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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.

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Creating the conditions for mastery

With thanks to Nick Hart, Deputy Head at Penn Wood Primary and Nursery School in Slough, for this fascinating article on scaffolding.

In one episode of the Simpsons, Bart moves school and is immediately put into a remedial class.  He joins a lesson where they are continuing their work from the previous day – the letter ‘a’.  Bart’s observation is: ‘Let me get this straight.  We’re going to catch up to the other kids by going slower than them?’

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Creating the conditions for mastery (1)

With thanks to Nick Hart, Deputy Head at Penn Wood Primary and Nursery School in Slough, for this fascinating article on scaffolding.

In one episode of the Simpsons, Bart moves school and is immediately put into a remedial class.  He joins a lesson where they are continuing their work from the previous day – the letter ‘a’.  Bart’s observation is: ‘Let me get this straight.  We’re going to catch up to the other kids by going slower than them?’

Read more »

Testing times

In a world without levels, with APP scrapped, and a new assessment landscape suddenly emerging, it's sometimes hard to know where to turn. Schools up and down the country are working on a whole host of different models for in-school assessment, and without the common language of the old world, it sometimes seems hard to know how our own systems relate to the wider world.

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My priorities for this academic year - a deputy head's perspective

We caught up with Deputy Head Michael Tidd at the start of term to ask him what his priorities were for the year ahead and how he intended to tackle them. Here is what he kindly shared with us.

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Hot off the press: Special guests from the DfE to speak at Rising Stars’ National Test Conferences!

It’s the start of a new school year and with a challenging new curriculum, a level-free approach to assessment and the new national tests around the corner we know there is a lot on the minds of primary school teachers at this time. That’s why we are hosting three conferences this term, designed to help primary schools get ready for the new national tests. 

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Primary school children perform well overall in this year’s KS2 national tests

As the new autumn term approaches, many schools will be interested to hear the latest announcement from the Department for Education which states that primary school children have performed well overall in this year’s key stage 2 national tests, with four out of five children achieving good results in all subjects.

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A quick reference guide to changes in the National Tests and what you need to know

In order to support teachers with preparation for the new National Tests, we asked Deputy Head Michael Tidd to put together a quick reference guide to the changes in the tests and what this means for teachers. 

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Understanding Scaled Scores

The DfE recently published information for headteachers, teachers, governors and local authorities about scaled scores and the national standard from 2016. 

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A deputy head’s perspective on mastery

With thanks to Michael Tidd for this very thought-provoking guest post

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What we know – and what we don’t – about primary assessment

With this year’s National Tests now over, our minds can’t help but turn to the next round of statutory assessments and the challenges they bring. We understand that this is a topic of uncertainty for schools, so we asked Deputy Headteacher Michael Tidd to share his knowledge on what we currently know – and what we don’t – about primary assessment in the new curriculum. 

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