St Barnabas School - PiRA, PUMA and GAPS

Quite simply, standardised test materials like GAPS, PiRA and PUMA, produced by RS Assessment from Hodder Education, allow us to track pupil progress in a variety of ways.

Since the abolishment of National Curriculum levels, like all schools, we had to devise our own way of assessing the attainment and progress of our pupils. After much discussion we settled on a four point/stage formative assessment process that allowed us to track pupil attainment.

The addition of the GAPS, PiRA and PUMA materials to our assessment programme have now added a summative dimension that allows us to compare pupil progress at both an individual level and also against a nationally referenced standard.

We can compare pupil attainment from Autumn to Spring, Spring to Summer and from the end of one curriculum year to another. This is an important tool that allows us to say with greater confidence which pupils/pupil groups are making “below expected”,” expected” or “above expected” progress.

We are a somewhat unique establishment in that we cater from Reception pupils through to Year 7 students. PiRA, PUMA and GAPS materials allow us to use one consistent assessment procedure throughout our school. We now have the structure in place, thanks to standardised scores from the above tests, to recognise which of our pupils are working at “below”, “at” or “above” National Expectations.

Using MARK has given us yet another dimension in our ability to track individual pupils and group development. The question analysis tool allows us to see very easily which strands of a subject,
e.g. Geometry, Number are a strength or an area for further development.

MARK also produces a Hodder Scale Score which has become invaluable in assisting us to recognise which pupils are making appropriate rates of progress and to identify pupils who need additional support.

Stephen Booth, Assistant Head Teacher, St Barnabas CE First and Middle School, Worcester
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