June 12, 2020
10 Top tips for using data in schools

10 top tips for using data in schools

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Suzanne Crocker, Product Manager, Cambridge International and CEM data expert

There is so much data available in schools that it can be overwhelming; whole school, cohort, comparisons within a cohort, historical comparisons, subject, class, individual student, teacher-generated. So if you want the data to make a real impact on student achievement, where do you start?...

May 1, 2020
Covid-19 and learning loss

COVID-19 and learning loss

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There is no research that can show us what the educational impact of COVID-19 school closures might be. Never in our lifetimes have so many schools for so many children been closed...

April 8, 2020
Data A Silver Lining

Data: a silver lining

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It was inevitable: the school closures were going to present more than a few challenges for children, parents and teachers...

February 12, 2020
Baseline Assessment: Make it work for you

Baseline Assessment: Make it work for you

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By Katharine Bailey, CEM Director of Policy

We know it is vital that teachers have access to reliable information to support them in making the best decisions, so they can transform the academic outcomes of the children they teach...

January 17, 2020
What do teachers want

What do teachers want?

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Fundamentally, teachers want to do the best by their students. The ideal end-goal is to be able to send our students out into the world armed with the best education we can provide so that they can go on to become functioning, happy and valuable members of society...

January 9, 2020
Standardised Tests 101

Standardised Tests 101 – how and why tests are standardised

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By Richard Selfridge

Standardising a test score is fairly straightforward and I walked readers through the process. As I said, however, “deciding whether test scores reported in this way are meaningful depends on a number of other variables which come into play – and that requires an understanding of a whole raft of issues”...

December 10, 2019
CM Define

Maths is for life…not just for Christmas

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

Have you written your Christmas list yet? What if the educational community had a stocking? What presents would we want to wake up to?...

December 5, 2019
Evaluating Impact

Evaluating Impact

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By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy, CEM

Each year, the education system spends astonishing amounts of money on implementing educational initiatives which often yield only negligible impact on learners...

October 8, 2019

5 top tips for NQTs to crack assessment

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Your first year of teaching presents you with a wealth of challenges. How do you manage behaviour? How do you cope with the workload? How can you do your best? How will you know if you are a good teacher?...

September 4, 2019
Knowledge in the light

Evidence-based policy and practice in education – knowledge in the light or strategy in the dark?

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By Tim Oates CBE, Group Director of Assessment Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment

The term ‘evidence-based policy’ rose to particular prominence in the early years of the New Labour administration, following the 1997 general election...

July 5, 2019
Measuring progress in education

Measuring Progress in Education

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At the 10th Annual Festival of Education, held at the beautiful Wellington College, CEM hosted a panel on “Measuring progress in education: The good, the bad and the future.”...

December 13, 2018
researchED Durham

Working out what works at researchED Durham

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By Andrew Pearson

The first conference of its kind in the North East brought together an assortment of thought leaders from the contemporary education scene...

August 15, 2018
Signs of Progress

Signs of progress: what can we learn from results?

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“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” - Benjamin Franklin.

With A Level and GCSE results days fast approaching attention once again turns to progress, and discussion about impact...

July 17, 2018
Vocabulary a number of words

Vocabulary: A number of words?

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By Alex Quigley

Deep vocabulary learning is irreversible, irreplaceable and essential to learning and thinking. However, as it is so integral to all of schooling and learning beyond the school gates, it proves very difficult to assess and evaluate effectively. Simply counting up words in lists will never do the job adequately...

June 12, 2018
Teacher with children

Finding the ‘Sweet Spot’ of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

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By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead, CEM

In my previous blog post, I considered some of the findings from the 2015 PISA study.

The data appear to suggest that independent or student led activities do not support outcomes as effectively as more traditional teacher led activities.

In reality, can either approach be solely relied upon?...

May 17, 2018
Assessment without Levels Webinar

Assessment without Levels: Using CEM data

Has the removal of national curriculum levels in England created a broader interest in assessment practices?

The removal of levels back in 2014 caused chaos, confusion and consternation amongst many educators. To some, levels were a secure, reliable, dependable way of scaffolding a child’s journey through school. To others, they represented the limitations of people’s understanding about learning and assessment practice...

February 27, 2018
Accountability

Assessment and accountability

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How many webpages, teacher forums and parent chat rooms abound with acerbic, defensive and downright despondent comments on the system of accountability in schools?

It’s an understatement to say that the accountability system in England is complex. With schools held under 7 types of accountability (professional, hierarchical, market, contractual, legal, network and participative), it is little wonder it can engender a range of dysfunctional and demoralising side effects...

November 30, 2017
Testing the water

Teachers need greater support in order to understand and maximise the value of assessment in their classrooms

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A new report, Testing the Water: How assessment can underpin, not undermine, great teaching, published today by LKMCO and Pearson, calls for more support for teachers and greater understanding of assessment across education sector.

The report is based on a year-long research project including a national survey of over 1,000 teachers in England, opinions from focus groups, an online consultation, thought-pieces from fourteen leading educationalists, and three international case studies...

October 6, 2017
School Lamp

The unintended consequences of pursuing an ‘outstanding’

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By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead, CEM

Although I now have the luxury of not being accountable to Ofsted, for ten years as a primary headteacher I attempted to navigate the shifting sands of successive inspection frameworks, coming under pressure from various stakeholders to achieve the coveted (by some) ‘outstanding’ judgement.

Since Amanda Spielman assumed the role of Ofsted’s Chief Inspector in January of this year, I have been greatly encouraged and reassured by the tone and focus of her speeches and how this differs to her predecessor...

July 26, 2017
5 Things Learned, Importance of good assessment

Five Things I’ve Learned about the Importance of Good Assessment

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By Alex Quigley

Having been a teacher for nearly fifteen years, it may surprise you to hear that I hold a persistent fear that I have been grossly undertrained on a crucial aspect of learning in the classroom: assessment.

I don’t think I am very unique. Teachers are a spectacularly undertrained profession on the whole, given the vast complexity of learning. We do our initial teacher training under immense pressures and tensions, and then, after little under a year, we are chucked our teaching qualification and launched permanently into the deep end of the classroom...