Riverside Primary School - New PiRA and New PUMA

About Riverside Primary School

Riverside is a 3-form entry inner-city school with high levels of deprivation (~70% FSM) and complex community issues. SEN levels are above the national average.

How are you using New PiRA and New PUMA?

We use New PiRA and New PUMA in a number of ways. Teachers use it to identify areas of strength and weakness and tailor future planning, teaching and class interventions. The Team Leader then uses the data to plan team interventions, deploying the team SEN, TA and HLTA. I, as the Assessment Lead, use the data for tracking purposes – I look for within-year gains/losses and also between-year gains/losses.

Why did you choose this resource?

We needed a suite of materials that covered Reading and Maths and were standardised so that we could track across years and directly compare children and standards in year groups no matter the age. We also chose New PiRA and New PUMA because they provide Maths and Reading ages – we need to communicate with parents and they understand ages more so than standardised scores. It’s powerful to talk to a parent about supporting their 11yr old child with reading at home if we can say they have a reading age that doesn't align.

We also wanted a resource that covered the entire school from Reception to Year 6.

I like the Hodder Scale to track small step progress of the SEN children who do not necessarily make standardised score gains in their learning.

Finally, when scaled scores were introduced at KS1 and KS2, I wanted a similar system throughout school – albeit, understanding they are not the same as standardised scores.

What are the benefits of using New PiRA and New PUMA?

The tests are easy to administer and quick to mark.They are also good value for money. Teachers like that they get a “score” as this helps inform their teacher assessment in the Autumn and Spring terms, before they have fully taught the National Curriculum – this is important now children have to complete year-group specific work.

Do you think that New PiRA and New PUMA are flexible?

The Administration Guide is clear, easy to understand and has ideas for adapting and supporting children such as time allowances and small groups.

Do New PiRA and New PUMA engage your learners?

Yes - the booklets are colourful and well laid out.

How effective have New PiRA and New PUMA been in helping you to identify strengths and weaknesses?

Crucial. Teachers can think children have fully mastered a concept during the teaching phase, yet not so when tested at a later date.

How have you used the assessments to track progression and achievement?

Yes – I track standardised scores termly, plus I look at standardised scores compared to Teacher Assessment judgements & use any discrepancies to identify children I would like discuss at Pupil Progress Meetings.

How have New PiRA and New PUMA helped to direct your teaching plans?

Teachers marking the tests is crucial. It's through that process they can identify what was a strength and weakness. They then tailor their plans to adapt to what needs less teaching and what needs more. They also adapt how they present problems – particularly in maths .

Have you found the resource easy to use?

Yes -  admin guide, length of paper, layout, mark scheme and look-up tables are great.​​

Would you recommend NTS Assessments to other schools?

Yes. They are easy to use and effectively prepare children for their SATs.

Closing statements

  1. Strongly agree that New PiRA and New PUMA give us robust, detailed diagnostics to complement teacher judgement.
  2. Strongly agree that the measures and reports make it easy for us to track pupils' progress from term to term
  3. Strongly agree that the standardised scores are useful to give us a clear picture of how our pupils’ attainment compared to national averages
  4. Strongly agree that the assessments have helped us to track progress and support pupils in a year of uncertainty.
Non-teaching Deputy Head - assessment leader
New PiRA
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