Exams and Assessment

Making the most of assessment data

Collecting assessment data is easy – but with so much data available, collecting the right information and ensuring you are using it effectively to support pupils’ learning can be more difficult. Emily Jones explains


Baseline Assessment: Where it will end?

Despite past failures, the DfE is still convinced that the best measure for pupil progress must begin in Reception. But with a long implementation timeframe, fierce opposition and unions threatening to boycott, the story is not finished...


Literacy: What can we learn from PIRLS?

Fifty countries took part in the most recent Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), the world-wide study of reading at ages 9 and 10. Rachel Classick looks at some key findings from England and Northern Ireland and what lessons we can learn


Improving pupils' working memory

Achieving effective differentiation in the classroom and improving your pupils’ working memories are key priorities for teachers. Margaret Reeve offers some quick CPD ideas



No overhaul of primary assessment in sight

The government’s response to the primary assessment consultation was published in September. Primary headteachers are anxious for change. We look at ministers’ plans and speculate on what the new model will deliver


SATs: Protecting pupil wellbeing

As another year begins, Laura Ralph looks at how schools might support those pupils who are facing SATs this year and who might soon begin to feel the pressure around their assessments


Refocusing your approach to pupil assessment

With major changes afoot in both England and Wales, schools are under pressure to develop effective approaches to pupil assessment. As a new and free resource is published to help, Claire Hodgson offers some evidence-based guidance on how schools can develop their own approaches to assessment


Assessment consultation – is it too little, too late?

The year 2016 perhaps marked the worst year in primary national assessment history. Now the DfE has launched its promised consultation to find out what the way forward for primary assessment might be. But is it asking the right questions and has too much been decided already?


Innovations in AfL

The outstanding St John Baptist Primary School in Lewisham has some innovative approaches to Assessment for Learning. Fiona Aubrey-Smith met headteacher John Goodey to find out more


What can we learn from our TIMSS results?

International comparison studies make regular headlines, but their findings must be interpreted with caution. Dorothy Lepkowska looks at two recent reports analysing science and maths performance in England and Northern Ireland


What are the next steps for primary assessment?

Could it be the calm after the storm? 2016 was not an easy year for assessment co-ordinators and their schools. Now Justine Greening offers reassurance that 2017 will be better. But will it? Suzanne O’Connell reports



A smooth transition into the early years

Pupils’ transition into the early years of primary school can be daunting. Drawing on practice she has seen across the country, Fiona Aubrey-Smith offers some practical advice and ideas to help ensure your youngest pupils get the best possible welcome


SATs: The aftermath

The 2016 SATs might be behind us, but headteachers are still angry about what the majority see as having been a testing fiasco. With a new school year beginning, heads reflect and speculate about what should happen in 2017


Assessment chaos: From Baseline to SATs

It has been quite a year for assessment. With a backdrop of parent protests, leaks and anxiety over changing standards, the SATs have been particularly chaotic. On top of this, the long planned introduction of the Reception Baseline was suddenly axed after ministers admitted it couldn’t work. ...


Assessment without levels: Keep it simple

Assessment without levels has caused stress and anxiety for many primary schools, but a simple, stripped down approach that minimises paperwork and focuses on conversations could provide an answer to the assessment challenge. Colin McLean explains



Assessment: Life after levels for SEN pupils

A recent day of discussions between school leaders from across England focused on the impact that the move to assessment without levels might have on vulnerable pupils, especially those with SEN. Daniel Sobel reports on some of the challenges, solutions and conclusions


What does effective assessment look like?

Headteacher Sam Hunter reports from an assessment without levels expert panel discussion featuring four primary leaders and focusing on the key question of what makes for effective assessment practice



Assessment levels: A hard habit to break...

The DfE’s Commission on Assessment without Levels makes it clear – levels needed to go. However, replacing them isn’t proving to be easy. Suzanne O’Connell looks at the messages from the report and the difficulties schools are facing


What ingredients make for an effective test?

What elements make for an effective and reliable assessment? Test developer Catherine Kirkup outlines the key criteria that primary schools should consider when selecting their approaches to pupil assessment


Life after Levels: Stepping Stones

Schools have had to come up with their own solutions to life after levels. Continuing our case study articles, Jo Dormer and Joe Piatczanyn describe the Stepping Stones method that their school has devised


A discussion about levels

A recent roundtable discussion brought together school leaders from both the primary and secondary phases to discuss what works in a world without national curriculum levels. Graham Cooper was there

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