New partnership between our standardised tests and Arbor’s cloud-based MIS

We are delighted to announce the new partnership between our standardised tests for primary schools and Arbor’s cloud-based MIS for schools & MATs.

Our standardised tests for primary schools

Our standardised tests, PiRA and PUMA, are a key component of many primary school improvement strategies, helping key stakeholders to track pupils’ in-year progress and benchmark against age-related expectations. The tests have become even more crucial for MATs recently, as central teams at growing Trusts need the ability to monitor and support school improvement across multiple schools and get an overview of whole MAT performance. Our free online assessment and reporting kit, MARK (My Assessment and Reporting Kit), plays a pivotal role in providing time-saving analysis of these test results.

Arbor’s MIS for schools & MATs

Arbor’s cloud-based MIS helps to transform the way schools and MATs work, by putting essential data at the fingertips of senior leaders, teachers and office staff, and by automating and simplifying administrative tasks to reduce staff workload. At a MAT level, Arbor MIS centralises not just data reporting, but operations and communications, too. It helps MATs to manage and support their schools all from just one system.

Our new partnership

Our partnership with Arbor brings together, for the first time, the power of their simple and smart cloud-based MIS with the results of PiRA and PUMA tests for schools and MATs. Later this year, schools and MATs using Arbor and tracking PiRA and PUMA test results in MARK will be able to:

  • Automatically sync pupil data directly from Arbor MIS to MARK, with no need for data downloads and upload
  • Automatically sync results from PiRA and PUMA tests back to Arbor MIS for MATs, so central teams can get an aggregated view of results across all their schools
  • Allow senior leaders at schools and MATs to use Arbor MIS to take action on their results – for example, by setting up intervention groups, or by building custom reports combining data from their PiRA and PUMA test results and Arbor MIS

We have worked on this partnership with Arbor in collaboration with REAch2 Multi-Academy Trust, to ensure it works just as seamlessly for MAT leaders as it does for individual primary schools.

To learn more about how we can support your school or MAT, contact Arbor on 0208 050 1028 or email tellmemore@arbor-education.com. You can also meet Arbor and members of the RS Assessment team at BETT 2019, stand C65.

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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Key Stage 2 National Test Materials

On 29th May 2018, the DfE publicly released the test materials from this year’s Key Stage 2 National Tests.

The test papers and mark schemes for all subjects can be found here:

 

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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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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The launch of RS Assessment from Hodder Education

By Katie Blainey, Publishing Director

I’m delighted to be sharing news of an exciting collaboration!

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.

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How preparing for the SATs is like training for a marathon

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.

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Key Stage 2 SATs results: the national picture

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)

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Department for Education publicly release test materials from this year’s Key Stage 2 national tests

On 22nd May 2017 the Department for Education have publicly released the test materials from this year’s Key Stage 2 national tests.  These include test papers and mark schemes for Maths, English reading and English grammar, spelling and punctuation sat by KS2 pupils in May 2017. Continue reading →

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