August 12, 2020

Beginning a journey

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By Mark Frazer, Teaching and Learning Lead at CEM

As the new school year draws near, many teachers will be planning the ‘educational journey’ for their new students, and knowing precisely where all of your students are starting from is invaluable...

July 17, 2020
5 reasons to use adaptive tests

5 reasons to use adaptive tests

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Assessment in education has always been an important issue, and each school has its own approach...

July 1, 2020
How does assessment data impact student learning?

How does assessment data impact student learning?

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By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy, CEM

Data has always played a critical role in making good decisions in commerce and in the health sector, but education has lagged behind a bit...

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

10 top tips for using data in schools

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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

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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...

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...

November 21, 2018

Why assessment may tell you less than you think – Part 1

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By Rob Coe

I was inspired to write this blog by reading Harry Fletcher-Wood's book ‘Responsive Teaching’. I really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to any teacher who wants to make ‘formative assessment’ work in their classroom.

November 19, 2018
Standardised Scores 101

Standardised Scores 101 – Understanding how Standardised Scores are Calculated

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By Richard Selfridge

If a student scores 65% on a test, what does this tell you? Is this mark good? Bad? Average? If it is deemed to be a good/bad/average mark, against whom is this judgement being made – the other children in a class, in a school, or similar children across the country?...

July 26, 2018
5 top blogs to read this summer

5 top blogs to read this summer

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It is perennially difficult during term time to make space for some interesting reads that offer insight into the teaching profession, and it’s easy to feel you have missed out on too much...

July 12, 2018

In pursuit of reliability and validity

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By Dr Chris Jellis, Research Associate at CEM

Any good assessment is a balance between reliability and validity.

A lot has already been written about this. Dylan William discusses the complexity of the relationship between reliability and validity in Reliability, Validity and all that Jazz, where he refers to the ‘tension’ between them....

June 20, 2018
Not an assessment

But that is NOT AN ASSESSMENT!

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By Professor Rob Coe, Director, CEM

It has become common, although I still find it surprising, to hear teachers use the word ‘data’ as if it were a bad thing.

‘Data drops’ have come to epitomise a pointless exercise in collecting meaningless numbers and feeding them into a system that can have no possible benefit for learners. People even say that Ofsted is ‘too reliant on data’, as if a judgement process could - or should – rely on anything other than data...

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
Student Exams

7 questions you need to ask about assessment

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To a busy teacher, producing good assessments can be a time consuming and daunting prospect.

When it is done well, an assessment can provide you with information that it isn’t possible to find out in any other way.

We have all heard of teachers saying “I’ve set this test to be really hard, no-one will get this right”, but assessment isn’t about you as a teacher pitting your wits against your students. Assessment plays an important part in helping you find out what your students know and, importantly, do not know, in order to better meet their learning needs...

June 19, 2017
Rob Coe

Where is the value in assessment?

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By Professor Rob Coe

Assessment is one of those things that you think you know what it is until you start to really think hard about it. Then the problem of trying to delineate exactly what it is and what it isn’t seems rather more complex than at first sight. Part of the problem is that assessment covers such a wide range of things: some assessment is really part of pedagogy: simply good teaching; some assessment is about measurement: operationalising a trait or attribute; some is about evaluation, stretching into accountability and inseparable from the consequences that attach to outcomes...

November 16, 2016
Rob Coe

Reasons to be optimistic about assessment

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by Stephen Tierney

This blog post is taken from the first part of a presentation Stephen Tierney (@leadinglearner) gave at the Learning First Conference in Sheffield on the 5th November 2016, with an introduction by Rob Coe.

"I already knew about Stephen from his blogs and twitter posts, so I had high expectations before I first heard him speak. I was not disappointed. He was able to make something...