Development of year 6 NFER tests in reading, mathematics and grammar punctuation and spelling

What are the new year 6 NFER tests for?

The tests are being developed to assess the current national curriculum in year 6 reading, mathematics and GPS and will provide teachers with results which will allow their pupils’ progress from the end of year 5, through to the autumn and spring terms of year 6 to be benchmarked. The new tests will primarily have a diagnostic purpose, enabling teachers to identify areas of strength and weakness in their pupils’ learning during the terms preceding the national statutory KS2 tests (although standardised and age-standardised results will also form part of the output). We will also carry out an analysis which should enable teachers to use the results from the NFER tests to make predictions about each pupil’s future performance in the statutory assessments in the summer term.

Who is sponsoring NFER to carry out this work?

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) is self-funding this test development project.

How have schools been selected to take part?

NFER has drawn a nationally representative sample of around 1350 schools with age-appropriate pupils from across England to take part in the trial. All of the schools drawn in the sample have recently purchased year 5 NFER tests (the results from which will help to inform NFER’s analysis of results from the new year 6 tests).

What does taking part involve?

We would like the sampled schools’ help with the trial of the new tests this coming autumn term (22 October to 9 November) and again in the spring term of 2019, with classes of pupils who are starting year 6 this September. Schools can choose to enter their year 6 pupils into the English test trial (reading and GPS) or into the mathematics test trial.

Each pupil will be required to participate in the same subject in both the autumn term and the spring term trials. The tests are paper-based, following a similar format to the statutory KS2 tests, and NFER will send all of the necessary test materials to your school during the week prior to each trialling period. All marking of the tests will be carried out by NFER.

To enable NFER to analyse progress from the year 5 tests through year 6 to the end of KS2, it is important that schools involved in the trial of the new autumn and spring year 6 tests are also able to provide NFER with their current year 5 pupils’ NFER summer test results (taken by year 5 pupils during the current summer term). Additionally, we need those pupils’ end of year 6 national curriculum assessment results when they become available in July 2019.

How will NFER use and protect the data collected?

All information collected during this test development exercise will be kept confidential by NFER and no individual or school will be identified in any report. NFER will not disclose names of individuals or schools involved in the tests, either in any reports arising from the use of this data or in any other way.

Read the full privacy notice for this project here.

Who can be contacted for more information?

David Hereward: 01753 637352, d.hereward@nfer.ac.uk

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