Latest articles from the Innovate My School community.

With teachers and school leaders across the UK enjoying a well-deserved break, we're taking a look at the academic year ahead. What can educators expect? How can they go about boosting their own wellbeing and student achievement alike? 
 
We've gathered writers from a variety of backgrounds to tackle this Countdown to 2018/19. What's more, August's content is powered by Bett Global Series, whose new Bett Innovation Index gives a major selection of insights in itself...
ox•y•mo•ronnouna figure of speech in which apparentlycontradictory terms appear in conjunctioneg “assessment without levels”
Most schools use formative assessment throughout the year, and then have some sort of test at the end as practice for SATs. This data-handling may be done via a commercial system, a tracking system they have created in-house, or through one of the paper-based approaches that many schools are still using. It doesn’t matter which method you choose, but it does matter how the data is being used.
As Ofsted’s Sean Harford noted in a recent blog, “a school’s assessment system [should] support the pupils’ journeys through the curriculum.” But how to go about making this a reality?
Proposing the idea that more testing may be the answer to improving pupil outcomes would undoubtedly result in heads in the staffroom turning in absurdity - or the cause of a full riot on social media. It is the belief of many that pupils are being over-assessed already, so why introduce more? It is felt that too much assessment is affecting the mental health of children, or squeezing the joy ...
The infamous saying “tax shouldn’t be taxing” is something that I feel rings true for its synonym, to assess. Assessment is a key element of teaching and learning, both in its summative and formative forms, and enables for a review of progress. Assessment is most valuable when it translates into effective feedback which supports bespoke, personalised future-learning, both empowering students to take ownership for development and equipping teachers with ...
This is my favourite question from friend, FELTAG collaborator and member of the Ministerial Education Technology Action Group (ETAG), Professor Diana Laurillard from UCL. It is always a useful starting point for any conversation or decision about the use of technology for teaching, learning or assessment.
Seating plans for a classroom are even more complicated than organising who sits where at a wedding reception. Like so much else in education, you need to define your objectives. It is not just about making sure sworn enemies are not seated side-by-side. Instead, you have to think about the individual needs. Is the child with ADHD better sitting right in front of you, where you can keep an eye ...
Over recent years there have been some fundamental changes to the education system in England: a new National Curriculum, the removal of levels in national curriculum assessments and revisions to general qualifications. New, more demanding tests were introduced for Key Stage 1 and 2 in 2016. At GCSE level, revised examinations in English and Mathematics were introduced during that year, with all other subjects coming on-stream over the next couple of years. The ...
The value of a school management information system (MIS) isn’t simply for the safe storage of data. Its true value is in the speed at which the data can be accessed and then used to inform decisions - from an individual student, right through to whole-school level. Assessment for learning is perhaps the best example of this.
We all know that the purpose of formative assessment is to make students aware of the standard of work they are producing, and more importantly, to help them understand how they can improve. Too often, however, assessment becomes just another formality, so entrenched in the system that we forget to stop and think about both its effectiveness and the learner experience. Sometimes, feedback simply does not translate into improvements, and ...
Loneliness is an increasingly detrimental issue that strikes the most vulnerable groups in society the hardest, with children and seniors being especially susceptible. Yet, it spares no one. 45% of British people report sometimes feeling lonely, and as many as 18% feel lonely all the time. Loneliness is not only an issue of scale; it has also been labelled as being worse for us than obesity and physical inactivity, having negative effects ...
With so many different assessment measures being used throughout Primary schools, we’re often asked to clarify the difference between them. So, we’ve gone back to the drawing board to provide some quick facts about two key test outcomes: scaled scores and standardised scores (because while both show performance, they aren’t the same thing).
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