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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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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Challenging ‘Behaviour Policies’: Misunderstood, inappropriate and unfair

I believe that proper assessment would reveal that these children have a range of social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) problems that are the real cause of their misbehaviours.

Thanks to Rob Long, educational psychologist and author of SNAP-B, for the following article.

Recently I attended a meeting on school exclusions where clear evidence was presented which highlighted there are certain ‘at risk’ groups that are more likely to be excluded. For me this reinforced the article I had read by J O’Brian in which he suggested that there is a systemic bias in the education system against certain ethnic groups.

With this thought in mind I began to wonder if there is a similar bias to explain why children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) or Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) statements are also a vulnerable group to being excluded as the data suggests that they are higher than other non-disabled groups on exclusions.

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SENCO or Superhero – how on earth can any one person even start to do it all?

At first glance, the key issues related to SEN support and provision seem overwhelming. It gets worse at second glance, and the third … Small wonder so many schools find recruitment so hard for this role.

Thanks to Charles Weedon, educational psychologist and author of Special Needs Assessment Profile (SNAP) SpLD and SNAP-B, for the following article.

Who are they, who should they be?

The SENCO is the only role in a school that must be a qualified teacher and have a post-graduate qualification (unless they were in post before 1 September 2009). As a SENCO, you’re responsible for some of the most challenging pupils in a school – at the same time you’re at the confluence, the crunch point, for an ever-increasing barrage of expectations and demands.

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The most common SpLDs found in the classroom: How identification and intervention can remove barriers to learning

By identifying and minimising the barriers to learning, the child can feel more comfortable in the learning situation and will usually respond more effectively to the intervention offered.

Thanks to Gavin Reid, educational psychologist and author of Special Needs Assessment Profile (SNAP) SpLD, for the following article.

 

Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs)

In every classroom in every school there will be a considerable number of children experiencing some form of specific learning difficulty. These can include: literacy difficulties (dyslexia), movement and coordination issues (dyspraxia), numeracy problems (dyscalculia), handwriting issues (dysgraphia), speech and language problems (Specific Language Impairment) and auditory processing difficulties (APD).

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Ofsted and the 2019 Framework: Paradigm Shift or Cosmetic Respray?

In September 2019, the Ofsted inspection framework will change, but what does that mean for assessment?

Thanks to John Dabell, trained teacher and former Ofsted inspector, for the following article.

Although work is ongoing, and Ofsted is still preparing for the 2019 changes, there are some signs we can draw on which help shed some light on what the future holds.

Ofsted strategy: 2017-2022

Ofsted reminds us in it 2017-2022 strategy that everything it does is first and foremost to champion the interests of children and students, acting as a ‘force for improvement through intelligent, responsible and focused inspection and regulation.’  It also tells us that it is nimble and adaptable to change and does not have preferred styles of teaching. Continue reading →

How we use light-touch, formative assessment throughout the year

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

The most effective teachers not only refine starting points, but also make regular adjustments to planning during the learning journey.

As the new term starts and classroom timetables settle down to ‘real’ lessons, it is easy to roll with the planning as it is – especially if you’re teaching in the same year group as last year. It’s comfortable to start with the same topics, for example reading and exploring a novel you’re familiar with, often teaching virtually the same lessons all over again.

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New Pre-key Stage Standards: What schools need to know

Thanks to Sarah Minty, Commissioning Editor for SEN at RS Assessment from Hodder Education, for the following article.

Following a government consultation on the Rochford Review, the pre-key stage standards, which have been in place for 2017/2018, are now final, after a review by teachers and other educational experts.

From summer 2019, teachers must use these pre-key stage standards to make statutory assessment judgements at the end of KS1 and KS2, for any pupils who are working below the national curriculum teacher assessment frameworks and above P scale 4. Continue reading →

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, talks about the curriculum and the relationship between Ofsted and data

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, delivered an insightful speech at the Wellington Festival of Education. So, we’ve picked out a handful of key points (particularly about the curriculum and the relationship between Ofsted and data) that we think you’ll find interesting ahead of next year…

 

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