Exams and Assessment



Year 6 to 7: Answering the transition challenge

Primary to secondary transition is always challenging for students, who face the double whammy of anxiety and learning loss. The impact is felt particularly keenly in maths. Colin Hegarty offers his advice


Reflections on year 6 reading attainment

The key stage 2 national curriculum tests can give us far greater insights than just a scaled score. Sarah Gibb explores what individual question data can tell us about which skills pupils successfully demonstrate in year 6 and which areas prove more challenging


Reception Baseline Assessment: What to expect

The pilot of the new Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) has begun and the national roll-out is due in September 2020. Katherine Fowler from the National Foundation for Educational Research – which has developed and will deliver the new assessment – explains how it will work in practice and ...



Getting transition right for vulnerable pupils

We all know that transition to year 7 can lead to a dip in student outcomes. Daniel Sobel speaks to Jez Piper about how we can get transition right, particularly for our most vulnerable pupils


Baseline pilots loom as DfE sticks to its guns

Can any test taken by four-year-olds provide an accurate baseline to a completely different test seven years later? Since 2013 – despite embarrassing set backs – the DfE has doggedly pushed for Baseline Assessment. With the latest trials complete, a new framework is out and pilots are on the horizon





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

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