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. The tests have become even more crucial for MATs recently, as central teams at growing Trusts need the ability to monitor and support school improvement across multiple schools and get an overview of whole MAT performance. Our free online assessment and reporting kit, MARK (My Assessment and Reporting Kit), plays a pivotal role in providing time-saving analysis of these test results.

Arbor’s MIS for schools & MATs

Arbor’s cloud-based MIS helps to transform the way schools and MATs work, by putting essential data at the fingertips of senior leaders, teachers and office staff, and by automating and simplifying administrative tasks to reduce staff workload. At a MAT level, Arbor MIS centralises not just data reporting, but operations and communications, too. It helps MATs to manage and support their schools all from just one system.

Our new partnership

Our partnership with Arbor brings together, for the first time, the power of their simple and smart cloud-based MIS with the results of PiRA and PUMA tests for schools and MATs. Later this year, schools and MATs using Arbor and tracking PiRA and PUMA test results in MARK will be able to:

  • Automatically sync pupil data directly from Arbor MIS to MARK, with no need for data downloads and upload
  • Automatically sync results from PiRA and PUMA tests back to Arbor MIS for MATs, so central teams can get an aggregated view of results across all their schools
  • Allow senior leaders at schools and MATs to use Arbor MIS to take action on their results – for example, by setting up intervention groups, or by building custom reports combining data from their PiRA and PUMA test results and Arbor MIS

We have worked on this partnership with Arbor in collaboration with REAch2 Multi-Academy Trust, to ensure it works just as seamlessly for MAT leaders as it does for individual primary schools.

To learn more about how we can support your school or MAT, contact Arbor on 0208 050 1028 or email tellmemore@arbor-education.com. You can also meet Arbor and members of the RS Assessment team at BETT 2019, stand C65.

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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3 ways to reduce unnecessary workload with standardised tests

Katie_Blainey_standardised_reduce_workloadPublishing Director, Katie Blainey, explores unnecessary workload and how using standardised tests can save you heaps of valuable time!

It may sound unintuitive that an increase in testing can ultimately reduce workload for teachers and increase pupils’ learning, but it is worth considering. Increasingly, primary schools, secondary schools and MATs are adopting standardised tests across the school to support informed teaching and save time. Here are just 3 reasons why…

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