Provisional information about the 2016 phonics screening check and assessments at KS1 has been released from the DfE, including breakdowns by pupil characteristics.
Thanks to Shareen for sharing the following five tips for teachers.
Many schools have reported that the KS2 reading paper this year was more difficult than expected, so we asked Shareen Mayers to share her thoughts on what we can learn for next year.
- Ditch the old SATs papers!
After visiting many year 6 classrooms this year, I noticed that teachers were still using old reading papers which have a different focus and style to the new test. For example, the new test has an increased emphasis on understanding vocabulary in context. The beginning of the 2016 reading paper was much harder than before, with questions that seemed reminiscent of the old level 4 right from the start of the paper. Though few, there are some practice papers available that are fully in-line with the new-style tests, so it is worth utilising these so that the complexity of the test is not such a surprise next year.
- Explicitly teach new vocabulary
One of the starkest changes this year was the emphasis and focus on pupils understanding vocabulary in context. A huge percentage of the questions were focused on this new content domain. This can be achieved through exposing pupils to a wide range of texts, especially texts from our literary heritage. A free download that can support teachers with teaching strategies is the old National Strategies booklet: Teaching Vocabulary Effectively. Page 9 has some great tips to support teachers with ideas and strategies. Continue reading →
In summer 2016, primary schools will use teacher assessment judgements to report on children’s progress at the end of key stage 1. These judgements should take into account a child’s performance in the national tests in mathematics and English. This year, the Department for Education will use scaled scores to report the outcomes of the national tests. The number of marks that children will need to score in order to reach a scaled score of 100 in 2016 has now been released. Have a look at our brief summary below for further information.
What is a scaled score?
A child’s scaled score is based on their raw score. The raw score is the total number of marks a child scores in a test. You can calculate a child’s raw score by adding together the total scores from both papers in each subject. For example, to calculate a child’s raw score for English reading, simply add together the scores from both the English reading Paper 1 and English reading Paper 2.
A scaled score of 100 will always represent the expected standard on the test. Children scoring 100 or more will have met the expected standard. The raw score is converted into a scaled score, using the conversion table here.
The marks required to reach a scaled score of 100 at KS1 in 2016 are:
– Maths: 37 out of 60
– Reading: 22 out of 40
– Grammar, punctuation and spelling: 25 out of 40 Continue reading →
Thanks to Michael Tidd for the following article. Posted May 2016.
It seems fair to say that the interim teacher assessment frameworks have not been warmly welcomed this year. With Year 6 tests out of the way, and Year 2 tests swiftly following suit, attention is turning now in school to the process of teacher assessment for 2016.
Particularly in Writing, that process this year involves a lot of searching for technical features and punctuation throughout pieces of writing – and not much appreciation for the quality of the overall product. Teachers have quickly had to become adept at spotting hyphens and dashes, or finding ways of including exclamation sentences in seven-year-olds’ writing.
For now, it’s a system we’re stuck with, and teachers will find the best ways they can of dealing with it. These Writing Checklists will help both teachers and their students to provide the relevant evidence for this year, but what of the future? What are the alternatives?
One possible alternative is the return of tests. They probably wouldn’t return in their current form, having not that long ago been scrapped, but it would be possible to insist on the completion of common tasks nationally which could return to being externally assessed. One of the significant issues also exists in the current systems – teacher assistance. Having seen coursework at GCSE scrapped because of the difficulties of ensuring a level playing field, it seems that anything short of test conditions could be fraught with difficulty. Continue reading →
The Department for Education has released the 2016 key stage 2 national test papers to download online. Follow the links below to view the materials.
The Department for Education has announced that in 2016 there will be no requirement to administer the KS1 English grammar, punctuation and spelling test or to use the result as part of that assessment. You can read the full administration guidance on the DfE website here.
Thank you to Shareen Mayers for the following helpful summary of recent updates and changes in writing moderation.
The following article includes useful information about:
- Writing moderation changes
- Using the Interim Assessment Frameworks to assess pupils’ writing
- KS1 and KS2 Writing Materials
- Clarification of handwriting and joined up/cursive handwriting for KS1 and KS2
- Gathering evidence – what does ‘independent writing’ mean?
- Essential requirements for schools
- Official STA Clarification of the frequency of evidence in each piece
- STA Clarification on exclamations for KS1 and KS2
Every LA has the flexibility to carry out the moderation process according to local needs. However, it is statutory to use the Interim Assessment Framework as a checklist to check that pupils have met the ‘working towards’, ‘expected’ or ‘greater depth’ within the expected standard. Continue reading →
The 2016 teacher assessment exemplification materials are now available for Key Stage 1 and 2 in English, mathematics and science. These exemplification materials have been published by the Department for Education to support teacher assessment of each pupil at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2.
Shareen Mayers reveals why the new writing standard might not be as scary as we had expected …
After much anticipation, the long-awaited writing exemplification materials were published a few weeks ago. For some, the expectation of the materials seemed more like the equivalent of the old Level 5, and many teachers (but not all) were very anxious about this. I am hoping to put you at ease by demonstrating that the new standard might not be as high as Level 5. While the use of punctuation (e.g. semi-colons, brackets, etc) and some sentence structures are clearly Level 5, pupils need to use semi-colons in a list and not for two independent clauses to be at the expected standard. I am pleased about this because teaching the wider usage of semi-colons and expecting all pupils to use this in their writing is a real challenge.
Within the writing exemplification collection of work, there are two examples of writing at the expected standard – Morgan and Leigh. The examples from Leigh have caused the most controversy because Leigh is clearly a borderline pupil. Leigh is using some aspects of the ‘greater depth’ standard but has too many gaps to be given that standard. However, Morgan isn’t working at the greater depth standard at all but is still being given exactly the same standard as Leigh. It is like comparing a good school and a good school with outstanding features – both are still ‘good’ schools. Continue reading →