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RS Assessment from Hodder Education Blog

Baselining and screening a new Year 7 cohort: how AMT and ART can help
By RS Assessment from Hodder Education
21 Sep

At the start of every new academic year, many schools will be thinking about how to assess their new intake of students from feeder primaries. Of course, reviewing SATs results and any other data and information handed over all has its part to play, and for many leadership teams this will suffice, but others may be looking for extra diagnostic information to get their new pupils off to a flying start.

Access Reading Tests and Access Mathematics Tests are firm favourites amongst RS Assessment from Hodder Education customers and have grown in popularity in recent years. The tests are wide-ranging, so suitable for a variety of students with diverse prior achievements, and can be quickly administered to a whole cohort to gauge existing knowledge and skills in Reading and Mathematics.

Once administered, teachers can review and analyse a variety of outcomes generated by the papers: these include standardised scores, age-standardised scores, and reading/maths ages. This enables schools to compare their new intake against a national benchmark.

The above can all be generated either manually by using the print guide to the tests, or more quickly using MARK, our free online marking and reporting platform. MARK allows teachers to quickly enter results and then generate reports in PDF and spreadsheet format to digest the wealth of information provided.

This information can be used for many purposes: some schools will use the results to organise pupils into sets, and others will compare against existing data to verify the reliability of other information provided. Information on gaps in learning allows teachers to plan ahead appropriately and efficiently.

We know that SENCOs find the data hugely helpful in identifying pupils who may be in need of extra support and can use the information as a basis for deciding whether further assessment is required – or whether they have sufficient information to plan interventions as is.

The nature of the tests, which are comprised of two parallel forms to enable repeat testing, mean that any interventions put in place can be monitored, and progress that pupils make can be evidenced. Where necessary, test results can also be used to apply for access arrangements by forming part of JCQ Part 1, Form A. Many schools have been successfully using ART for this purpose for many years.

All of these tests are available to take online as interactives – a time-saving option that has proved to be very popular with teachers who appreciate the auto-marking function and instantly-generated reports.

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