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RS Assessment from Hodder Education Blog

3 ways to reduce unnecessary workload with standardised tests
By Katie Blainey
03 Feb

It may sound unintuitive that termly testing can ultimately reduce workload for teachers and increase students’ learning, but it is worth considering. Increasingly, secondary schools and MATs are adopting standardised tests to support informed teaching and save time. Here are just 3 reasons why…

1. They create a shared language

Adopting a consistent approach to assessment, particularly one that has been independently standardised, provides a common language across a school. Rather than each year group using their own categorisations, or potentially their own assessments, using the same tests thorughout Key Stage 3 generates the same trusted results with a common spine between classes. This creates transparency across a school, which is key when looking to quickly understand whether your whole class or cohort is on track.

2. They provide comparative data

The outcomes of standardised tests have been nationally referenced, meaning results both within year and between years provide schools with easy-to-compare data. This provides reliable evidence as to whether a student is on track, or in need or further support. Over time this comparative data can help inform better planning and free up more time for teaching.

3. They enable quick, formative analysis

As James Pembroke says, “In addition to monitoring standards – and perhaps more importantly – such assessments provide teachers with a rich source of item level analysis, which can reveal those critical gaps in learning that need to be addressed, both at individual and cohort level.” This level of formative information can mean more time is spent helping a child learn than in diagnosing an area of weakness.

The Independent Teacher Workload Review Group’s advice for data management emphasises collecting and using the right data; standardised test outcomes can support this by providing a measure that can be used for attainment, progress and diagnostics.

If you’re interested in standardisation and want to learn more about our termly, standardised tests, make sure to visit our pages on Reading and Mathematics


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