Archive | February, 2016

The Problems with Teacher Assessment

27 Feb

The following statements all came from the 2015 report from the Commission on Assessment without Levels. They all appeared under the heading “The problems with levels”. Are there any of…

Source: The Problems with Teacher Assessment

Making Feedback Count: “Close the Gap”

27 Feb

Recently I have been looking again at the issue of marking. It is a hugely important source of feedback provided that we keep the volume of marking in proportion to the level of impact it can have …

Source: Making Feedback Count: “Close the Gap”


19 Feb

13th June 2015

Source: About

Refining assessment without levels

19 Feb

Source: Refining assessment without levels

What purpose Teacher Assessment?

13 Feb

Source: What purpose Teacher Assessment?

Local Authorities: the real barrier to Assessment without Levels?

13 Feb

Ramblings of a Teacher

I have done a lot of work all over the country for the past couple of years trying to help schools to move forward with the new curriculum, and particularly with venturing into the brave new world of life after levels.

Having initially been reticent, I have been a keen advocate of schools taking control of assessment so that it matches their curriculum, and moving away from points-based systems which expect linear progress. No teacher has ever argued that a linear model makes sense; we all know that it was meaningless. In many cases schools and their leaders feel liberated to focus on what matters for their children. Teachers are freed up to focus on real assessment that drives teaching and learning, helping children to make better progress.

Except there’s that word.

For the first year or so, headteachers would often ask me: but how do you show progress? As…

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More Teacher Assessment confusion…

8 Feb

Ramblings of a Teacher

leighLink to KS2 moderation exemplifiation

I’m never happy.

Months of moaning about the delays to the delivery of exemplification for Writing Teacher Assessment, and now it arrives I’m still not happy.

But then… it is a bloody mess!

The exemplification published today demonstrates what many of us feared about the new interim teacher assessment framework: expectations have rocketed. I appreciate (probably more than most) that direct comparisons are not ideal, but certainly having been told that the new expected standard would be broadly in line with an old Level 4b, I know I feel cheated.

The discussions in this household about the “expected standard” exemplification were not about whether or not the work was in line with a 4b, but whether or not it would have achieved a Level 5. That represents, of course, an additional 2 years of learning under the old system. We’re expecting 11-year-olds to write like…

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Primary Progress, Floor Standards & Coasting…

7 Feb

Ramblings of a Teacher

In the last week we’ve had a bit more detail about progress calculations (at last) and can now be a little clearer on how these fit with the new floor and coasting standards. There are a few changes to be aware of which I’l try to highlight, along with the explainer videos I’ve made.

Progress Measures from 2016

There has been one slight change to progress calculations since I made the video below back in the autumn. KS1 APS scores (which are effectively the baseline measure for progress until 2019), will be calculated slightly differently than originally planned. Rather than simply adding all 3 subjects together and dividing by 3, Maths will now count double to balance out the fact that English has two scored strands (for Reading & Writing).

One thing to note, which has caused a little confusion: the “group of pupils with the same KS1 APS score”, means…

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Nick Gibb is confused…

5 Feb

Ramblings of a Teacher

If you haven’t already spat out your cornflakes this morning over Nick Gibb’s ridiculous claims that the blame for confusion about primary assessment should be laid at journalists doors,then start by reading his article in today’s School’s week:

gibb Nick Gibb’s column

Now let me quickly contest some of his points:

  • He seems to have missed the point about the commas fiasco*: the two main arguments were that re-introducing an old-fashioned unscientific approach was not helpful (especially for learners with EAL), and that the supposed clarification from the STA only confused matters because it was unclear about how answers would be marked. When your department’s clarification notes cause confusion, the right thing to do is to apologise and seek to add clarity, not to blame.
  • The concern about the 30+ updates to assessment materials is not that they were all major, but more than schools don’t get told whether they’re significant…

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