The guidance is relevant to all pupils but in particular to those children who fall below their expected level of mathematics achievement. The report adopts the premise that it is essential to see maths as a pump rather than a filter in the pipeline of education but this can only be achieved through tapping into what works and is supported by research.
A vital enabler in the strengthening of teaching, learning and assessment is good access to relevant evidence; this report can help guide teachers towards this as its key focus is to promote a culture of evidence-led best practice.
Using standardised testing to support teacher understanding
By Tyrone Samuel, Network Lead for Primary Data and Assessment
The new academic year is in full swing, and as we enter autumn 2, I have already visited the majority of our primary schools as the Network Lead for Primary Assessment and Data at Ark.
Autumn 1 has been as busy and intense as ever for me, supporting schools with their data analysis and training, bringing our assessment leads together to collaborate on good practice, as well as sharing key lessons, messages and insights. This has helped to focus minds on our Ark network mission, to make sure that every pupil can go to university or into the career of their choice by setting high expectations and striving to know every pupil.
On 17th October the DfE published the 2018 statutory guidance for assessments at the end of KS1 and KS2.
Key Changes for 2017 to 2018
Key stage 1
The STA has revised the English teacher assessment frameworks at the end of Key Stage 1. The revised ‘pupil can’ statements are less prescriptive and place greater emphasis on grammar, punctuation and spelling.
The KS1 English grammar, punctuation and spelling tests remain optional from 2018 onwards. Grammar, punctuation and spelling test materials will be available to download from 1st May.
According to the Joint Council for Qualifications, ‘access arrangements are pre-examination adjustments for candidates based on evidence of need and normal way of working.’ Schools can apply for 25% extra time in GCSE exams by applying for access arrangements, and usually the SENCo and/or the specialist assessor working within the school will process the applications online.
How can you apply for extra time and who is eligible?
In order to award extra time the school must assess the needs of the pupil based on one of the following documents:
Statement of Special Educational Needs relating to secondary education, or an Education, Health and Care Plan, which confirms the candidate’s disability; or
Assessment carried out no earlier than the start of Year 9 by an assessor confirming a learning difficulty relating to secondary/further education.
Shareen has been a KS1 moderator for a decade and a KS2 writing moderator for 6 years. She is the lead moderator and moderation manager for a London LA.
Following the DfE’s response to the assessment consultation this September, we asked Shareen Mayers to share her thoughts on the changes to the teacher assessment framework for writing at key stages 1 and 2. If you’d like to share your thoughts, get in touch with us on @rsassessment.
A more flexible approach to the assessment of writing.
It is important to clarify that the more flexible approach to writing does not apply to reading, mathematics or science. They are still assessed as a secure-fit and pupils need to secure all the statements. The more flexible approach also needs to be interpreted with caution. The DfE states, ‘A pupil’s writing should meet all the statements within the standard at which they are judged. However, teachers can use their discretion to ensure that, on occasion, a particular weakness does not prevent an accurate judgement being made of a pupil’s attainment overall. A teacher’s professional judgement about whether the pupil has met the standard overall takes precedence. This approach applies to English writing only.’ This flexibility has been welcomed by many teachers within the profession and has been seen as a sensible approach to writing assessment.
Thanks to Siobhan Skeffington for the following article.
Siobhan Skeffington is an education consultant, author and reviewer also involved in test development and Primary Teacher for 26 years including SLT and Leading teacher.
Formative and summative assessments are very different. Summative assessment gives a picture of how the child is progressing at any given point and enables teachers and schools to gauge the overall attainment; this can also be used for accountability purposes. Formative assessment needs to be part of everyday practice and lesson planning, as it focuses on improving learning.
Assessment is often seen as a tool to be planned for in the form of a spelling or mental maths test. Teachers and senior leaders can often feel pressurised to do constant mini summative tests believing these give a clear indication of how pupils are performing. These tests can be informative but the best formative assessment or ‘assessment for learning’ is through the conversations between the children and the teachers during the normal course of the day. Through carefully planned questioning, open ended activities and marking that allows children to review their own work, formative assessment can give teachers a wealth of information to use when planning the next steps for learning. If used appropriately, they will have identified any misconceptions or gaps in knowledge and will be better-able to determine what the children actually know.
Plans have been announced by Justine Greening, the Education Secretary for the DfE, for a primary assessment system that focuses on pupil progress, mastering literacy and numeracy, and scrapping excessive workload for teachers.
The new primary assessment plans aim to deliver a better foundation for measuring progress and the impact of schools.