The Power of Pairs

Consolidating and extending learning opportunities with peer partner work in the classroom

Thanks to Ruth Duckworth, Year 6 teacher and Writing Lead, and Kate Sanghera, Year 6 teacher and Science lead, from Christchurch CE Primary School for the following article.

Some assessments focusing on pupils’ ability to ‘speak and listen’ effectively have diminished recently – especially with the reduction in teacher assessments required to be reported at the end of key stage two.  This should not mean, however, that we begin to lose sight of the valuable contribution which paired oral language opportunities, work tasks and challenges, as well as peer assessments can make in both consolidating and moving on children’s learning.  The benefits of mixed-ability paired groupings can be particularly effective for all learners.

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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.

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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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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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