Exams and Assessment


How to write an effective SEF for your school

Are you about to tackle the school self-evaluation form? Ciara Lamb shares some tips for writing your SEF, so you can be confident it is set up to effectively support your school's development



Phonics: The debate continues...

Synthetic phonics is the accepted way of teaching young children to read in the UK. The phonics screening check, backed up by Ofsted, has ensured this. But not all teachers or researchers are convinced. Suzanne O’Connell reports



Verdicts on the Reception Baseline Assessment

We have been anticipating the introduction of the Reception Baseline Assessment for years. With full implementation finally coming last term, has it lived up to expectations? Suzanne O’Connell speaks to schools and reflects on the choppy past and uncertain future of the controversial test




Whole class feedback: Strategies and experiences

Whole class feedback reduces workload and ensures we are responsive to student need. Robbie Burns considers research into effective practice and describes his school’s strategy for whole-class feedback


Curriculum design: Impact, impact, impact...

As part of Ofsted’s focus on curriculum impact, evaluating the pace of pupil progress, pupil outcomes, and their preparedness for next steps is vital, as is ‘performance development’. Matt Bromley explains


Whole-class feedback: Practical tips and ideas

Giving whole-class feedback – when you address misconceptions and other issues as a collective – can have a big impact on student progress and your workload as a teacher. Adam Riches advises


Covid recovery: The importance of EAL assessment

Setting accurate language targets and using tailored strategies will be crucial if we are to help the post-lockdown recovery of students who use English as an additional language. Caroline Bruce and Silvana Richardson explain and advise




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...

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