May 2018

Curriculum

Meeting individuals needs and coordinating the inclusive teaching of maths

This post from teacher and inspector, John Dabell, addresses inclusive teaching of maths and meeting individual needs.

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Assessment

Applying for access arrangements for GCSE

What are access arrangements?

According to the Joint Council for Qualifications, ‘access arrangements are pre-examination adjustments for candidates based on evidence of need and normal way of working.’ Schools can apply for 25% extra time in GCSE exams by applying for access arrangements, and usually the SENCo and/or the specialist assessor working within the school will process the applications online.

How can you apply for extra time and who is eligible?

In order to award extra time the school must assess the needs of the pupil based on one of the following documents:

  • Statement of Special Educational Needs relating to secondary education, or an Education, Health and Care Plan, which confirms the candidate’s disability; or
  • Assessment carried out no earlier than the start of Year 9 by an assessor confirming a learning difficulty relating to secondary/further education.

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Curriculum

Come along to our FREE Assessment Bank webinar

Assessment Bank is a really simple test builder for the new curriculum which includes 1000s of questions for reading, GPS, maths and science for Years 1 to 6.

On 12th October at 4pm (BST), we're running a FREE Assessment Bank webinar to show you just how easy it is to search questions and create tests for your class.

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Curriculum

How to use the bar model to help all children to problem solve

When learning how to write and interpret stories, knowledge of story structure is key. If a reader or writer has a deep knowledge of these basic plots, they’ll be much better equipped to understand and construct their own. One cannot write a great mystery story without a sound knowledge of the structure of a mystery story!

Parallels can be drawn to the subject of maths where there are several basic underlying structures that are based on the idea of the relationship between a whole and its parts. Two or more parts, when combined, make a whole. Basic structures begin with additive reasoning and then progress through to multiplicative reasoning. Once you know the structure, you can solve the problem! Read more »
Assessment

Phonics screening check and Key Stage 1 Assessments

On 28th September, the DfE released information about the phonics screening check results and results of the 2017 Key Stage 1 teacher assessments.

This year, more than 4 in 5 pupils have met the expected standard in the phonics screening checks at the end of year 1 and more children have reached the expected standard in all key stage 1 subjects.

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Curriculum

9 things you need to know about writing assessment at KS1 and KS2

Following the DfE’s response to the assessment consultation this September, we asked  English and assessment adviser Shareen Mayers to share her thoughts on the changes to the teacher assessment framework for writing at key stages 1 and 2.

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Assessment

9 things you need to know about the new teacher assessment framework for writing at KS1 and KS2

Thanks to Shareen Mayers for this article.

Shareen has been a KS1 moderator for a decade and a KS2 writing moderator for 6 years.  She is the lead moderator and moderation manager for a London LA.

Following the DfE's response to the assessment consultation this September, we asked Shareen Mayers to share her thoughts on the changes to the teacher assessment framework for writing at key stages 1 and 2. If you'd like to share your thoughts, get in touch with us on @rsassessment.

  • A more flexible approach to the assessment of writing.

It is important to clarify that the more flexible approach to writing does not apply to reading, mathematics or science. They are still assessed as a secure-fit and pupils need to secure all the statements. The more flexible approach also needs to be interpreted with caution. The DfE states, ‘A pupil’s writing should meet all the statements within the standard at which they are judged. However, teachers can use their discretion to ensure that, on occasion, a particular weakness does not prevent an accurate judgement being made of a pupil’s attainment overall. A teacher’s professional judgement about whether the pupil has met the standard overall takes precedence. This approach applies to English writing only.’ This flexibility has been welcomed by many teachers within the profession and has been seen as a sensible approach to writing assessment.

 

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Assessment

Formative assessment as an integrated part of good practice in the classroom

Thanks to Siobhan Skeffington  for the following article.

Siobhan Skeffington is an education consultant, author and reviewer also involved in test development and Primary Teacher for 26 years including SLT and Leading teacher.

Formative and summative assessments are very different.  Summative assessment gives a picture of how the child is progressing at any given point and enables teachers and schools to gauge the overall attainment; this can also be used for accountability purposes. Formative assessment needs to be part of everyday practice and lesson planning, as it focuses on improving learning.

Assessment is often seen as a tool to be planned for in the form of a spelling or mental maths test. Teachers and senior leaders can often feel pressurised to do constant mini summative tests believing these give a clear indication of how pupils are performing. These tests can be informative but the best formative assessment or ‘assessment for learning’ is through the conversations between the children and the teachers during the normal course of the day.  Through carefully planned questioning, open ended activities and marking that allows children to review their own work, formative assessment can give teachers a wealth of information to use when planning the next steps for learning.  If used appropriately, they will have identified any misconceptions or gaps in knowledge and will be better-able to determine what the children actually know.

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Curriculum

Poetry activities for National Poetry Day 2017 - Part 2

Part two of our poetry week activities. This time we're having fun with animal poems and spooky poems!

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Curriculum

Poetry activities for National Poetry Day 2017 - Part 1

Celebrate National Poetry Day on the 28th September with activities perfect for KS1 children.

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