concept Key 
  • Spelling (encoding) sheet – teacher’s copy  (provided below PDF)
  • Spelling (encoding) sheet – student’s copy  (provided below PDF)
  • Reading (decoding) sheet – teacher’s copy (provided below PDF)
  • Reading (decoding) blank sheet for recording – teacher’s copy (if you choose to use it) (provided below PDF)
  • Reading (decoding) sheet – student’s copy (provided below PDF)

Make sure you are encouraging the student throughout the assessment saying: “Well done, fabulous, amazing spelling/reading, love all the effort you’re putting in.” Never let on if they spelled or said the word wrong. This is very important as some children have a fear of failing and if they think they got it wrong they can shut down and refuse to continue. 

Start with the spelling so you get an accurate result as we have used the same words for both assessments. 


This assessment was created by Sharon Scurr for the members of the Dyslexia NZ Evidence Based group. The assessment is only a tool/guide for helping you build knowledge of where your student or child is at with reading and spelling. 

The Dyslexia NZ Evidence Based group always recommends training before implementing a Structured Literacy approach, but we also understand this is not always possible and this is why we have provided this assessment – to help you find your starting point for teaching. We strongly recommend you now purchase a Structured Literacy approach to teach your child the skills they are missing. Please refer to  “What we do recommend” and “What we do not recommend” and “What I can do at home?” for options. 

This document was created by Sharon Scurr founder of the deb in August 2021