# Blog

We get excited about what we do - talking to teachers, and authors, chatting with pupils and turning conversations and ideas into practical educational series. Find out more about our guest bloggers.

To find out more about how teachers are using our resources in schools, visit our Impact in Schools page.

Assessment

## Scaled scores at key stage 1

In summer 2016, primary schools will use teacher assessment judgements to report on children's progress at the end of key stage 1. These judgements should take into account a child's performance in the national tests in mathematics and English. This year, the Department for Education will use scaled scores to report the outcomes of the national tests. The number of marks that children will need to score in order to reach a scaled score of 100 in 2016 has now been released. Have a look at our brief summary below for further information.

What is a scaled score?

A child's scaled score is based on their raw score. The raw score is the total number of marks a child scores in a test. You can calculate a child's raw score by adding together the total scores from both papers in each subject. For example, to calculate a child's raw score for English reading, simply add together the scores from both the English reading Paper 1 and English reading Paper 2.

A scaled score of 100 will always represent the expected standard on the test. Children scoring 100 or more will have met the expected standard. The raw score is converted into a scaled score

The marks required to reach a scaled score of 100 at KS1 in 2016 are:

– Maths: 37 out of 60

– Reading: 22 out of 40

– Grammar, punctuation and spelling: 25 out of 40

Assessment

## Heads' union launches review of assessment

It has been announced that an independent review panel has been set up to review primary and KS3 assessment. The review will consider current assessment procedures, statutory testing, the role of teacher assessment, transition between phases, accountability requirements and overall coherence.

Assessment

## What will be the future of writing assessment?

Thanks to Michael Tidd for the following article. Posted May 2016.

It seems fair to say that the interim teacher assessment frameworks have not been warmly welcomed this year. With Year 6 tests out of the way, and Year 2 tests swiftly following suit, attention is turning now in school to the process of teacher assessment for 2016.

Particularly in Writing, that process this year involves a lot of searching for technical features and punctuation throughout pieces of writing – and not much appreciation for the quality of the overall product. Teachers have quickly had to become adept at spotting hyphens and dashes, or finding ways of including exclamation sentences in seven-year-olds’ writing.

For now, it’s a system we’re stuck with, and teachers will find the best ways they can of dealing with it. These Writing Checklists will help both teachers and their students to provide the relevant evidence for this year, but what of the future? What are the alternatives?

One possible alternative is the return of tests. They probably wouldn’t return in their current form, having not that long ago been scrapped, but it would be possible to insist on the completion of common tasks nationally which could return to being externally assessed. One of the significant issues also exists in the current systems – teacher assistance. Having seen coursework at GCSE scrapped because of the difficulties of ensuring a level playing field, it seems that anything short of test conditions could be fraught with difficulty.

Assessment

## KS2 national test materials now available online

The Department for Education has released the 2016 key stage 2 national test papers to download online. Follow the links below to view the materials.

Assessment

## Timelines for schools: mandatory and useful information

The Department for Education has released summer term 2016 timelines to help headteachers, principals and governors plan for the term and academic year ahead.

Assessment

## The EEF's review of the evidence on written marking

For the EEF's latest report, A Marked Improvement, researchers at the Department for Education at the University of Oxford reviewed existing research to find out how teachers can use their time more effectively to improve their pupil’s learning. They found a significant disparity between the enormous amount of effort teachers invest in marking and the research available to tell them which marking approaches are the most effective.

Assessment

## Update to Key Stage 1 grammar, punctuation and spelling test administration guidance

The Department for Education has announced that in 2016 there will be no requirement to administer the KS1 English grammar, punctuation and spelling test or to use the result as part of that assessment. You can read the full administration guidance on the DfE website here.

Assessment

## Writing Moderation - Clarification and Updates on Key Changes

Thank you to Shareen Mayers for the following helpful summary of recent updates and changes in writing moderation.

The following article includes useful information about:

• Writing moderation changes
• Using the Interim Assessment Frameworks to assess pupils’ writing
• KS1 and KS2 Writing Materials
• Clarification of handwriting and joined up/cursive handwriting for KS1 and KS2
• Gathering evidence – what does ‘independent writing’ mean?
• Essential requirements for schools
• Official STA Clarification of the frequency of evidence in each piece
• STA Clarification on exclamations for KS1 and KS2

Every LA has the flexibility to carry out the moderation process according to local needs. However, it is statutory to use the Interim Assessment Framework as a checklist to check that pupils have met the ‘working towards’, ‘expected’ or ‘greater depth’ within the expected standard.

Assessment

## The "intelligence toolkit" approach to measuring pupil progress

Following the removal of levels, schools across the country have been getting to grips with how to measure pupil progress in a way which works best for them (rather than simply re-creating a system of levels).

Simon Cowley, a teacher from The White Horse Federation, has written a blog describing their approach which focuses on knowing the child, rather than on collecting statistical data that is not relevant to improving pupil outcomes. He refers to their approach as using the "intelligence toolkit", which we've summarised below.

• observing and understandinglearning behaviours of a learner - how do they engage with learning and how can teachers best enable this
• understanding whatwork scrutiny is telling you with regard to pace, precision, thought and the developmental processes over time
• statistical data, the benchmarking against national norms which tell you if a child is working within age related expectations
• understanding theemotional intelligence of the learner, the personal attributes which help you to focus the learning experiences to gain maximum output
• mapping curriculum coverage, understanding if the learning deficit is because of an inability to understand or an act of omission in the curriculum previously taught
• theagility of transference, how well is a pupil able to transfer prior learning by being a discerning and discriminating user of that which they know.

Rather than collecting statistical data throughout the year, teachers are given electronic progression sheets for reading, writing, maths and science. The sheets monitor curriculum coverage and gaps in learning, and have clear performance statements that teachers can use to inform them about whether a child is on track to meet expectations.