One of the defining characteristics of successful schools is how they deliver assessment. How effective a school is at assessment goes a long way to determining how they are perceived by parents and other stakeholders. Assessment is mission-critical in the constant drive for “school improvement”, a buzz-phrase has now become a key strategy outcome for school leaders.
There is currently a wealth of providers in education offering great assessment content to Primary schools, all of which use a different style and approach. As a result, it can often be extremely difficult for Primary school leaders to determine which content provider fits best with their school’s assessment needs.
As a commentator recently said on Radio 4, “never let a good crisis go to waste!” With change being the only constant in education, I took the relative peace of a moonlit dog walk in Sheffield’s beautiful Meersbrook Park (which featured in X+Y and Four Lions!) to contemplate the challenges and opportunities available to Science teachers and leaders over the coming years.
I’m constantly reading articles in broadsheets, such as; “We’re so well educated - but we’re useless” and “The dead hand of central government is weighing down on children and schools”. It’s obvious that the government’s curriculum reforms, as well as proposals to devalue vocational courses, really has meant that schools and colleges need to be creative and look at more innovative strategies to link learning to real life. We need to realise that the pressures of exam results run the risk of turning students into examination machines without actually preparing them for life.
There is no denying that digital technology is now part and parcel of our everyday lives and increasingly teachers are making use of it, not just as a personal management system, but as part of their everyday lessons. This is all good, of course, but there can be a rather piecemeal approach to digital technology in schools. There is an awful lot of good practice going on all over the country and still further afield; one look at Twitter tells me this. However, not all teachers realise the power and potential of digital technology.