January 2019

Assessment

How have our Optional Tests helped Primary children and teachers?

 

As the Summer term nears its end, our Assessment Publisher, Cerys Hadwin-Owen, takes the time to reflect on how using our Optional Tests this term has helped Primary children and teachers.

Our Optional Tests are written and edited by primary subject experts, many of whom have experience of working directly with the Department for Education on the current National Test papers. They have all been primary classroom teachers themselves, with many still holding teaching and leadership positions in schools across the country.

 

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Assessment

Planned changes to accountability and why standardisation is more important than ever

James Pembroke is back with another blog, and this time he's talking all about the planned changes to accountability and why this means that standardisation is more important than ever!

For as long as most of us can remember, the progress of pupils in primary schools has been measured from Key Stage 1. Prior to 2016 we had a mixed economy of a levels of progress measure – where making two levels of progress across Key Stage 2 was defined as ‘expected’ – and a value added (VA) measure, in which each pupil’s score at key stage 2 was compared to the national average score of pupils with similar Key Stage 1 prior attainment. This dual approach to measuring progress was confusing because the two measures did not relate to one another. In fact, they were often at odds, and it was entirely feasible for a school to have all pupils make the expected progress of two levels and yet end up with a VA score that was significantly below average. Something had to give.

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Curriculum

Character Education - the Star Awards Challenge (Part 1)

In this first of 2 blog posts from the authors of our brand new title Character Education: The Star Awards Programme for Primary Schools, Shona Pye introduces the idea of Character Education and its benefits.

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Curriculum

Summer is here! ☀

To coincide with the launch of our Summer Sale we're also giving away a free e-copy of 'The Summer Fete', a Rising Stars Reading Planet book.

It’s the start of the school holidays and time for the summer fete! The class are looking forward to running their stalls, but what happens when things start to go wrong?

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Assessment

Results at the end of KS1: Information for parents

On 26th June 2018, the DfE published an information leaflet about the Key Stage 1 national tests for parents.

The document includes:

  • What information they will receive about their child's assessments
  • The outcomes of the national tests and teacher assessments
  • How the results of the national tests are used

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Curriculum

Switched on Science Launch Week - FREE TOPIC

This week, to celebrate the launch of Switched on Science Second Edition, we're giving away a free topic from Year 1 in which pupils explore their local environment to help them find out more about the plants and animals that live in their locality.

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Assessment

What does scrunched up formative assessment look like?

Attacking a question in this way makes the learning more active and enables children to view assessment as an exciting experience that can help them progress.

Thanks to John Dabell for the following article.

Have you ever tried scrunched up or crumpled assessment before?

This is a tried and tested strategy for self, peer and whole-class assessment and gives children the chance to make their ideas visible in an active and exciting context. It facilitates knowledge and understanding upgrades and helps the class to work as a team of learners.

Crumpled assessment is a very engaging way to get a snapshot of the ideas and explanations children hold and you can use the information to design and provide targeted learning opportunities for conceptual change.

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Curriculum

To Meat or not to Meat

Sue Evans, science coordinator at Phoenix Primary, details a fun outdoor activity for you to try with your pupils. Get them running around neighing like horses or baaing like sheep whilst also learning how to identify a variety of common animals that are carnivores, herbivores and omnivores.

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Curriculum

Tread carefully when using the language of maths

The last thing we want is for resources and teaching to actually support misconceptions and overgeneralisations but this happens. If you have a classroom poster showing maths shapes then take a good look at it. Can you spot any errors? Are there any shapes that have been mislabelled? Read more »
Curriculum

Designing your maths curriculum part 1: Intent

As we prepare for the new academic year, the importance of the curriculum has come into sharper focus. Nick Hart explains the significance of designing a maths curicculum that is specific to the issues of your pupils. Read more »
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