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 →
Scaled scores and standardised scores – what’s the difference?
By Cerys Hadwin-Owen, Assessment Publisher
With 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).
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.
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 →
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 →
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.
Thanks 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 →
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.
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.