St John Vianney is a larger than average Catholic primary school, with two-form entry, based in Blackpool. In March 2018 they were rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted and their outstanding teaching of English and Early Literacy means that they are now one of thirty-two national English Hubs supporting other schools. They use PiRA, PUMA, GAPS and MARK (our free online assessment and reporting tool) three times per year, to support teachers in validating their judgement and identifying learning needs of individual pupils and classes. The assessments are used from Years 1 – 6, to ensure a consistent approach throughout the school.
On 14th May, the DfE published the new Ofsted framework which will apply from September 2019. This framework sets out Ofsted’s inspection principles and summarises the main judgements that inspectors make.
Summary of how the new framework will affect assessment
School’s use of assessment
To avoid the misuse or overuse of assessments, inspectors will evaluate how assessment is used in the school to support the teaching of the curriculum but not substantially increase teachers’ workloads.
Inspectors will look at whether schools’ collections of attainment or progress data are proportionate , represent an efficient use of school resources, and are sustainable for staff.
Schools using more than two or three data collection points a year should have clear reasoning for what interpretations and actions are informed by the frequency of collection.
If a school’s assessment system for data collection is disproportionate, ineffective or unsustainable for staff, inspectors will reflect this in their reporting.
On 4th April 2019, the DfE published a new strategy to develop and embed technology within schools. In the document, Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, stated:
“I believe technology can be an effective tool to help reduce teacher workload, increase efficiencies, engage students and communities, and provide tools to support excellent teaching and raise student attainment.” – Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education
After talking and listening to teachers, like you, about how we can help to make your life a little easier whilst providing insightful performance and progress data and familiarising pupils with the SATs, we are very pleased to launch NTS Assessments: our brand new termly, standardised, National Test-style progress tests for Years 1 to 6. As excitement builds for NTS Assessments (National Test-style Standardised Assessments), many of you are asking about the differences between these new papers and our popular existing standardised tests: PiRA and PUMA. We’ve written this article to help answer your questions. Continue reading →
On 25th February 2019, the DfE announced that from September 2020 all Primary and Secondary school children will be taught about mental wellbeing – with a clear focus on the link between physical and mental health.
To ensure a whole school approach to mental health and wellbeing is being taken, the DfE is offering funding training for senior mental health leads.