Assessment and the new Ofsted framework

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.

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Realising the potential of technology in education

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

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Multiplication tables check: administration guidance

On 1st April 2019, the DfE published administration guidance for the multiplication tables check for schools participating in the 2019 national voluntary pilot.

The guidance includes details on:

  • how to use the multiplication tables check system
  • how to administer the multiplication tables check
  • how to use pupil access and other check arrangements

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NTS Assessments, PiRA and PUMA: What are the differences?

NTS, PiRA, PUMA, GAPS

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 →

All pupils to be taught about mental and physical wellbeing

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.

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Our new partnership with Groupcall Analytics makes GAPS, PiRA and PUMA data integration easier than ever before

Our new partnership with Groupcall Analytics

We are pleased to announce our new partnership with Groupcall Analytics, which will benefit GAPS, PiRA and PUMA customers using MARK, our free online assessment and reporting tool. This partnership with Groupcall Analytics will provide our customers with a time-saving solution for MIS data integration, providing increased options for enhanced data analysis.

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The Power of Pairs

Consolidating and extending learning opportunities with peer partner work in the classroom

Thanks to Ruth Duckworth, Year 6 teacher and Writing Lead, and Kate Sanghera, Year 6 teacher and Science lead, from Christchurch CE Primary School for the following article.

Some assessments focusing on pupils’ ability to ‘speak and listen’ effectively have diminished recently – especially with the reduction in teacher assessments required to be reported at the end of key stage two.  This should not mean, however, that we begin to lose sight of the valuable contribution which paired oral language opportunities, work tasks and challenges, as well as peer assessments can make in both consolidating and moving on children’s learning.  The benefits of mixed-ability paired groupings can be particularly effective for all learners.

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Ofsted launches a consultation on proposals for changes to the education inspection framework

On 16th January 2019, the DfE launched a consultation on proposals on how Ofsted inspects schools to take effect from September 2019.  The new framework proposes to rebalance inspections to ensure children are receiving a rich and broad curriculum at every stage of their education from early years to higher education.

Key points:

  • revised framework to focus inspections on what children learn through the curriculum, rather than over-reliance on performance data
  • proposals will call time on the culture of ‘teaching to the test’
  • introduction of a new behaviour judgement to give parents reassurance that behaviour is good

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New partnership between our standardised tests and Arbor’s cloud-based MIS

We are delighted to announce the new partnership between our standardised tests for primary schools and Arbor’s cloud-based MIS for schools & MATs.

Our standardised tests for primary schools

Our standardised tests, PiRA and PUMA, are a key component of many primary school improvement strategies, helping key stakeholders to track pupils’ in-year progress and benchmark against age-related expectations.

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The effects of age, gender and school type of primary maths and reading attainment

From Katie Blainey, Publishing Director, RS Assessment from Hodder Education

Thousands of primary schools are now using PiRA and PUMA to get rich termly data that highlights pupils’ strengths and weaknesses, which helps support tailored teaching and learning throughout primary school years. In the last few years MARK (My Assessment and Reporting Kit) has become an increasingly popular support for schools to enter their test results and quickly analyse data for pupils, classes and the whole school. As the number of results in the MARK database increased we wanted to see if any trends were emerging at an aggregated level, as we know large data sets of this size are rare.

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