It may sound unintuitive that an increase in testing can ultimately reduce workload for teachers and increase pupils’ learning, but it is worth considering. Increasingly, primary schools, secondary schools and MATs are adopting standardised tests across the school to support informed teaching and save time. Here are just 3 reasons why…
1. They create a shared language
Adopting a consistent approach to assessment, particularly one that has been independently standardised, provides a common language across a school. Rather than each department, class or teacher using their own categorisations, or potentially their own assessments, using the same tests each year generates the same trusted results with a common spine between classes and year groups. This creates transparency across a school, which is key when looking to quickly understand whether your whole class or cohort is on track.
2. They provide comparative data
The outcomes of standardised tests have been nationally referenced, meaning results both within year and between years provide schools with easy-to-compare data. This provides reliable evidence as to whether a child is on track, or in need or further support. Over time this comparative data can help inform better planning and free up more time for teaching.
3. They enable quick, formative analysis
As James Pembroke says, “In addition to monitoring standards – and perhaps more importantly – such assessments provide teachers with a rich source of item level analysis, which can reveal those critical gaps in learning that need to be addressed, both at individual and cohort level.” This level of formative information can mean more time is spent helping a child learn than in diagnosing an area of weakness.
The Independent Teacher Workload Review Group’s advice for data management emphasises collecting and using the right data; standardised test outcomes can support this by providing a measure that can be used for attainment, progress and diagnostics.
If you’re interested in standardisation and want to learn more about our termly, standardised tests, make sure to visit our dedicated page! We’d love to hear from you if you have feedback…. make sure to get in touch via Twitter, @RSAssessment.