The DfE have updated their guidance to schools on accountability and funding:
The DfE’s new assessment principles have been produced to help schools prepare to implement new assessment arrangements for tracking pupil progress against the new National Curriculum.
These principles are also designed to help schools choose published assessment resources from suppliers.
Together with the supporting Progress Trackers, the Rising Stars Progress Tests were specifically written to help schools track pupil progress in reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling, mathematics and science.
The summary table below identifies in detail how the Progress Tests meet each of the DfE assessment principles. Continue reading →
Following publication of their delayed response to the primary assessment and accountability consultation in March, the DfE have now published a set of core assessment principles to help schools prepare to implement new assessment arrangements for tracking pupil progress against the new National Curriculum. The document reminds schools that there will be no national system for doing this, but that schools will be expected to demonstrate (with evidence) their assessment of pupils’ progress so that they can keep parents informed, enable governors to make judgements about the school’s effectiveness and also to inform inspections by Ofsted.
The document states that ‘effective assessment systems’ should:
- give reliable information to parents about how their child, and their child’s school, is performing
- help drive improvement for pupils and teachers, and
- make sure the school is keeping up with external best practice and innovation.
These three principles are then broken down further.
Sue Walton, assessment consultant and part of the Rising Stars Assessment advisory team has examined these carefully and tried to unpick and explain the implications of them for schools (see the comments in italics below).
Note that ‘assessment system’ is not defined. Given what follows, it appears to refer to a school’s complete assessment regime.
- Reliable information for parents
This is broken down into four principles:
- a) Allow meaningful tracking of pupils towards end of key stage expectations in the new curriculum, including regular feedback to parents.
‘Meaningful’ is not defined but it implies regular assessments are being made and that schools are tracking how pupils are progressing against the Programme of Study for both their year group and the Key Stage. Continue reading →
A new package of pupil assessment methods, developed by teachers for teachers, was today (1 May 2014) unveiled by the government.
The new methods, one of which will use in-class apps, will help schools easily and accurately chart pupils’ attainment and progress so they can provide effective, targeted support where it is needed, and will give parents clearer information about their child’s performance and progress.
As part of the 2013 Primary Assessment and Accountability consultation, the DfE consulted on a set of core principles to underpin effective assessment systems within schools. Following feedback from the consultation responses, these principles were further developed by an independent Expert Panel.
For many of us, levels are an intrinsic part of the National Curriculum. We’ve come to view the notion of progression through levels from the ages of 5 to 14 as a key element of teaching and assessment. We’re also used to being held accountable for the progress made, and justifying the work we do, by identifying how the pupils we teach are now working at a higher level.
It’s a vagary of the calendar, but not one that my own children are reluctant to exploit, that I started teaching not only in the previous century but in the previous millennium (thanks guys). It’s certainly true that I taught in a pre-National Curriculum levels system; whereas there was more freedom, I’m not sure we used it well and I’m certainly not inclined to hark back to it with longing (apart from the music).
ASSESSING PROGRESS AND OUTCOMES AGAINST THE NEW NATIONAL CURRICULUM
We’re now faced with the challenge of deciding how best to assess progress and outcomes through new programmes of study. There’s no expectation to use levels, but we do need to track pupils effectively.
Which way now?
I think it’s important to start with looking at the purposes of assessment. I would suggest that there are multiple outcomes and that a good system needs to provide all of these. In essence we need to use assessment to:
- inform next steps in teaching
- provide meaningful feedback to pupils on what they’ve done well and how to improve
- provide evidence for accountability
- communicate to parents and carers how their children are doing.
Are levels (or a reworked system thereof) the answer? What do they offer? Continue reading →
The government has finally published its long awaited response to the consultation on primary school assessment and accountability, which closed in October 2013. The response is published in the 24 page document called Reforming assessment and accountability for primary schools. The consultation gathered responses from 1187 individuals and organisations, of which 27% were from primary school headteachers and a further 27% from primary teachers.
The stated aims are two-fold. First, to ‘set high expectations so that all children can reach their potential and are well prepared for secondary school’ so that no child is allowed to fall behind and second, ‘to celebrate the progress that pupils make in schools with more challenging intakes’.
So what is proposed?
To help schools identify the key challenges posed by the proposals, Rising Stars has provided the following short overview of the key points from the document.
- The document states thatnationalassessments will take place at key points during a child’s primary education, but makes clear that at other times there will be no national prescription. Teachers will therefore be free to use their own methods for day-to-day assessment of their pupils, to inform teaching and to feedback to pupils and parents about attainment and progress.
- The document emphasises that good teachers assess children on a regular basis. To help with this the government launched an ‘Assessment Innovation Fund’ in December for schools or groups to bid for up to £10,000 each to develop easy-to-use approaches to pupil assessment for other schools to use free of charge. The expectation was that up to 10 bids would be successful with the results announced towards the end of April. No information has been provided as to when the approaches will be available for other schools to download and use. Continue reading →
Following release of the government’s response to the assessment and accountability for primary schools last week, the DfE have now published drafts of the frameworks for the new national assessments, which will be introduced summer 2016.
After a considerable wait, the DfE has finally published the response to the consultation on primary school assessment and accountability which ended in October last year.
Answers to all your Rising Stars New Curriculum Assessment questions
Rising Stars Progress Tests and the new National Curriculum
What are the Rising Stars Progress Tests for?
The Progress Tests have been specifically designed to assess pupil progress against the new National Curriculum Programmes of Study. The tests have been written and reviewed by curriculum and assessment experts to ensure that the tests are suitable for the intended age group, assess the relevant requirements of the new curriculum and have clear, unambiguous mark schemes.
Who are the Rising Stars Progress Tests for?
The Rising Stars Progress Tests provide separate tests for pupils in Years 1-6. The tests assess the Programme of Study for the particular year group and subject.
How do the Rising Stars Progress Tests help teachers?
The Rising Stars Progress Tests provide teachers with useful evidence about how pupils in their class are progressing against the new National Curriculum Programmes of Study. They can also be used to identify strengths and weaknesses in pupils’ learning. The evidence can be used for planning as well as for reporting.
How were the questions in the Rising Stars Assessment Progress Tests matched to the new Programmes of Study for each year group?
All the questions in the Rising Stars Assessment Progress Tests were written to be used with the new National Curriculum Programmes of Study. Authors were given detailed briefs about the content and demand required for the tests for each year group and all questions were reviewed by experienced curriculum and assessment experts to check fit with the new National Curriculum. Continue reading →