The NAHT Commission on Assessment has recently published its report (February 2014).
The report makes several recommendations and also lists a set of underpinning principles to use in determining whether or not assessment is fit for purpose.
How do the Rising Stars New National Curriculum Assessment Progress Tests meet these principles?
THE FIRST PRINCIPLE IS THAT ASSESSMENT SHOULD BE AT THE HEART OF TEACHING AND LEARNING.
The Rising Stars New National Curriculum Assessment Progress Tests are specifically designed to identify strengths and weaknesses in learning and to provide evidence so that teachers can check how pupils are progressing and adjust their planning and teaching accordingly. Opportunities are also provided for pupils to discuss what they have done well with their teacher and to agree next steps that will help them to achieve even more.
ASSESSMENT SHOULD ALSO BE FAIR, HONEST AND AMBITIOUS.
The Rising Stars New National Curriculum Assessment Progress Tests recognise that pupils will be working at their own pace. So, for each subject, tests become increasingly more demanding to ensure challenge and stretch for the more able. Progress is matched to the relevant new National Curriculum Programme of Study. Marks for each test are compared against three zones of progress so that teachers can see quickly whether pupils are working towards the expectations for their year group, meeting the expectations or exceeding them.
The CD-ROM versions of the tests include a Progress Tracker Excel workbook, which can be used to collect all the test information for a given subject and year. This provides additional progress information and can be used to generate individual pupil reports. Whole class data can be exported into the school’s MIS also.
ASSESSMENT SHOULD BE APPROPRIATE.
The Rising Stars New National Curriculum Assessment Progress Tests have been designed to be age appropriate and have been reviewed to ensure that the language of the tests does not get in the way of showing what pupils know and can do. The scores from the tests provide teachers with one source of evidence that can be used to put together a picture of pupil achievement. The information from the tests can be used for reporting to parents, for discussions with pupils and to help teachers plan future teaching and learning. The tests can be used to complement ongoing teacher assessment within a school.
ANOTHER UNDERPINNING PRINCIPLE IS THAT ASSESSMENT SHOULD BE CONSISTENT.
The Rising Stars New National Curriculum Assessment Progress Tests have been written for the new National Curriculum in English, mathematics and science for Years 1 to 6 inclusive. They are designed for use throughout the school year and can be used to provide a consistent approach to the assessment of teaching and learning in the core subjects throughout a school. The tests have been written to assess against the new 2014 Programme of Study. Clear mark schemes are included to help teachers mark pupil answers to the test questions consistently making it easier to compare data at class and school level and to provide meaningful and understandable information for all stakeholders.