6 things you need to know about the new 2018 KS2 writing teacher assessment framework: February 2018 update

We asked Shareen Mayers to share her personal views on what the new KS2 writing teacher assessment framework means for schools, and to highlight some of the salient points. Please note that this guidance relates to KS2 writing only.

Please see Shareen’s previous article for a summary of the key changes to writing, including a greater focus on composition.

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Building and boosting vocabulary to improve results in reading and grammar tests

Thanks to Ruth Duckworth, Year 6 teacher,  for the following article.

One of the areas that has been identified as a weakness for Year 6 pupils taking end of Key Stage 2 reading tests relates to content domain 2a: ‘give or explain the meaning of words in context’.  This is an ongoing concern for teachers, as 20% of the questions on the 2017 reading SATs paper focused on this domain.

Further reaching than Year 6, teachers from Year 2 and across Key Stage 2 know that the increased pitch of vocabulary in both English reading and grammar, punctuation and spelling test papers is a challenge for many pupils – especially when undertaking more formal SATs type format tests (whether half-termly or at the end of each term).  It is therefore imperative to read widely with all children, plan English lessons around high quality texts, and also explicitly teach new vocabulary in context across wider curriculum subjects. Continue reading →

Multiplication tables check trials to begin in schools

On 14th February 2018, the DfE announced that a small number of schools will be selected to trial the multiplication tables check next month.

The multiplication check follows the introduction of the phonics screening check in 2012, and is designed to ensure children in primary schools know their times tables up to 12 off by heart.

Key information about the multiplication checks:

  • The on screen checks will be sat by 8 and 9 year olds in Year 4 and will last no longer than 5 minutes
  • This year’s trial comes ahead of the mandatory checks in June 2020

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How do we improve maths teaching, learning and assessment for 7-14 year olds?

Thanks to John Dabell for the following article.

Is it better to ‘predict and prevent’ or ‘fix and find’ or do we do both?

There are thousands of studies available that make claims about impact but how can teachers separate the wheat from the chaff and know what really works and what to avoid.

We know that the effects of high quality teaching are especially significant for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. If only we had some discerning and pragmatic guidance to point us in the right direction based on secure and reliable evidence.    Continue reading →

Teacher assessment moderation – writing moderation

On 29th January 2018, the DfE released updated information for local authorities (LAs) about the process and training for moderators of KS1 and KS2 English writing in 2017/2018.

The standardisation process

The standardisation process is designed to assure schools that LA moderation teams have the required knowledge to moderate KS1 and KS2 English writing assessments, ensuring consistency and accuracy across England.  LAs are required to moderate a least 25% of maintained schools and 25% of academies.

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KS1 and KS2 Writing Moderation Materials

On 23rd January 2018, the Standards and Testing Agency shared KS1 and KS2 moderation support materials on NCA tools, including presentation slides and accompanying materials.

Key Stage 1

KS1 teacher assessment moderation training presentation

KS1 teacher assessment moderation training support materials

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2018 national curriculum assessments calendar

Dates for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 administration

January 2018

  • 29th Jan – ‘Access arrangements’ on NCA tools opens

February 2018

  • 19th Feb – KS2 ‘Pupil registration’ on NCA tool opens
  • 26th Feb – Deadline for schools to submit applications for KS2 early opening and compensatory marks Continue reading →

Primary assessments: information and resources 2018

On 16th January, the DfE published a primary assessment information and resources guide to help teachers find online content for Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two assessments.


Early Years Foundation Guide

The EYFS guide includes important dates for the EYFS test cycle and guidance to understand statutory requirements for the EYFS.  Read the full EYFS assessment guide here.

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Assessment: a key character in the story of learning

Thanks to Sebastian Rowland, Head of Year 6 at Etonbury Academy

Assessment. Love it or loathe it, it is a key character in the story of learning. As we plan, mark and assess in an ongoing cyclical process it is important to check that each assessment continues to have a purpose. In this article, I have outlined how we ensure our assessments have a clear purpose in improving teaching and learning in our school.

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