A scholastic evaluation is indicated when learning difficulties are experienced. Often, a class teacher requests an assessment when a child is not concentrating adequately in class, when there are difficulties with reading, spelling, mathematics, handwriting, comprehension, etc. Or, parents or pupils are dissatisfied with academic results, struggling with homework management, or suspect a learning problem of some kind.

A scholastic evaluation seeks to uncover the nature and extent of these problems. Intelligence is tested first, as this investigates not only verbal and practical skills, but also speed of reading, writing, concentration and attention span, long and short term memory skills, vocabulary, general knowledge, attention to detail, and several other abilities which assist us in adjusting to, and mastering, our environments. The IQ profile gives a basis from which to calculate the skills levels we could expect from the child concerned.

The next level of testing involves measuring the actual problem skills themselves, whether these be reading abilities, spelling, listening skills, writing and written expression, mathematical reasoning and numeracy, reading comprehension, fine-motor control, visual-spatial perception, etc. Usually, an age-level is calculated, so as to indicate the extent, if any, to which the child is lagging in the development of these abilities. Also, skills are measured against the level anticipated by intellectual test results.

Finally, an evaluation of other factors which influence the learning process can be included, such as work habits and study skills, behavioural adjustment, attitude to authority and discipline, planning and organisation skills, motivation and goal setting.

A thorough scholastic assessment should uncover not only the extent of the difficulties concerned, but also their cause, so as to ensure the best treatment outcome.

Each assessment is tailored to answer the specific concerns involved. For this reason, any input which the class teacher wishes to provide, samples of class and homework, input from au-pairs, or extra-lesson teachers, past school reports are most welcome. A relevant specialist could be included in the feedback session where necessary, particularly regarding psychological input.

Assessment is not about “labelling” a child. Assessment is about optimising human capital development. It is about ensuring that the child receives the most appropriate support and assistance in order that they reach their fullest potential.


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