Multiplication tables check trials to begin in schools

On 14th February 2018, the DfE announced that a small number of schools will be selected to trial the multiplication tables check next month.

The multiplication check follows the introduction of the phonics screening check in 2012, and is designed to ensure children in primary schools know their times tables up to 12 off by heart.

Key information about the multiplication checks:

  • The on screen checks will be sat by 8 and 9 year olds in Year 4 and will last no longer than 5 minutes
  • This year’s trial comes ahead of the mandatory checks in June 2020

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Teacher assessment frameworks at the end of KS1 and KS2

On 14th February 2018, the DfE updated the KS1 and KS2 teacher assessment frameworks for 2017/2018.

Changes to KS1 for 2017-2018

  • Revised teacher assessment frameworks in English writing, which include:
    • A more flexible approach – teachers can now use their discretion to ensure that a particular weakness does not prevent an accurate judgement of a pupil’s attainment overall being made.
    • Revised ‘pupil can’ statements –  a greater emphasis on composition, whilst statements relating to the more ‘technical’ aspects of English writing are less prescriptive.
  • ‘Pupil can’ statements for English reading, maths and science are unchanged. Continue reading →

Teacher assessment moderation – writing moderation

On 29th January 2018, the DfE released updated information for local authorities (LAs) about the process and training for moderators of KS1 and KS2 English writing in 2017/2018.

The standardisation process

The standardisation process is designed to assure schools that LA moderation teams have the required knowledge to moderate KS1 and KS2 English writing assessments, ensuring consistency and accuracy across England.  LAs are required to moderate a least 25% of maintained schools and 25% of academies.

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KS1 and KS2 Writing Moderation Materials

On 23rd January 2018, the Standards and Testing Agency shared KS1 and KS2 moderation support materials on NCA tools, including presentation slides and accompanying materials.

Key Stage 1

KS1 teacher assessment moderation training presentation

KS1 teacher assessment moderation training support materials

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2018 national curriculum assessments calendar

Dates for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 administration

January 2018

  • 29th Jan – ‘Access arrangements’ on NCA tools opens

February 2018

  • 19th Feb – KS2 ‘Pupil registration’ on NCA tool opens
  • 26th Feb – Deadline for schools to submit applications for KS2 early opening and compensatory marks Continue reading →

Primary assessments: information and resources 2018

On 16th January, the DfE published a primary assessment information and resources guide to help teachers find online content for Early Years Foundation Stage, Key Stage One and Key Stage Two assessments.

Early Years Foundation Guide

The EYFS guide includes important dates for the EYFS test cycle and guidance to understand statutory requirements for the EYFS.  Read the full EYFS assessment guide here.

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Early years foundation stage profile: 2018 handbook

On 18th December 2017, the DfE released the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile Handbook to support EYFS practitioners in making accurate judgements about each child’s attainment in 2018.

The EYFS Profile Handbook gives:

  • the child’s attainment in relation to the 17 early learning goal (ELG) descriptors.
  • a short narrative describing the child’s 3 characteristics of effective learning.

Summary of the EYFS Profile:

  • The EYFS Profile is not intended to be used for ongoing assessment.
  • Practitioner’s assessments are primarily based on observing children’s daily activities, in particular learning spontaneously, independents and consistently to understand their level of attainment, interests and learning styles.

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National Curriculum Assessments at Key Stage 2

On 14th December, the DfE released the revised results of the KS2 national curriculum assessments, and a summary of school level results.

Summary of 2017 KS2 national curriculum assessments

  • This year, 61% of pupils reached the expected standard in reading, writing and mathematics, compared to 53% in 2016, an increase of 8 percentage points.
  • Over half of schools (57%) have attainment proportions of at least the national average.
  • At the higher standard, 9% reached the higher standard in reading, writing and mathematics in 2017, compared to 5% in 2016.
  • In 2017, 65% of girls achieved the expected standard in all of reading, writing and mathematics compared to 57% of boys.
  • There are fewer schools below the floor standard in 2017. 511 schools are below the floor standard (4% of state funded, mainstream schools), compared to 665 school (5%) in 2016.
  • More schools fell within the coasting definition this year – 524 schools (4%) which is a 10 percent increase on 477 schools (3%) defined as coasting in 2016.

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