Schools to trial Primary Extended Project Award from September

Written by: Pete Henshaw | Published:
Image: Adobe Stock

An extended project for year 5 and 6 pupils that aims to assess and celebrate a wider set of skills than recognised by SATs is to be trialled in primary schools from September.

The Primary Extended Project Award (PEPA) is being developed by the Centre for Education and Youth (CfEY) and multi-academy trust Big Education.

One of the core aims of the award, which is being created with support from technical and vocational learning charity NCFE, is to give pupils the chance to be “more creative” and to develop wider skills than are assessed by SATs.

Joe Hallgarten, CEO at CfEY, said they are looking to design an assessment that “can complement SATs” and are now ready to trial the approach.

Work on building the PEPE prototype has begun this month and it is hoped that 30 schools and around 1,000 pupils will take part in a trial of the PEPA approach from September 2023.

Mr Hallgarten said: “We are now confident that we can find the investment and participation to pilot the PEPA, understand its impact, and create a model that any school in the UK and possibly the world, can take on.”

PEPA begins in the autumn term of year 5 and ultimately sees pupils undertaking out an extended project that addresses a real-world challenge of their choice, presenting their work to the local community through a range of media.

PEPA will be designed to complement existing primary school assessments, with its programme of delivery embedded throughout years 5 and 6. The assessment of the PEPA will be largely formative and will “develop a shared language for pupils, teachers, and parents around the skills of research, presentation, imagination, inquisitiveness, and persistence”.

Pupils will gather evidence and reflect on their learning throughout via an online Project Record, as well as receiving and recording meaningful, formative feedback from a wide variety of people. Assessment will be carried out by the class teacher with assistance from pupils, expert mentors, and parents, and will be supported by moderation and professional development activities.

A focus on skills: Delivery of the PEPA curriculum is designed to commence in year 5

The development of the PEPA has been supported by a grant from NCFE’s Assessment Innovation Fund and carried out in partnership with a group of primary teachers and leaders from across England and Wales.

CfEY and Big Education are now looking to prototype elements of the PEPA programme with a small number of year 6 pupils ahead of a large-scale impact pilot.

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