How Rising Stars New Curriculum Assessment meets the DfE's new assessment principles

The DfE’s new assessment principles have been produced to help schools prepare to implement new assessment arrangements for tracking pupil progress against the new National Curriculum. These principles are also designed to help schools choose published assessment resources from suppliers. Together with the supporting Progress Trackers, the Rising Stars Progress Tests were specifically written to help schools track pupil progress in reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling, mathematics and science. The summary table below identifies in detail how the Progress Tests meet each of the DfE assessment principles.

DfE assessment principle

How the Rising Stars Progress Tests support the principle

Give reliable information to parents about how their child, and their child’s school, is performing


a) Allow meaningful tracking of pupils towards end of key stage expectations in the new curriculum, including regular feedback to parents.

The Rising Stars Progress Tests are specifically designed to help teachers track the progress their pupils are making in English, mathematics and science against the Programmes of Study for the new National Curriculum. The marks for the tests are allocated to three progress bands so that teachers can quickly identify whether each child is making expected progress, more than expected progress or less than expected progress for the subject and year group. If teachers input the marks from tests into the supporting Progress Trackers they can see at a glance which pupils fall into which zone. The Progress Trackers also provide an individual report for each pupil, which can be printed out and given to parents.

b) Provide information which is transferable and easily understood and covers both qualitative and quantitative assessment.

The Progress Trackers include the scores from tests and also by question so that areas of strength and weakness can be identified quickly and easily. The information is clearly presented and the progress zones are colour-coded for easy identification. The test results can also be exported to enable whole-school progress tracking via the school’s Management Information System (MIS).

c) Differentiate attainment between pupils of different abilities, giving early recognition of pupils who are falling behind and those who are excelling.

The use of progress zones means that teachers can quickly identify whether pupils are making expected progress or whether they need support or additional challenge so that they can adapt their teaching accordingly.

d) Are reliable and free from bias.

The Rising Stars tests have been produced in conjunction with curriculum and assessment experts and have also been reviewed for accessibility. The tests have been written to be as inclusive as possible and to be suitable for children whatever their gender, social class or race/ethnicity. Detailed mark schemes have been provided to enable teachers to mark the tests consistently so that the results are accurate.

Help drive improvement for pupils and teachers


a) Are closely linked to improving the quality of teaching.

In addition to being able to help teachers identify when individual children need more support or challenge, the Progress Trackers can also be used to identify any whole-class issues. This is because the average score for each question in the tests is also colour coded, enabling teachers to see if there are any areas that need support or further challenge for the whole class. Teachers can use this information to inform their planning to ensure their teaching is appropriately focused.

b) Ensure feedback to pupils contributes to improved learning and is focused on specific and tangible objectives.

Teachers are recommended to spend time discussing with pupils how they have performed in each test. For older pupils a pupil progress sheet has been produced so that the teacher and pupil can discuss together what the pupil has done well and where they need to improve. For younger pupils there is a sheet to record what a child has found difficult and what they feel they need help with. These sheets can be shared with parents also.

c) Produce recordable measures which can demonstrate comparison against expected standards and reflect progress over time.

Each Progress Tracker can be used to record the test scores a pupil has achieved in a particular subject across a particular school year. This enable their class teacher to track the progress the child is making against the Programme of Study for that year. The data from the Progress Trackers can be exported into the school’s MIS to support the whole school tracking of pupil progress.

Make sure the school is keeping up with external best practice and innovation


a) Are created in consultation with those delivering best practice locally.

The new Rising Stars Progress Tests have been produced in conjunction with Series Advisors Cornwall Learning, who have a strong reputation for good assessment practice nationally. In addition, the tests were developed in consultation with a number of Rising Stars Assessment Advisory Schools around the country, right from the north west down to Kent. This has helped to ensure that the tests are appropriate for classroom use.

b) Are created in consideration of, and are benchmarked against, international best practice.

Currently DfE have not indicated what they consider to be international best practice. When information becomes available we will provide further information on this site.

Find out more about Rising Stars New Curriculum Assessment


Assessment, Computing and ICT, Rising Stars Assessment Progress Tests

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