September 22, 2017
Ark Child

Using CEM Base to support teachers

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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...

September 15, 2017
Primary Children

Primary assessment consultation response

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

The government’s response to the review of primary assessment and accountability, published yesterday, contained a mix of good and bad news.

It goes some way to address the disruptions and distractions in primary education over recent years, but perhaps it could have gone further.

The review attracted over 4000 responses and addressed the complex implications for assessment and accountability. It asked for views on the future of the statutory primary assessment system, including assessment in the early years...

August 16, 2017
Teacher Effectiveness

Is student progress the same as teacher effectiveness?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

There’s plenty to cry ‘unfair’ about in teaching right now.

Your classes are getting bigger; there was no money for decent CPD again this year; and you were given bottom set Year 11 for the fourth year running.

And now the value-added results are in. Negative value-added for those Year 11s again? It’s bad enough that they have not met expected progress, but how can they have actually gone backwards? All that extra work you’ve done. All the lunchtimes you’ve missed for those catch up sessions. You are exhausted and now, it seems, you are a terrible teacher....

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

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

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

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...

June 22, 2017
Assess Better - Rob Coe

How can teachers learn to be better teachers?

Reading Time: Approx 1min

By Professor Rob Coe

Download Professor Rob Coe’s presentation from the 2017 Festival of Education. We’ll update with a more detailed blog piece at the end of the festival...

June 19, 2017
Rob Coe

Where is the value in assessment?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

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...

June 6, 2017

Five things you need to know about value-added

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

We all know that academic progress is an individual thing. Making progress relies on a whole range of influencing factors and students make progress at different times and at different rates.

All too often the focus on exam results fails to take account of the mammoth steps students and teachers have sometimes taken on the way to attaining their personal summits...

May 16, 2017
Science Students

Practical work in science – CEM wants to hear from you

Reading Time: Approx 6mins

By Kirsty Younger

CEM wants to hear from you on practical work in science.

Policy and practice rarely stand still in the world of education, and science teaching is no exception. Recent years have seen changes to the way that science subjects are assessed at GCSE and A level in England. Importantly, the assessment methods for practical work in science have changed...

May 11, 2017

What makes great assessment?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Almost 20 years ago, at the very tail-end of the last century, Professor Rob Coe published his Manifesto for Evidence-Based Education, in which he argued for evidence-based policy, evidence-based practice and the promotion of a culture of evidence.

“‘Evidence-based’ is the latest buzz word in education” he wrote in 1999. If the Chartered College of Teaching event...

April 25, 2017
David Weston

Assessment for Teacher Learning: Making CPD responsive

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

by David Weston

Here’s the big idea – teachers can only improve their practice when they also improve their ability to assess.

Dylan Wiliam, along with his colleague Paul Black, could be considered the fathers of formative assessment. And yet Dylan Wiliam considers this one of his biggest mistakes, wishing he’d called it something like ‘responsive teaching’ instead...

February 15, 2017
Rob Coe

A Vision for Enhanced Professionalism

Video Duration: Approx 24mins

presented by Professor Rob Coe

"Teaching is far and away the most important of all professions. Teachers make more difference to more people's lives, in a way that more people feel passionate about... what they do really matters." - Professor Robert Coe, Director, CEM.

The new professional body for the teaching profession, The Chartered College of Teaching hosted their inaugural conference in London on Thursday 16th February...

February 3, 2017
Girl On Computer

The future of primary assessment: Learning first or accountability?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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...

January 24, 2017
Maths

Investigating Mathematical Attainment and Progress (IMAP)

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

by Dr Lee Copping

Low attainment is acknowledged to be one of the most serious problems in mathematics education.

The proportion of the very lowest attaining students at the end of Key Stage 3 has roughly doubled since the 1970s. This group now constitutes about 15% of the Year 9 cohort and these students have difficulty answering even basic questions about core ideas...

December 6, 2016
Kids at computer

Education systems can only be accountable for what they can influence

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

Professor Peter Tymms, Director of iPIPS, CEM and School of Education, Durham University

This week’s PISA results show that England’s performance has hardly changed since the last round of assessments in 2012. Indeed, England’s results and the results of most other countries have remained pretty stable since PISA was introduced by the OECD in 2000...

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...

November 1, 2016
Music Child

Making a positive primary to secondary transition in Music

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Dimitra Kokotsaki

Moving from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3 can be a big upheaval for many pupils. Schools work hard to ease the transition with a range of policies, plans, mechanisms and strategies. But do they always work...

October 4, 2016
Teacher Student

NEON 2016

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Enabling wider access to Higher Education by Laura da Costa

In June of this year, a team of CEM researchers, at Durham University, travelled to Leicester for the NEON Summer Symposium. The National Education Opportunities Network (NEON) was founded in 2012 as a professional organisation supporting those involved in widening participation (WP) to higher education (HE)...

August 12, 2016
Maths

Maths Anxiety

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

by Stephanie Raine

Do you avoid maths at all costs?

How do you feel when working out your change, splitting a bill between friends, or helping with your child’s homework?

I’m sure we can all recall witnessing children avoid eye contact, squirm in their seats or completely freeze when presented with a maths problem. On the other hand, maybe this is your reaction...

July 28, 2016
Holiday

Summertime and the planning is easy

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

The summer holidays are finally here and offer a long awaited break after SATs, GCSEs and A-levels. There has been a raft of changes which have hit schools during the last few months such as examination reforms, new Ofsted frameworks and changes to baseline assessment in primary schools.

Despite all the uncertainty which schools are facing due to these issues, there is some breathing space for teachers to read around recent research and innovations and plan ahead during the holiday...

July 8, 2016
Teacher Child

Understanding what works in oral reading assessments

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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...

June 22, 2016
Books

What is Worth Reading for Teachers Interested in Research?

Reading Time: Approx 5mins

Professor Robert Coe, June 2016

I give a fair number of talks to groups of teachers and school leaders on the subject of connecting educational research with their practice. Often I will mention a particular book, such as John Hattie’s Visible Learning, Graham Nuthall’s Hidden Lives of Learners or Dylan Wiliam’s Embedded Formative Assessment, and ask if anyone has read it. I have learnt that it is rare for more than a handful of my audience to say yes; I confess I am repeatedly disappointed...

May 24, 2016
Lee Copping

What’s in a name?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

by Dr Lee Copping

New research from CEM shows that the length of a child’s name is not predictive of future academic attainment.

There are few who would dispute that the ability to write one’s own name acts as a gateway for future literacy abilities. Previous research in education however has suggested that the length of a child’s name may be predictive of future academic attainment (Treiman, Kessler and Bourassa, 2001)...