Ivydale is a 3 form entry school (with 2 forms in Year 5 and Year 6), rated good by Ofsted. Their FSM numbers are broadly in line with the national average, their proportion of BME pupils is above the national average, and their proportion of EAL pupils is below the national average.
Ivydale Primary's Deputy Headteacher (responsible for teaching, learning, curriculum and assessment) was kind enough to answer the following questions for us.
How are you using this resource?
We have historically used PiRA and PUMA to inform termly teacher assessments and to provide a gap analysis. They are also useful for benchmarking against national expectations.
Why did you choose New PiRA and New PUMA?
The tests are easy to deliver and provide a wealth of information about our children’s attainment and progress.
What are the benefits of the assessments?
Teachers are able to easily identify which children may be falling behind and any gaps in their learning. They are able to use the results to inform teacher assessments, compare to national expectations and identify targets for the next term.
Are the tests flexible?
We try and use the tests consistently across classes to compare with national and prior achievement, so we discourage flexibility in testing.
Do the papers engage your learners?
The children enjoy the chance to show what they have learned each term. The papers are also good at helping children become familiar with the expectations around testing.
How effective have the tests been in helping you to identify strengths and weaknesses?
The gaps analysis tool, MARK, has helped us identify areas to focus on with individuals, groups and classes.
How have you used the tests to track progression and achievement?
We cross reference with teacher assessments to ensure they are rigorous and to identify children who may be underachieving in class or not meeting their potential.
How have New PiRA and New PUMA helped to direct your teaching plans?
Teachers identify targets for groups and individuals that feed into their planning for the term. Subject leaders analyse school and phase level gaps to inform training for teacher subject knowledge.
Have you found the assessments easy to use?
The teacher booklet is very detailed and teachers need some training but are able to access the materials after that.
Would you recommend PiRA, PUMA, MARK and Shine to other schools?
"The assessments save us time in analysing areas of strength and weakness."
"The assessments give us robust, detailed diagnostics to complement teacher judgement."