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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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Overdue Ofsted report - our expert's predictions

It has taken a lot of hours for Ofsted to discover that the primary curriculum is skewed by SATs, that the foundation subjects are being squeezed and creative teaching is not as widespread as they hoped.  They find that timetabling is conservative, priorities are focused on the acquisition of knowledge and there is a lack of flair in some of the teaching. And, apparently, we don’t know what we mean when we say ‘skills’.

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How preparing for the SATs is like training for a marathon

Thanks to Cerys Hadwin-Owen, Assessment Publisher for RS Assessment for Hodder Education, for the following article.

On the face of it, training for a marathon and preparing for SATs might seem like completely different experiences. However many assessment experts have recognised the similarities between sport and assessment in the past (including Daisy Christodoulou in her latest book). Here at RS Assessment from Hodder Education, we find it really helpful when explaining to schools and teachers how our wide range of assessment resources work together, and amidst the very valid concerns around over-testing that face both primary and secondary schools in the current climate, we feel it’s an analogy worth sharing.

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Implications for Teaching and Learning 2017 - a preview

Every year, Rising Stars commissions a team of experienced teachers and consultants to review the Key Stage 2 national test papers. They provide analysis of the questions, which help schools prepare children for future tests - find out more about the reports here. Read more »

A Post-SATs Growth Mindset Lesson

Following the challenges of SATs and prior to Year 6’s departure to secondary, it is an important time to encourage the children to reflect on their mindset and their learning journey. Encourage your pupils to see themselves as 'life-long learners' who can overcome their challenges with this wonderful sample lesson from Katherine Muncaster, author of Growth Mindset Lessons.

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Grasping grammar terminology ahead of the national tests

We’ve extracted the used terminology from 2016’s test papers from our Implications for Teaching: Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling report to help you identify the correct grammar terminology your children should be learning and identifying in the tests.
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#WeWillAchieve100 – Read about how other schools are preparing for the 2017 national tests

Have you ever wanted to find out how other schools and teachers are preparing for the national tests? We ran a Twitter competition to find out your tips for success and we thought we’d share some of our favourites with you! Read more »

How Yew Tree Community School used Achieve 100 for national test success

At Rising Stars we love hearing from schools about how they are putting our resources to work in the classroom. Dawn Saxena, Assistant Head, Maths Leader and Year 6 Leader at Yew Tree Community School, talks about how her school has been using Achieve for national test success!

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Looking back, Looking forward – National Tests 2016

We have collated feedback that has come directly from you to highlight the following areas that children found most challenging in the recent National Tests. Find out whether your experience matches that of colleagues across the country – and also how we may be able to help. Don’t forget to check out the free resources too!

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Andrea Carr MD and Founder of Rising Stars is delighted to announce the launch of Achieve Online Mathematics

The first two resources ever published by Rising Stars were two revision guides: Achieve Level 5 English and Achieve Level 5 Maths, edited in the spare bedroom of my house in Bromley and published with much trepidation in 2002. I can hardly believe that was fourteen years ago! I’m fortunate enough to have brilliant colleagues and they have spent the last year or so developing the latest generation of Achieve resources – Achieve Online Mathematics which will launch in July 2016.

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Mental Maths: Is it still relevant?

We all know by now that the  former mental mathematics test is to be replaced by a 30-minute arithmetic test. Does this mean that we should stop teaching Mental Maths? No! Maths Advisor, Caroline Clissold, explains why.

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