May 2018

Curriculum

Having fun with grammar and punctuation: Find it, Play with it, Use it.

When teaching grammar and punctuation, we know that there are many different aspects to be covered but what we ultimately want is for our children to see how these different aspects come together as a whole and for them to have a love of writing.  

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Assessment

Standards and Testing Agency video resources

We recently shared the key takeaways from the November 2016 Standards and Testing Agency webinars on primary assessment. The STA have now released videos of these webinars, along with other informative videos on themes such as 'Understanding Scaled Scores'. You can watch these in their media and training area here.

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Curriculum

Developing growth mindsets at my school

The teaching of growth mindsets has had a huge impact in my school: it has raised standards, built resilience and created a culture of collaborative learning in both the classroom and the staffroom.

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Curriculum

20% off New Curriculum Spelling Tests and New Curriculum Dictation Tests!

We have a special promotion for the final few weeks of term with 20% off New Curriculum Spelling and New Curriculum Dictation tests. Read more »
Assessment

Preparing for the mathematics tests at KS1 and KS2

The STA has released guidance to help schools to prepare for the administration of the 2017 mathematics national curriculum tests at KS1 and KS2.

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Curriculum

Minecraft Education Edition launch event!

Today we are delighted to be attending the UK launch of Minecraft: Education Edition Read more »
Assessment

Learning from Raise

Thanks to Michael Tidd for this helpful article.

The excitement of opening up Raise Online when the data is first published is… well, perhaps excitement is not quite the right word. Nevertheless, when the data finally arrived this term headteachers will have been poring over it trying to extract every last detail of information about last year’s performance. Doubtless governors too will get their chance to share in the scatterplots and tables, wisely guided by the professional leads.

The problem is, it’s too late for all those children, and just like the stock market adverts always tell us: historic performance is not necessarily a guide to future success. Leaders and governors need to consider what has gone before, but all the while need to be keeping an eye on the future. So while Raise can tell us something of what we achieved last year, how else do we keep everyone informed, including our governors?

One big thing that is evident from this year’s Raise summary is the clear focus on disadvantaged pupils, i.e. those eligible for pupil premium funding. Barely a page goes by without the group being separated out from the rest of the cohort and their attainment and progress being listed separately. In many cases, it’s also compared to other pupils nationally, but it’s important to note that it’s not other pupil premium children, but rather the non-PP children they’re being compared to. That’s important to consider when looking at other data in school.

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Curriculum

Minecraft: Education Edition launches!

We will be live blogging from the event so you don’t miss a thing! Be sure to follow us on Twitter for the latest updates @risingstarsedu 

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Assessment

2017 Assessments Webinar: KS1 and KS2

On 15th November 2016, the Standards and Testings Agency broadcast a webinar on 2017 assessments. We've summarised the key points below.

Key stage 1 assessments: an overview

  • There will be no new test types introduced before 2018/19.
  • The consultation on the future of primary assessment will commence early next year.
  • Thursday 29th June is the KS1 teacher assessments submission deadline.
  • The KS1 spelling and grammar test will remain optional for 2017. Schools who wish to use it can still download materials from NCA tools.

Key stage 2 assessments: an overview

  • There will be no new test types introduced before 2018/19.
  • The consultation on the future of primary assessment will commence early next year.
  • Year 7 re-sits will not be introduced.
  • A statutory multiplication times tables check will be going ahead, but not before the 2018/19 academic year.

Key stage 1 assessments: key questions answered

Last year, the DfE changed its expectations regarding handwriting for writing assessment. Are there any changes this year?

No. To reach the expected standard,  handwriting is not a necessary component.

Do children have to pass phonics check to be considered as meeting the expected standard in reading? 

No. If teachers want to include the phonics check as evidence of a child meeting expectations that is okay, but there is no formal requirement for a child to pass to be considered 'working at expectations'.

Will the test results have to be reported to the LA? 

No. The tests are there to help inform teacher assessment which will then need to be reported to the DfE. LAs can ask to see tests as part of moderation visits.

Should P Scales still be used to assess children with SEN?

Yes. One of the recommendations from the Rochford Review is to make P Scales non-statutory; however, for this current academic year, P Scales remain statutory and should still be used.

What classes as independent in terms of spelling for a child working at the expected standard in writing?

Any resources that the child accesses independently e.g. words on the wall or in the dictionary (providing they choose to use these resources themselves) are acceptable. An electronic resource that suggests spellings for a child automatically would not be considered independent, nor would a teacher's suggestion to check spellings.

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Curriculum

Rising Stars is very proud to support the Read on. Get On. Campaign!

According to research*, one fifth of all children in England and close to a third of disadvantaged children are unable to read well when they leave primary school. Read on Get on aims to change that with their new strategy to get all children reading well by the age of 11 by 2025.

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