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.

Curriculum

The 2018 Key Stage 2 SATs results are in

64% of children achieve the “expected standard” in reading, writing and maths.

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Assessment

KS1 and KS2 test dates for 2018/19

On 9th July 2018, the DfE released the Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 test dates for the 2018/19 academic year.

Key Stage 1

  • Week commencing Mon 10th June 2019 - Phonics screening check week

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Assessment

Multiplication tables check: update

On 9th July 2018, the DfE released an update on the development of the multiplication tables check (MTC).

About the MTC

  • Between 10th June - 28th June 2019 a national voluntary pilot will be run to allow schools to familiarise themselves with the check before  it becomes statutory in June 2020.
  • Schools will have a 3- week window to administer the tests, and teachers have the flexibility to check individual children, small groups or a whole class at the same time.

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Curriculum

Football's coming...to your maths lessons ⚽

To celebrate England reaching the World Cup semi-finals we have created some quick football themed maths quizzes for you to use with your class.

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Assessment

Ofsted's Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, talks about the curriculum and the relationship between Ofsted and data

Ofsted's Chief Inspector, Amanda Spielman, delivered an insightful speech at the Wellington Festival of Education. So, we’ve picked out a handful of key points (particularly about the curriculum and the relationship between Ofsted and data) that we think you’ll find interesting ahead of next year…

 

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Assessment

3 ways to reduce unnecessary workload with standardised tests

Publishing Director, Katie Blainey, explores unnecessary workload and how using standardised tests can save you heaps of valuable time!

It may sound unintuitive that an increase in testing can ultimately reduce workload for teachers and increase pupils’ learning, but it is worth considering. Increasingly, primary schools, secondary schools and MATs are adopting standardised tests across the school to support informed teaching and save time. Here are just 3 reasons why…

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Assessment

How have our Optional Tests helped Primary children and teachers?

 

As the Summer term nears its end, our Assessment Publisher, Cerys Hadwin-Owen, takes the time to reflect on how using our Optional Tests this term has helped Primary children and teachers.

Our Optional Tests are written and edited by primary subject experts, many of whom have experience of working directly with the Department for Education on the current National Test papers. They have all been primary classroom teachers themselves, with many still holding teaching and leadership positions in schools across the country.

 

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Assessment

Planned changes to accountability and why standardisation is more important than ever

James Pembroke is back with another blog, and this time he's talking all about the planned changes to accountability and why this means that standardisation is more important than ever!

For as long as most of us can remember, the progress of pupils in primary schools has been measured from Key Stage 1. Prior to 2016 we had a mixed economy of a levels of progress measure – where making two levels of progress across Key Stage 2 was defined as ‘expected’ – and a value added (VA) measure, in which each pupil’s score at key stage 2 was compared to the national average score of pupils with similar Key Stage 1 prior attainment. This dual approach to measuring progress was confusing because the two measures did not relate to one another. In fact, they were often at odds, and it was entirely feasible for a school to have all pupils make the expected progress of two levels and yet end up with a VA score that was significantly below average. Something had to give.

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Curriculum

Character Education - the Star Awards Challenge (Part 1)

In this first of 2 blog posts from the authors of our brand new title Character Education: The Star Awards Programme for Primary Schools, Shona Pye introduces the idea of Character Education and its benefits.

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Curriculum

Summer is here! ☀

To coincide with the launch of our Summer Sale we're also giving away a free e-copy of 'The Summer Fete', a Rising Stars Reading Planet book.

It’s the start of the school holidays and time for the summer fete! The class are looking forward to running their stalls, but what happens when things start to go wrong?

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