May 2018

Curriculum

Preparing reception children for the Year 1 programme of study for mathematics

Thanks to Caroline Clissold for this guest blog post that focuses on the youngest children at school, exploring ways to use a mastery approach to support them on their learning journey and prepare them for the demands of the Years 1 programme of study. Caroline is a primary mathematics consultant and author of Rising Stars Mathematics.

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Assessment

Using SATs-style tests with all year groups to support teaching and learning

 

What are the benefits of using SATs-style tests with all year groups?

The  national tests (or SATs) for key stage 1 and key stage 2 are rapidly approaching, which makes it timely to consider the benefits of using SATs-style tests with children in all year groups, not just those that will take the tests at the end of Year 2 and Year 6.

Benefits for children

Giving children the opportunity to become familiar with the style of national test questions and the format of the tests, including working to time limits, helps to demystify the test experience. Ultimately, this should give children confidence as they don’t need to worry about what to expect when it comes to time to take the national tests. It will also mean they have experience taking longer tests, which require more stamina than shorter, less formal assessments. The tests also give children an idea of areas where they are doing well and where they need to do more work, especially in topics that have not been taught for a while. As the national tests assess content taught over the entire key stage, revisiting prior learning at points throughout the year is particularly valuable.

Benefits for teachers

A key benefit for teachers of using SATs-style tests in all year groups is that they provide an independent way of assessing learning in relation to the national curriculum. By evaluating the results of the tests, for instance by using the online analysis which accompanies Rising Stars Optional Tests, the teacher can quickly identify areas in which children struggled.

 

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Curriculum

A study beyond 1066 – a missed opportunity

Bev Forrest and Stuart Tiffany discuss the planning for and delivery of the post-1066 study at Key Stage 2.

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Assessment

DfE launch consultations on primary assessment and assessing below the standard

On 30th  March 2017, the Department for Education launched consultations on the future of assessment in primary schools and on assessing primary school children working below the standard of the national tests.

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Curriculum

Effective maths intervention using On Track Maths

Maths consultant Eleanor Hick explores how On Track Maths can be used to support effective maths intervention across Key Stages 1 and 2.

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Curriculum

Principles and practices of effective homework

Homework can have quite a negative reputation.  However, when it is done well, homework can undoubtedly have a positive effect on learning. With these conditions in mind, here is a set of principles and practices for making homework as effective as possible.

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Curriculum

Switched on Online Safety launch

We're delighted to be launching NEW Switched on Online Safety! Enter the competition to be in with a chance of winning a free key stage pack.

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Assessment

Interim Teacher Assessment Frameworks for 2017

The interim frameworks are to support teachers in making robust and accurate judgements for pupils at the end of key stage 2 in 2017. The interim teacher assessment frameworks are for 2016 to 2017 only. The Department for Education is evaluating options for future years.

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Curriculum

Computing Assessment Tasks - an invaluable addition to our computing toolkit

Computing terminology that were not part of our vocabulary a couple of years ago are now an integral part of our vocabulary across the curriculum.  However, assessment terms have taken longer to embed for many.

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Assessment

Primary school progress measures - information for parents

The DfE has produced a handy flyer to summarise the primary school progress measures. Schools may wish to share this leaflet with parents.

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