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.
‘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 →
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.
Plans have been announced by Justine Greening, the Education Secretary for the DfE, for a primary assessment system that focuses on pupil progress, mastering literacy and numeracy, and scrapping excessive workload for teachers.
The new primary assessment plans aim to deliver a better foundation for measuring progress and the impact of schools.
There are a number of important announcements in the full document, which you can read here. Please see below a summary of the main announcements:
By Katie Blainey, Publishing Director
Over the years, Rising Stars has become the assessment provider of choice for over 11,500 primary schools, whilst Hodder Education has been providing rigorous tests to schools for over 40 years. This term we are pleased to bring together two of the most trusted names in education to launch RS Assessment from Hodder Education, to make it even easier for you to access the support and resources you need.
Setting the scene
Statutory assessment plays an important role in ensuring that every child is supported to leave primary school prepared to succeed. It is crucial that every school is able to demonstrate every pupil’s personal attainment and progress not just at the end of a key stage but throughout their primary education.
Those pupils who have not completed the relevant programmes of study when they reach the appropriate age for statutory assessments do not have the knowledge and skills to achieve expected standard in the national curriculum tests. This is a diverse group including those with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), those from disadvantaged backgrounds and those with English as an additional language. Schools have to look for other ways to monitor and celebrate success and progress for this group of pupils.
On 31st August the DfE released the results of the KS2 national curriculum assessments and information about the 2017 performance tables.
2017 KS2 SATs results
This year there has been an increase in the proportion of pupils achieving both the expected standard and the higher standard in reading, writing and mathematics, compared with 2016.
The proportion of pupil’s achieving the expected standard has increased by 8 percentage points, from 53% in 2016 to 61% in 2017, and those attaining the higher standard has also increased from 5% to 9%. Continue reading →
Thanks to Cerys Hadwin-Owen, Assessment Publisher for RS Assessment for Hodder Education, for the following article.
On the face of it, training for a marathon and preparing for SATs might seem like completely different experiences. However many assessment experts have recognised the similarities between sport and assessment in the past (including Daisy Christodoulou in her latest book). Here at RS Assessment from Hodder Education, we find it really helpful when explaining to schools and teachers how our wide range of assessment resources work together, and amidst the very valid concerns around over-testing that face both primary and secondary schools in the current climate, we feel it’s an analogy worth sharing.
Thanks to Camilla Erskine for this article.
What is interactive assessment?
Interactive assessments are those that are completed and automatically marked on a computer or mobile device. There are various types of interactive tests, ranging from ready-made tests – either specifically for digital use or those that have been adapted from existing paper-based tests – to tailor-made tests that are created from a bank of questions. Such customised tests can be as short or long as the teacher wishes, focusing on a particular topic or style of question, or they may be designed to assess across topics that have been taught over a period of time, for example over the last half term. Some interactive tests can also be created by children themselves – it depends on the system being used. Interactive assessments are most widely used in mathematics as the subject generally lends itself well to automatic marking, but they are also available for English and other subjects as well as to assess skills (e.g. cognitive reasoning).
Scaled score conversion tables for key stage 2
The scaled score conversion tables for the 2017 key stage 2 national tests have been published by the DfE.
- In reading, children need a scaled score of 26 to reach the expected standard (5 more than 2016)
- In maths, children need a scaled score of 57 to reach the expected standard (3 less than 2016)
- In GPS, children need a scaled score of 36 to reach the expected standard (7 less than 2016)