What does effective assessment look like in primary maths?

A good test isn’t just a summative experience – it is also packed with rich formative opportunities.

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

Effective assessment in maths is all about team-work and joined-up thinking. It doesn’t stand alone or parade data like a pedagogical peacock.  Instead, it links together teaching, learning and assessment in a creative and integrated fashion, so that teaching promotes learning, learning enables assessment to take place and assessment acts as a stimulus to both teaching and learning. Continue reading →

Reception Baseline Announcement – implications for schools

What are your thoughts on the reception baseline assessment?

Following the DfE’s announcement on 11th April 2018 that a new statutory baseline assessment will be introduced in autumn 2020, we collated some initial thoughts about the announcement.

Thanks to James Pembroke and Michael Tidd for sharing their views on this.  You can join in the conversation on Twitter @RSAssessment.

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6 ways to improve GPS test technique

How about a few more marks on grammar papers?

Thanks to Ruth Duckworth for the following article.

As we are in the last few teaching weeks running up to the end of Key Stage Two SATs again, Year Six teachers like myself are now well-entrenched in test practice – encouraging pupils to keep their full focus to achieve their best and grasp the all-important ‘expected’ score (from last year of course) before May.  Then, we may all be a little more confident that whatever the real tests bring, the 100s will flow.  Continue reading →

7 things you need to know about standardised scores and scaled scores

Scaled scores and standardised scores – what’s the difference?

By Cerys Hadwin-Owen, Assessment Publisher

WCerys Hadwin-Owenith so many different assessment measures being used throughout primary schools, we’re often asked to clarify the difference between them. So we’ve gone back to the drawing board to provide some quick facts about two key test outcomes: scaled scores and standardised scores (because while both show performance, they aren’t quite the same thing).

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6 things you need to know about the new 2018 KS2 writing teacher assessment framework

We asked Shareen Mayers to share her personal views on what the new KS2 writing teacher assessment framework means for schools, and to highlight some of the salient points. Please note that this guidance relates to KS2 writing only.

Please see Shareen’s previous article for a summary of the key changes to writing, including a greater focus on composition.

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Building and boosting vocabulary to improve results in reading and grammar tests

Thanks to Ruth Duckworth  for the following article.

One of the areas that has been identified as a weakness for Year 6 pupils taking end of Key Stage 2 reading tests relates to content domain 2a: ‘give or explain the meaning of words in context’.  This is an ongoing concern for teachers, as 20% of the questions on the 2017 reading SATs paper focused on this domain.

Further reaching than Year 6, teachers from Year 2 and across Key Stage 2 know that the increased pitch of vocabulary in both English reading and grammar, punctuation and spelling test papers is a challenge for many pupils – especially when undertaking more formal SATs type format tests (whether half-termly or at the end of each term).  It is therefore imperative to read widely with all children, plan English lessons around high quality texts, and also explicitly teach new vocabulary in context across wider curriculum subjects. Continue reading →

How do we improve maths teaching, learning and assessment for 7-14 year olds?

Thanks to John Dabell for the following article.

Is it better to ‘predict and prevent’ or ‘fix and find’ or do we do both?

There are thousands of studies available that make claims about impact but how can teachers separate the wheat from the chaff and know what really works and what to avoid.

We know that the effects of high quality teaching are especially significant for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. If only we had some discerning and pragmatic guidance to point us in the right direction based on secure and reliable evidence.    Continue reading →

Assessment: a key character in the story of learning

Thanks to Sebastian Rowland, Head of Year 6 at Etonbury Academy

Assessment. Love it or loathe it, it is a key character in the story of learning. As we plan, mark and assess in an ongoing cyclical process it is important to check that each assessment continues to have a purpose. In this article, I have outlined how we ensure our assessments have a clear purpose in improving teaching and learning in our school.

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Mythbusting with Ofsted

Sean HarfordThanks to Sean Harford, National Director, Education, Ofsted for the following article.

‘My bookcase was messy so I got marked down in my assessment…this is the level of hysteria we are facing in schools’.

Receiving messages like that is why we – and you – need to tackle the misinformation that circulates about ‘what Ofsted wants’.

Teacher workload is one of the most pressing concerns in education today and has a real impact on the retention of staff. We can’t afford to lose good teachers – and children certainly can’t afford to lose the opportunities you offer them.

The impulse to make everything ‘perfect’ can drive out creativity, passion and the love of teaching that are the reasons most people enter the profession. That’s why at Ofsted we know how important it is that people aren’t doing unnecessary tasks for us and adding to their workload. Continue reading →

Improving Mathematics in Key Stages 2 and 3

Thanks to John Dabell for this article.

Improving Mathematics in Key Stages 2 and 3’ is the latest report from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and presents sharp, intelligent and actionable guidance to support “great maths teaching” in primary and secondary schools.

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.

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