Taking part in our research

Helping us make a difference

Item Validation Trials of key stage 2 levels 3-5 test materials: English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling, mathematics and science 

Project code: STAK

What are the purposes and aims of the project? 

The aim of the project is to trial new material for English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling, mathematics and science items for use in future key stage 2 assessments.

Who is sponsoring NFER to carry out this work?

The Standards and Testing Agency (STA), which is responsible for developing national curriculum tests on behalf of Department for Education (DfE).

How have schools been selected to take part?

STA has drawn a representative sample of schools with age-appropriate children.

Do schools have to take part?

Participation in this project is entirely optional.

What does taking part involve?

One year 6 class from each assisting school will participate in the trial.  Schools will be randomly assigned either the English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling, mathematics or science items to trial. 

An NFER administrator would bring the materials to the school and remain in school to administer the tests. The trialling date would be at the school’s convenience during the period 16 June to 4 July 2014.

How will schools benefit from taking part?

Support from schools is crucial in helping us to develop these tests and we are able to offer £100 to schools that are able to help. Participating pupils will also receive a pen and certificate as acknowledgment for their help with this trialling.

We are regrettably unable to give feedback to the schools who take part in these trials as the relationship between test scores and national curriculum levels is not calculated until after the trials, and is based on trial evidence. Any results for the pupils who take part in this and similar trials could give misleading data.

How will NFER use and protect the data collected?

All information relating to this project will be kept confidential by NFER and STA and no individual or school will be identified in any report. The NFER will need to supply the STA with a list of the schools that agree to take part in the trial and their pupil data to allow the random sampling of pupils and matching of results to national pupil data. NFER and STA will not disclose names of individuals or schools involved in the trial either in any reports arising from the use of this data or in any other way.

Who can be contacted for more information?

Emily Redman: 01753 63 7179, e.redman@nfer.ac.uk
Jessica Webb: 01753 63 7377, j.webb@nfer.ac.uk