SATs 2018 Round-up: surprises, challenges and lessons-learnt

Thanks to Tennyson Road, Christ Church CE Primary, and Medmerry Primary school for sharing their reactions to the 2018 SATs. 

How did you find the SATs this year?  Tweet us your thoughts on this year’s tests @RSAssessment

Tennyson Road Primary School

“Thanks to Rising Stars resources, our children were well prepared and took on the challenge with enthusiasm” – Carla Gotch, Tennyson Road Primary School

‘I really enjoyed that Miss!’ was the cry from Kestrel class after closing their final paper on Thursday Morning. A smile creeping across my face. If nothing else I had done my job right! 30 happy children all confident and enjoying SATs! Or maybe that was just the SATs breakfast they had each day… Continue reading →

Interim Pre-Key Stage 2 standards

On 24th May 2018, the DfE released the 2018/2019 Pre-Key Stage 2 standards teacher assessment frameworks.

From the 2018/2019 academic year onwards these pre-key stage standards must be used to make statutory teacher assessment judgements for children working below the national curriculum tests at the end of KS2.

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What does active assessment look like in Primary schools?

Far too often, assessment is divorced from teaching and learning because it is a relatively passive experience. 

Thanks to John Dabell, trained teacher and former Ofsted inspector, for the following article.

Assessment makes a significant difference to learning, especially when children are actively involved in their own learning, when assessment is an essential part of the learning experience and when assessment boosts self-esteem and motivation.

The first and most important principle of learning is that children are engaged in the process. Assessment isn’t done to children but with them as an active process.

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What does effective assessment look like in primary maths?

A good test isn’t just a summative experience – it is also packed with rich formative opportunities.

Thanks to John Dabell, trained teacher and former Ofsted inspector, for the following article.

Effective assessment in maths is all about team-work and joined-up thinking. It doesn’t stand alone or parade data like a pedagogical peacock.  Instead, it links together teaching, learning and assessment in a creative and integrated fashion, so that teaching promotes learning, learning enables assessment to take place and assessment acts as a stimulus to both teaching and learning. Continue reading →

Multiplication tables check trials to begin in schools

On 14th February 2018, the DfE announced that a small number of schools will be selected to trial the multiplication tables check next month.

The multiplication check follows the introduction of the phonics screening check in 2012, and is designed to ensure children in primary schools know their times tables up to 12 off by heart.

Key information about the multiplication checks:

  • The on screen checks will be sat by 8 and 9 year olds in Year 4 and will last no longer than 5 minutes
  • This year’s trial comes ahead of the mandatory checks in June 2020

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Teacher assessment frameworks at the end of KS1 and KS2

On 14th February 2018, the DfE updated the KS1 and KS2 teacher assessment frameworks for 2017/2018.

Changes to KS1 for 2017-2018

  • Revised teacher assessment frameworks in English writing, which include:
    • A more flexible approach – teachers can now use their discretion to ensure that a particular weakness does not prevent an accurate judgement of a pupil’s attainment overall being made.
    • Revised ‘pupil can’ statements –  a greater emphasis on composition, whilst statements relating to the more ‘technical’ aspects of English writing are less prescriptive.
  • ‘Pupil can’ statements for English reading, maths and science are unchanged. Continue reading →

How do we improve maths teaching, learning and assessment for 7-14 year olds?

Thanks to John Dabell for the following article.

Is it better to ‘predict and prevent’ or ‘fix and find’ or do we do both?

There are thousands of studies available that make claims about impact but how can teachers separate the wheat from the chaff and know what really works and what to avoid.

We know that the effects of high quality teaching are especially significant for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds. If only we had some discerning and pragmatic guidance to point us in the right direction based on secure and reliable evidence.    Continue reading →

Improving Mathematics in Key Stages 2 and 3

Thanks to John Dabell for this article.

Improving Mathematics in Key Stages 2 and 3’ is the latest report from the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and presents sharp, intelligent and actionable guidance to support “great maths teaching” in primary and secondary schools.

The guidance is relevant to all pupils but in particular to those children who fall below their expected level of mathematics achievement. The report adopts the premise that it is essential to see maths as a pump rather than a filter in the pipeline of education but this can only be achieved through tapping into what works and is supported by research.

A vital enabler in the strengthening of teaching, learning and assessment is good access to relevant evidence; this report can help guide teachers towards this as its key focus is to promote a culture of evidence-led best practice.

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Phonics screening check and Key Stage 1 Assessments

On 28th September, the DfE released information about the phonics screening check results and results of the 2017 Key Stage 1 teacher assessments.

This year, more than 4 in 5 pupils have met the expected standard in the phonics screening checks at the end of year 1 and more children have reached the expected standard in all key stage 1 subjects.

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Formative assessment as an integrated part of good practice in the classroom

Thanks to Siobhan Skeffington  for the following article.

Siobhan Skeffington is an education consultant, author and reviewer also involved in test development and Primary Teacher for 26 years including SLT and Leading teacher.

Formative and summative assessments are very different.  Summative assessment gives a picture of how the child is progressing at any given point and enables teachers and schools to gauge the overall attainment; this can also be used for accountability purposes. Formative assessment needs to be part of everyday practice and lesson planning, as it focuses on improving learning.

Assessment is often seen as a tool to be planned for in the form of a spelling or mental maths test. Teachers and senior leaders can often feel pressurised to do constant mini summative tests believing these give a clear indication of how pupils are performing. These tests can be informative but the best formative assessment or ‘assessment for learning’ is through the conversations between the children and the teachers during the normal course of the day.  Through carefully planned questioning, open ended activities and marking that allows children to review their own work, formative assessment can give teachers a wealth of information to use when planning the next steps for learning.  If used appropriately, they will have identified any misconceptions or gaps in knowledge and will be better-able to determine what the children actually know.

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