Griffydam Primary is a small rural primary school (111 pupils) with low levels of depravation around national levels.
Their Headteacher, Mrs C. Coates, was kind enough to answer the following questions for us.
How are you using New PiRA and New PUMA?
We are using the assessments termly.
Why did you choose New PiRA and New PUMA?
We chose the papers after reviewing a wide range of resources. We felt that the materials provided us with the highest quality of assessment and the most accurate data, when looking towards the end of key stage assessments. The amount of data we could harvest from the tests was invaluable in allowing us to tailor our provision to support the children within our school.
What are the benefits of the resource?
New PiRA and New PUMA are really easy to administer and are engaging for the children. They are designed to follow the flow of the curriculum and, with New PUMA, link directly to the mastery approach in mathematics. It is quick to mark the tests and then gain accurate data on next steps. Linking with MARK enables us to gain a whole school perspective easily and allows us the opportunity to see each child’s progress compared with national expectations (through the standardised score).
Do the papers engage your learners?
The children love the bright designs and the characters within the tests. They feel incredibly comfortable as the papers looks and feel familiar and use language that they are well used to. The clear text and large amounts of ‘working space’ on the page allows them to feel and see their progress easily.
How effective have the assessments been in helping you to identify strengths and weaknesses?
New PiRA and New PUMA are incredibly effective in enabling us to identify the strengths and weaknesses within the cohort. The free assessment and reporting tool, MARK, quickly produces the class teachers with gap analysis and makes data discussions far more efficient and productive.
How have you used New PiRA and New PUMA to track progression and achievement?
We have used the tests to support our tracking systems in school. They fit alongside quality teacher assessment and monitoring to produce a truly rigorous approach to understanding our children.
Have New PiRA and New PUMA helped to direct your teaching plans?
The insights provided by the papers impact our next term’s planning. They allow us to see quickly where the gaps in attainment can be found and who might need additional support or stretch. It has also enabled us to target intervention more effectively.
Have you found the assessments easy to use?
They are incredibly easy to use. The user manuals have clear scripts to support the initial questions which allow staff to have confidence in the consistency of the assessment administration.
Do you use MARK (My Assessment Reporting Kit) for inputting scores and for the reports?
Yes, it is such a simple programme to use and produces reports immediately. We really like the fact that it gives us standardised scores which governors find far easier to understand than previous tracking models. Simple to use and effective. Cuts down on admin.
Would you recommend PiRA, PUMA, MARK and Shine to other schools?
Yes! The assessments save us time in analysing areas of strength and weakness.
"The assessments save us time in analysing areas of strength and weakness."
"The standardised scores are useful to give us a clear picture of how our pupils’ attainment compared to national averages."
"The assessments give us robust, detailed diagnostics to complement teacher judgement."
"The assessments have helped us to track progress and support pupils in a year of uncertainty."