On 15th November 2016, the Standards and Testings Agency broadcast a webinar on 2017 assessments. We’ve summarised the key points below.

Key stage 1 assessments: an overview

  • There will be no new test types introduced before 2018/19.
  • The consultation on the future of primary assessment will commence early next year.
  • Thursday 29th June is the KS1 teacher assessments submission deadline.
  • The KS1 spelling and grammar test will remain optional for 2017. Schools who wish to use it can still download materials from NCA tools.

Key stage 2 assessments: an overview

  • There will be no new test types introduced before 2018/19.
  • The consultation on the future of primary assessment will commence early next year.
  • Year 7 re-sits will not be introduced.
  • A statutory multiplication times tables check will be going ahead, but not before the 2018/19 academic year.

Key stage 1 assessments: key questions answered

Last year, the DfE changed its expectations regarding handwriting for writing assessment. Are there any changes this year?

No. To reach the expected standard,  handwriting is not a necessary component.

Do children have to pass phonics check to be considered as meeting the expected standard in reading? 

No. If teachers want to include the phonics check as evidence of a child meeting expectations that is okay, but there is no formal requirement for a child to pass to be considered ‘working at expectations’.

Will the test results have to be reported to the LA? 

No. The tests are there to help inform teacher assessment which will then need to be reported to the DfE. LAs can ask to see tests as part of moderation visits.

Should P Scales still be used to assess children with SEN?

Yes. One of the recommendations from the Rochford Review is to make P Scales non-statutory; however, for this current academic year, P Scales remain statutory and should still be used.

What classes as independent in terms of spelling for a child working at the expected standard in writing?

Any resources that the child accesses independently e.g. words on the wall or in the dictionary (providing they choose to use these resources themselves) are acceptable. An electronic resource that suggests spellings for a child automatically would not be considered independent, nor would a teacher’s suggestion to check spellings.

Key stage 2 assessments: key questions answered

What are the changes for the 2016 accountability measures?

There are new progress measures which include the progress that all children make. The new attainment and progress measures will be publishing in December and it is not until then that schools will be identified as below the floor standard. See the primary accountability document for full guidance. 

Can you explain what it means to be coasting?

The definition of a coasting school has been publishing in the primary accountability document. However, the definition of the word ‘coasting’ is still yet to be agreed by the government. Coasting schools will be identified using three years of data. This information will be publishing in the performance tables in December.

Last year, the DfE changed the expectations on hand writing and it was no longer deemed a requirement to demonstrate joined up writing in order to meet the expected standard. Are there any changes to this?

No. There is no change from 2016. Pupils will not have to demonstrate joined up handwriting to meet the expected standard (but they do need to demonstrate this in order to be awarded ‘greater depth’).

Is the key stage 2 reading test likely to be as challenging as the 2016 paper? 

The standard needed to reach 100 (expected standard) will stay the same. However, this year, the STA have paid particular attention to the experience of the children and are hoping that this year’s test will be perceived as more accessible to children.

How can you ensure that moderation is going to be consistent across LAs?

Guidance this year is clearer for both teachers and LAs. LA events are happening at the moment and all LAs have signed up for these events. Every moderator will also undertake specific training which is being organised by the STA.

You can watch recorded versions of these webinars on the STA website here. If you have any queries regarding any of the above, get in touch at teachervoice@risingstars-uk.com.

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