The ill-fated InCAS tests are replaced
The InCAS (Interactive Computerised Assessment System) test was introduced for pupils from P4 to P7 across the province in 2007. However it seems that problems with the scoring awarded to pupils in InCAS because of a computer error have meant that many of the scores have been deemed meaningless and the Department of Education have terminated their contract with CEM, the providers of the tests.
NILA and NINA replace InCAS
So what do these new tests mean for children and parents? Very little has changed apart from the look and feel of the tests. The new computerised tests are designed to diagnose problems children may be having, to enable teachers to focus on the child’s strengths and to identify any weaknesses they may have. They are a personalised computer assessment, tailored to each individual pupil according to their age and abilities. Parents will recieve written information about how their child performed during the assessment and have the opportunity to discuss the results with their child’s teacher. In other words the tests will look different but are designed to do the same job as the previous InCAS tests.
NILA – Northern Ireland Literacy Assessment
This test will focus on your child’s understanding of texts, their accuracy in punctuation, spelling and grammar and their understanding of information and ideas that they hear. Most children will complete the assessment in 35 minutes. View a demo
NINA – Northern Ireland Numeracy Assessment
This test will focus on your child’s understanding of a variety of key aspects of numeracy. It has two parts or strands. The first looks at “Understanding and Using of Number” and the second looks at “Shape and Space, Measures and Handling Data”. Each strand will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. View a demo
For more information about computer based assessments please visit www.nicurriculum.org.uk
By Clare Rimmer