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Funding provided for new assessment methods

06/05/2014 Joanna
Funding has been announced for a range of new initiatives to improve assessment in schools.

The new methods are designed to supersede the levels system, which is being replaced in September. They are the result of a competition launched in December, which encouraged schools to design and share novel assessment techniques.

They will allow those in teaching jobs to gauge pupils' attainment and progress easily and accurately, enabling them to provide targeted support when necessary. Parents will also be given greater information about pupils' performance as a result of the programmes.

Some £10,000 worth of funding is to be made available to nine successful schools, enabling them to turn their ideas into free, easy-to-use packages that can be shared with other institutions.

One innovative technique that will benefit from the investment has been pioneered in Westminster Academy, London. Teachers broke down the curriculum into 15 topics which are independently assessed in an in-house quiz, homework and an end-of-term exam.

An average score is developed after individual results have been compiled for each section of the curriculum. Topic scores enable teachers to provide help where it is needed.

David Thomas, the joint maths curriculum lead at Westminster Academy, said: "Our system tells teachers, students and parents exactly how well a child is learning and exactly what they need to do to get better. 

"By tracking what each student has learned we build one coherent picture of their knowledge from which to guide teaching and learning.

"There are no vague levels - just clear guidance on how to make even more progress."

Hillyfield Primary Academy, in Waltham Forest, east London, has developed a 'skills passport' to help measure performance. Once pupils reach the required standard, they receive a stamp in their passport and this helps to build an accurate picture of their achievement.

A free app is also being developed by the school to help teachers measure students' progress.

Teacher resources are now being developed for each package and they will be introduced ahead of the summer term. They will be free for schools to download and use.

Posted by Tim ColmanADNFCR-2164-ID-801717842-ADNFCR
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