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 →
I believe that proper assessment would reveal that these children have a range of social, emotional and mental health (SEMH) problems that are the real cause of their misbehaviours.
Thanks to Rob Long, educational psychologist and author of SNAP-B, for the following article.
Recently I attended a meeting on school exclusions where clear evidence was presented which highlighted there are certain ‘at risk’ groups that are more likely to be excluded. For me this reinforced the article I had read by J O’Brian in which he suggested that there is a systemic bias in the education system against certain ethnic groups.
With this thought in mind I began to wonder if there is a similar bias to explain why children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) or Educational Health and Care Plan (EHCP) statements are also a vulnerable group to being excluded as the data suggests that they are higher than other non-disabled groups on exclusions.
At first glance, the key issues related to SEN support and provision seem overwhelming. It gets worse at second glance, and the third … Small wonder so many schools find recruitment so hard for this role.
Thanks to Charles Weedon, educational psychologist and author of Special Needs Assessment Profile (SNAP) SpLD and SNAP-B, for the following article.
Who are they, who should they be?
The SENCO is the only role in a school that must be a qualified teacher and have a post-graduate qualification (unless they were in post before 1 September 2009). As a SENCO, you’re responsible for some of the most challenging pupils in a school – at the same time you’re at the confluence, the crunch point, for an ever-increasing barrage of expectations and demands.
Thanks to Gavin Reid, educational psychologist and author of Special Needs Assessment Profile (SNAP) SpLD, for the following article.
Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs)
In every classroom in every school there will be a considerable number of children experiencing some form of specific learning difficulty. These can include: literacy difficulties (dyslexia), movement and coordination issues (dyspraxia), numeracy problems (dyscalculia), handwriting issues (dysgraphia), speech and language problems (Specific Language Impairment) and auditory processing difficulties (APD).
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…
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.
What are access arrangements?
According to the Joint Council for Qualifications, ‘access arrangements are pre-examination adjustments for candidates based on evidence of need and normal way of working.’ Schools can apply for 25% extra time in GCSE exams by applying for access arrangements, and usually the SENCo and/or the specialist assessor working within the school will process the applications online.
How can you apply for extra time and who is eligible?
In order to award extra time the school must assess the needs of the pupil based on one of the following documents:
- Statement of Special Educational Needs relating to secondary education, or an Education, Health and Care Plan, which confirms the candidate’s disability; or
- Assessment carried out no earlier than the start of Year 9 by an assessor confirming a learning difficulty relating to secondary/further education.
Pupils across the UK received their GCSE results today and overall, the number of top grades and ‘pass’ rates have dropped across a range of subjects.
This year the overall UK pass rate (A*-C or 9-4) has fallen from 66.9% to 66.3%, and the proportion of entries achieving top grades (A*-A or 9-7) have fallen to 20%.
From August 2017 GCSE students in England will be examined using more challenging papers, designed to match the exams of their peers in high-performing education systems around the world.
Changes to the qualifications are designed to ensure that young people will leave school with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace or further study. The new GCSEs will be awarded using a new number grading scale, rather than the traditional letter scale, running from 9 to 1 (with 9 as the highest grade) rather than from A* to G. Continue reading →
Pupils across England, Wales and Northern Ireland received their A level results today and overall, pass levels have fallen slightly but top A and A* grades are up. A-level entry numbers remained stable, whilst the number of AS-level entries dropped significantly. Find out more about trends in entry level numbers here.