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...

March 8, 2019
A whole new world

A whole new world?

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The educational landscape is undergoing a bit of a shift. Just a mild understatement maybe...

January 10, 2019
Losing Track of your Data

Losing track of your data?

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Under the new Ofsted framework, inspectors will now “ignore all tracking data” and from September 2019 Ofsted’s goal will be to view performance measures more in the context of the quality of education provided...

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?...

October 17, 2018
Who should be doing what

Evidence-Based Education: Who should be doing what?

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By Dr Gary Jones

Being a teacher is hard enough, without spending unnecessary amounts of time on practices that just don’t make any real kind of an impact. It’s not enough for an intervention or practice to have merit, it needs to be ‘worth it’...

September 5, 2018
Serious Critiques of Meta-Analysis and Effect Size

Serious critiques of meta-analysis and effect size: researchED 2018

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By Rob Coe

Since I became a researcher in the late 1990s, I have been an advocate of using effect size and meta-analysis for summarising and combining results from research.

It seems hard to imagine now, but back then, both approaches were well outside the mainstream of educational research practice and were neither widely used nor understood by most education researchers, let alone policymakers or teachers...

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...

August 2, 2018
Spotlight on research

Spotlight on Research – getting to grips with what’s available

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EEF findings last year suggested that teachers need “structured and intensive support” to engage with new research if outcomes are to improve, and the Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training also recommended that new teachers should be inducted in where and how to access relevant research in order to help instil an evidence-based approach to teaching...

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 13, 2018
Navigating Evidence

Navigating Evidence

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In recent months there has been a real surge of interest in the ways that evidence and research can be used to help support and improve teaching and learning. The appetite for information and discussion about how evidence can help teachers has never been greater. But with so much information out there it can be difficult to know where to start, and finding the time to get to grips with any of it can be a daunting prospect...

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...

September 22, 2017
Ark Child

Using CEM Base to support teachers

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By Lydia Cuddy-Gibbs, Head of EYFS, Ark

At last, September has arrived and the start of a new school year. As the Early Years Lead across 23 schools with Early Years settings, I’m excited about opening our doors to new reception pupils across the Ark network.

A big part of my role is to ensure that all our children are assessed carefully and accurately at every stage of their EYFS journey.

To collect data at the start and end of the reception year, schools in the Ark network have been using the BASE assessment from CEM for the last two years...

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...