NTS Assessments, PiRA and PUMA: What are the differences?

NTS, PiRA, PUMA, GAPS

After talking and listening to teachers, like you, about how we can help to make your life a little easier whilst providing insightful performance and progress data and familiarising pupils with the SATs, we are very pleased to launch NTS Assessments: our brand new termly, standardised, National Test-style progress tests for Years 1 to 6. As excitement builds for NTS Assessments (National Test-style Standardised Assessments), many of you are asking about the differences between these new papers and our popular existing standardised tests: PiRA and PUMA. We’ve written this article to help answer your questions. Continue reading →

Our new partnership with Groupcall Analytics makes GAPS, PiRA and PUMA data integration easier than ever before

Our new partnership with Groupcall Analytics

We are pleased to announce our new partnership with Groupcall Analytics, which will benefit GAPS, PiRA and PUMA customers using MARK, our free online assessment and reporting tool. This partnership with Groupcall Analytics will provide our customers with a time-saving solution for MIS data integration, providing increased options for enhanced data analysis.

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KS2 Assessment and Reporting Arrangements

On 15th October 2018, the DfE announced the removal of KS2 teacher assessment judgements for English reading and mathematics and revised science teacher assessment frameworks.

 

Removal of teacher assessment for English reading and mathematics

The DfE state that this change has been made in response to the public consultation on Primary Assessment in 2017, and aims to reduce assessment burdens on schools. Test results in English reading and mathematics will continue to be used in school performance measures.

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How we use light-touch, formative assessment throughout the year

Thanks to Ruth Duckworth, Year 6 teacher, for the following article.

The most effective teachers not only refine starting points, but also make regular adjustments to planning during the learning journey.

As the new term starts and classroom timetables settle down to ‘real’ lessons, it is easy to roll with the planning as it is – especially if you’re teaching in the same year group as last year. It’s comfortable to start with the same topics, for example reading and exploring a novel you’re familiar with, often teaching virtually the same lessons all over again.

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2018 National curriculum assessments at KS2

On 4th September 2018, the DfE published provisional attainment statistics for the 2018 KS2 national curriculum assessments.

Summary of the 2018 KS2 national curriculum assessments:

  • This year, 64% of pupils reached the expected standard in reading, writing and maths, compared to 61% in 2017.
  • Attainment at the expected standard has increased across all subjects.
    • 75% of pupils reached the expected standard in reading.
    • 76% of pupils reached the expected standard in maths.
    • 78% of pupils reached the expected standard in grammar, punctuation and spelling. Continue reading →

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, talks about the curriculum and the relationship between Ofsted and data

Ofsted’s Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, delivered an insightful speech at the Wellington Festival of Education. So, we’ve picked out a handful of key points (particularly about the curriculum and the relationship between Ofsted and data) that we think you’ll find interesting ahead of next year…

 

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3 ways to reduce unnecessary workload with standardised tests

Katie_Blainey_standardised_reduce_workloadPublishing Director, Katie Blainey, explores unnecessary workload and how using standardised tests can save you heaps of valuable time!

It may sound unintuitive that an increase in testing can ultimately reduce workload for teachers and increase pupils’ learning, but it is worth considering. Increasingly, primary schools, secondary schools and MATs are adopting standardised tests across the school to support informed teaching and save time. Here are just 3 reasons why…

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How have our Optional Tests helped Primary children and teachers?

Optional_Tests_SATs_StyleAs the Summer term nears its end, our Assessment Publisher, Cerys Hadwin-Owen, takes the time to reflect on how using our Optional Tests this term has helped Primary children and teachers.

Our Optional Tests are written and edited by primary subject experts, many of whom have experience of working directly with the Department for Education on the current National Test papers. They have all been primary classroom teachers themselves, with many still holding teaching and leadership positions in schools across the country.

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Planned changes to accountability and why standardisation is more important than ever

James Pembroke is back with another blog, and this time he’s talking all about the planned changes to accountability and why this means that standardisation is more important than ever!

Standardisation_assessmentFor as long as most of us can remember, the progress of pupils in primary schools has been measured from Key Stage 1. Prior to 2016 we had a mixed economy of a levels of progress measure – where making two levels of progress across Key Stage 2 was defined as ‘expected’ – and a value added (VA) measure, in which each pupil’s score at key stage 2 was compared to the national average score of pupils with similar Key Stage 1 prior attainment. This dual approach to measuring progress was confusing because the two measures did not relate to one another. In fact, they were often at odds, and it was entirely feasible for a school to have all pupils make the expected progress of two levels and yet end up with a VA score that was significantly below average. Something had to give.

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Helping MATs make sense of their data

James Pembroke is the founder of the school data company, Sig+, and he’s written this very handy article to help Multi Academy Trusts make sense of their data.  

What are the benefits and risks of data collection in MATs?

Due to the nature of MATs, there’s a wide range of expertise that can be utilised to develop effective, common approaches to assessment. Decision makers are more well informed, so they can direct resources to where they’re most needed, and large numbers of pupils mean more reliable, meaningful data. The risk of data collection, though, is that it might lead to a top down, accountability-focused system of assessment that increases workload but doesn’t have much of an impact on learning. So, how can we make sense of all this data, and put it to good use? Continue reading →

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