October 5, 2020
the power of longitudinal data in schools

The power of longitudinal data in schools

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

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?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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?

Reading Time: Approx 4mins

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

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

It was inevitable: the school closures were going to present more than a few challenges for children, parents and teachers...

January 10, 2019
Losing Track of your Data

Losing track of your data?

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

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...

October 5, 2018
World Teachers Day

Celebrating World Teachers Day

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

We know only too well the transformative power a good teacher can have. Where would we be without the positive influence of our favourite teachers?...

August 21, 2018
Looking at value-added on results day

The importance of looking at value-added on results day

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Mark S. Steed, Director, JESS, Dubai

This week sees thousands of students receiving their GCSE results.

Now is also the time when many anxious parents hope that their children have the best possible exam results that will allow them to progress to sixth form or college, and join the path they hope will take them to university and into successful and fulfilled employment...

August 2, 2018
Spotlight on research

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

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

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...

July 17, 2018
Vocabulary a number of words

Vocabulary: A number of words?

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Alex Quigley

Deep vocabulary learning is irreversible, irreplaceable and essential to learning and thinking. However, as it is so integral to all of schooling and learning beyond the school gates, it proves very difficult to assess and evaluate effectively. Simply counting up words in lists will never do the job adequately...

June 12, 2018
Teacher with children

Finding the ‘Sweet Spot’ of Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Reading Time: Approx 2mins

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?...

June 4, 2018

Making a world of difference: my experience of using evidence in international schools

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Sue Holt, Vice Principal, New Cairo British International School

It would be an easy task to list the benefits of working in an international school.

Less easy would be finding ways to meet some of the unexpected and complex challenges that face senior leaders in an international education...

April 26, 2018
How schools can engage

How schools can engage with research and evidence

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Dr Deborah M. Netolicky

It makes sense that the most effective teaching methods are used in classrooms, and that the most effective leadership governance practices are used in schools, but how do educators decide on what evidence on which they should rely, to whom they should listen, and how they might engage meaningfully with research findings? How do we know what research is worth listening to, what is worth ignoring, and what has been debunked?

In my last post for the CEM Blog, I explored the dangers of educators accepting seemingly simple solutions to the complex problems of education. In this post I suggest five ways in which teachers, schools, and systems can meaningfully engage in research...

April 10, 2018
Data Matters

Data matters

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

Mark Steed, Director of JESS, Dubai

There is broad agreement in research that effective use of data is vital to school improvement. We know that the effective use of data can promote better teaching and learning through practices such as tracking pupil progress, setting targets, identifying where students need further support, strategic planning and performance management.

Therefore, it stands to reason that there is also a need for school leaders to have high levels of assessment and data skills...

March 20, 2018
Evidence-Based Practice

Evidence-Based Practice: What it is and what it isn’t

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

By Dr Gary Jones

We are delighted to host this piece by Gary Jones, in which he draws out the parallels between guidance on the meaning of evidence-based medicine and evidence-based practice in education.

Talking about evidence-based practice often generates a level of concern among teachers who worry that this is an attempt to control or dictate what they can and cannot do; that it removes or devalues their professional judgement; that it reduces the complexity of school and classroom interaction to simplistic recipes based on a narrow range of research methods...

March 2, 2018
Sense and Accountability

Sense and Accountability

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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 27, 2018
Accountability

Assessment and accountability

Reading Time: Approx 3mins

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...