February 3, 2021
4 Signs of an effective Early Years Classroom

4 Signs of an effective Early Years Classroom

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On day one of reception, teachers are exposed to the unknown. Each child will have a different yearning for the start of school – some excited and prepared, others anxious or sad to be away from their home...

January 28, 2021
Christine Merrell

Professor Christine Merrell

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By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy, CEM

On 9th January Professor Christine Merrell, my dear friend and irreplaceable colleague of 25 years, died peacefully after a short illness...

January 7, 2021
ABCs of CEM

ABC’s of CEM

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We are starting the year off by going back to basics and looking at what our assessments are all about. When we were pulling this together we realised they can be very handily arranged alphabetically. So we present to you the ABC’s of CEM.

November 25, 2020
4 ways assessment data can support remote learning

4 ways assessment data can support remote learning

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More than 90% of the world’s schools have been affected by the pandemic this year. That’s hundreds of millions of students faced with school closures.

October 26, 2020
Assessment and well-being blog

Assessment & Well-being

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By Grace Evans

I left teaching because there were ten-year-old children in tears over the SATs in my class. There were several other reasons why I walked away, but the SATs were my tipping point...

October 5, 2020
the power of longitudinal data in schools

The power of longitudinal data in schools

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By Dr Matthew Carroll, Assessment, Research and Development, Cambridge Assessment

This summer – this whole year – has been unprecedented in many ways. For those working in education and assessment, the challenges have been considerable...

September 24, 2020
Too much testing in schools

Too much testing in schools?

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Too much testing?

It’s a common complaint from students, teachers, the press, and even the odd politician: there’s just too much testing in schools...

September 4, 2020
Does predictive data limit ambition or maximise potential

Does predictive data limit ambition or maximise potential?

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The short answer: it all depends on how you use the data.

Teachers are not fortune tellers or magicians despite the wonders they can often work...

August 28, 2020
How do we make predictions of future exam outcomes

How do we make predictions of future exam outcomes?

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By Andrew Lyth, Statistician, CEM

At CEM, we make predictions by applying statistical techniques to the data we have on the exam performances and baseline measures of students...

August 19, 2020
How baseline assessment can support you when schools return

How baseline assessments can support you when schools return

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By Kate Bailey, Director of Policy and Kate McKim, Marketing Executive at CEM

The COVID-19 crisis has caused widespread school closures in 188 countries and 1.7 billion children, young people and their families have been disrupted as a direct result (OECD, 2020)...

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...

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 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...