April 9, 2021
CEM Lockdown Lesson Blog

How well do we understand wellbeing?

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Research in an extraordinary educational era

2020/21 has been a year like no other. The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on all of us, especially in education...

March 25, 2021
Next Steps In Assessment

Next steps in assessment

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Evidence from Unicef suggests that missing school time is linked with damaging reductions in the critical foundation skills of numeracy and literacy...

March 9, 2021
Teachers Top Tips

Teachers’ tips

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It’s been a crazy year, full of changes and challenges. Students and teachers have been in and out of school, adapting teaching, learning and assessment to ensure education continues during the pandemic...

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...

October 31, 2018
The Level Illusion

The Level Illusion

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By James Pembroke

Back when I worked in a local authority I was asked to build an Excel-based tracking system, something primary schools could use to track pupil progress through levels. “Pupils make three points per year” I was told...

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?...

March 2, 2018
Sense and Accountability

Sense and Accountability

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The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has published a report today calling for reforms to the system for judging England’s primary schools, in order to make it fairer on schools and better for children.

The report, Sense and Accountability: Holding our Primary Schools to account for what matters most, follows consultation with a panel of primary and assessment experts, including CEM Director, Professor Rob Coe and CEM’s Director of Policy, Katharine Bailey...

February 3, 2017
Girl On Computer

The future of primary assessment: Learning first or accountability?

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Christine Merrell, Head Teachers' Roundtable Summit, 2nd Feb 2017

I was asked to speak about the future of primary assessment in relation to learning and accountability at the Head Teachers’ Roundtable Summit in London on 2nd Feb. The summit offered an opportunity to debate matters that enable schools to thrive and flourish, and was clearly an important forum, attracting over 200 delegates...

July 8, 2016
Teacher Child

Understanding what works in oral reading assessments

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by Professors Christine Merrell and Peter Tymms

Last week saw the publication of the new online and open-access report, Understanding What Works in Oral Reading Assessments. Produced collaboratively by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the Global Partnership for Education and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the report contains an important chapter, ‘Assessing Young Children: Problems and Solutions’, co-authored by CEM’s Director of Research, Professor Christine Merrell and iPIPS Director, Professor Peter Tymms...