Progress Test FAQs

Top 3 FAQs

1. What do the Progress Tests assess?

Progress Tests are carefully designed to test whether a pupil has knowledge and understanding and can apply their learning of the new 2014 Programmes of Study for English, mathematics and science.

The tests help to identify gaps and weaknesses in pupil knowledge, understanding and skills so that teachers can direct future teaching.

2. How do the Progress Tests show me whether my pupils are progressing?

Progress Tests identify children’s progress in relation to the Programme of Study for their target year group. Half-termly Progress Tests can be analysed using the MARK (My Assessment and Reporting Kit) to generate reports including a pupil progress report, a group progress report and a group analysis report.  See full-size sample reports.

The marks for Science Progress Tests can be entered into the gap analysis tool, available on My Rising Stars. This highlights strengths and weaknesses at a glance to help inform future teaching. 

If a pupil is consistently making more than expected progress or increasing their scores in the tests as the year goes on, then they should be provided with work that will challenge and stretch their understanding of the National Curriculum for their year group The DfE and Ofsted both recommend that more able children explore and deepen their understanding of the Programme of Study for their year group before moving on to content from the year above.

3. How do I know what level my pupils are at?

Progress Tests are designed to assess pupil progress against the Programmes of Study for the new National Curriculum.  The tests will show which zone of progress the pupils are in and assess whether they are making expected progress for their year group.

Read the full Progress Test FAQs below

What are Progress Tests for? 

Progress Tests have been specifically designed to assess progress against the new National Curriculum Programmes of Study and to aid the teacher by highlighting what a child can and cannot yet do. The tests have been written and reviewed by curriculum and assessment experts to ensure that the tests are suitable for the intended age group, assess the relevant requirements of the new curriculum and have clear, unambiguous mark schemes. They are short tests, which are easy to fit around teaching and learning and are designed for use throughout the year.

Who are the Progress Tests for?

Progress Tests provide separate tests for children in Years 1-6. The tests assess children’s attainment and progress against the Programmes of Study for English, mathematics and science.

How do Progress Tests help teachers?

The Programmes of Study for the new National Curriculum describe in detail what children must be taught each year and what they must know and be able to do by the end of each Key Stage. Progress Tests have been written so that teachers can carry out regular assessment of their children to check progress against the new Programmes of Study for English, maths and science. They are designed for ongoing teacher assessment rather than as practice for National Curriculum tests.

In particular, Progress Tests can be used to identify strengths and weaknesses in children’s learning. In addition, they provide teachers with useful evidence about pupil attainment and how children are progressing against the new National Curriculum Programmes of Study. The evidence can be used for planning as well as for reporting.

How were the questions in the Progress Tests matched to the new Programmes of Study for each year group?

All the Progress Test questions have been written with the new National Curriculum Programmes of Study. Authors were given detailed briefs about the content and demand required for the tests for each year group and all questions were reviewed by experienced curriculum and assessment experts to check fit with the new National Curriculum.

How can we be confident that the results data for each test are accurate?

The content and demand of the tests has been reviewed by curriculum and assessment experts. Detailed mark schemes have been produced to help teachers mark the tests consistently so that results are accurate.

How have the zones of progress been set? Are they age related?

The scores from each test assess attainment in relation to the Programme of Study for a particular subject and year group, so they are age related. The scores for each test have been put into three progress zones (less than expected progress, expected progress and more than expected progress). Most children will be making expected progress. Some children will be making more than expected progress and others will be working towards expected progress.

Running the tests

How easy are Progress Tests to use?

Progress Tests are designed to be easy to use. The tests are short in duration and need minimal setting up (in most cases teachers just need to make sure there is a copy of the test for each child). The tests are designed for low stakes classroom use. Depending on the subject and year group, tests are likely to take between 10 and 20 minutes, but teachers have the flexibility to allow their children more or less time according to their professional judgement.

How long does each test take?

As a rough guide, 1 minute per mark should be allowed for written tests, however teachers should use their own judgement as to how long to give their children to take each test.

Assessing pupil progress

What do Progress Tests measure?

Progress Tests measure attainment in individual tests. In addition, when used throughout the school year they help demonstrate how well children are progressing against the Programmes of Study for the new National Curriculum in English, mathematics and science for a particular year group.

What do Progress Test scores show and how should I use them?

The scores for individual tests show attainment in relation to the Programme of Study for a particular subject and year group. The scores for each test have been put into three progress zones. Most children will be making expected progress. Some children will be making more than expected progress and others will be working towards expected progress. Use of the tests throughout the year enables teachers to build up a picture of children’s learning over time and in different aspects of the subject. Teachers can use this information to inform their planning. Test scores can also be used as part of the portfolio of evidence for Ofsted and for reporting to parents.

My pupils’ attainment is lower than I expected. Why might this be?

The tests assess knowledge, understanding and application of content from the new National Curriculum. Overall, this content is more challenging than that of the old National Curriculum. It includes both content that is new to the curriculum and also that which has moved down from higher year groups. So it is possible that during the transition period while the new National Curriculum is being implemented that children will encounter content with which they are less familiar or not so confident. For this reason, attainment may look lower than you would expect.

How do the Progress Tests link to Average Point Scores (APS)?

Average Point Scores are a measure of attainment against the old National Curriculum. The scores relate to the National Curriculum levels that children attained in English, mathematics and science. Progress Tests are designed to assess progress against the Programmes of Study for the new (2014) National Curriculum. The new National Curriculum does not include levels and therefore APS measures are no longer applicable.

How do I know what level my pupils are at?

Progress Tests are designed to assess children’s learning in relation to the Programmes of Study for the new National Curriculum, which do not incorporate level descriptions. Levels are being discontinued and will not exist for any year groups after July 2015.

How do we assess our more able pupils and ensure they are making progress?

All children need to be assessed to ensure they are making progress. Using Progress Tests all children will be making consistent progress if they score similar marks in the tests for a particular subject throughout the year. For example, if a child is consistently scoring 9 in 10-mark tests they are consistently demonstrating above expected progress. It is also possible to stretch more able children to ensure they do not do tests that are too easy for them. 

How can we use the tests to assess our less able pupils and ensure they are making progress?

All children need to be assessed to ensure they are making progress. Using Progress Tests all children will be making consistent progress if they score similar marks in the tests for a particular subject throughout the year. For example, if a child is consistently scoring 3 in 10-mark tests they are consistently demonstrating less than expected progress for the current year group. It is also possible to ensure less able children are not presented with tests that are too difficult for them. In all the half-termly tests (GPS, Reading and Mathematics) the tests for each year group get progressively more difficult during the year so less able children could be given tests from earlier in the year or even from the previous year. In science, which is  assessed by topic, less able children could be given the diagnostic and mid-topic tests only.

How can a child be making progress if their marks do not increase throughout the year?

The tests have been designed to become progressively more difficult throughout the year. Therefore, a child is making expected progress if their marks are consistent across the year (or throughout a topic). If their marks increase over the course of a year or during a topic they are progressing at a greater rate.

What information do Progress Tests provide about how a child is performing?

Progress Tests are specifically designed to help teachers identify strengths and weaknesses in children’ learning in relation to the new National Curriculum. The marks for the tests are allocated to three progress bands so that teachers can quickly identify whether each child is making expected progress, more than expected progress or less than expected progress against the Programme of Study for their year. 

How can Progress Tests be used to drive improvement for children and teachers?

Progress Tests can be used to identify if an individual child needs support if they are not making expected progress or more challenge if they are performing above expectation for their year group. The online reports (or Gap Analysis Tools for Science) can also be used to identify any whole class issues.  This enables teachers to see at a glance if there are any areas that need support or further challenge for the whole class. Teachers can use this information to inform their planning to ensure their teaching is appropriately focused.

How has Rising Stars ensured that Progress Tests are in line with best practice and innovation in assessment?

Progress Tests have been developed in conjunction with leading practitioners and experts in primary curriculum and assessment, including Cornwall Learning, who have acted as Series Advisers for the range. In addition, the tests have been reviewed to ensure they provide appropriate assessment of the new National Curriculum.

Progress Tests also meet the DfE Assessment Principles, which are provided to help schools implement new assessment systems for tracking progress against the new National Curriculum. 

Using the science tests

We have a science scheme – can I use the Science Progress Tests alongside this?

Science Progress Tests are organised by topic so you can use them alongside any published scheme or your own scheme of work.

I am using Switched on Science. Do I need to buy Science Progress Tests?

Science Progress Tests are organised around the content areas in the National Curriculum Programme of Study. They are stand-alone tests and can be used alongside Switched on Science or with any other scheme.

Using the English tests

What is included in the new English Progress Tests for Year 1?

English Progress Tests include half-termly tests for reading and for grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. There are also half-termly tests for spelling from the second half of the spring term to give pupils time to develop and secure their phonic knowledge in the first part of Year 1.

Using the mathematics tests

If I am using the Rising Stars Primary Mathematics Planning Framework, can I use the Mathematics Half-termly Progress Tests alongside?

The Mathematics Half-termly Progress Tests follow the Mathematics Planning Framework and can be used alongside one another.

Inclusion, access and the more able

How inclusive are Progress Tests?

Progress Tests have been written to be as inclusive as possible and to be suitable for children whatever their gender, social class or race/ethnicity.

How accessible are the Progress Tests?

Progress Tests have been reviewed by an accessibility expert to ensure they are accessible to as many children as possible, including those with special needs.

How do we assess our more able pupils and ensure they are making progress?

All pupils need to be assessed to ensure they are making progress. Using Progress Tests all pupils will be making consistent progress if they score similar marks in the tests for a particular subject throughout the year. For example, if a child is consistently scoring 9 in 10-mark tests they are consistently demonstrating above expected progress. It is also possible to stretch more able pupils to ensure they do not do tests that are too easy for them. For maths, more able pupils could skip the Low test for each topic and start with one of the Medium tests instead. They can then be given the second Medium test to check to for consistency in their learning and if they are still scoring full or almost full marks they could be given the High test for the topic. In science more able pupils could go straight to the end of topic and end of year tests. In English (GPS and reading) the tests in each book get progressively more difficult during the year so more able pupils could be given tests from later in the year.

 
x
Added to your basket:
Checkout