Taking part in our research
Technical pre-tests of Key Stage 1 test materials
Project code: STRI
What are the purposes and aims of the project?
The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has been commissioned by the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) to trial test materials for assessment at Key Stage 1.
As part of that process we are asking a number of schools to trial new English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS), and mathematics tests. The trial is aimed at testing the performance of individual questions rather than the performance of any pupil, in order that schools can have confidence that Key Stage 1 tests function appropriately for pupils in Year 2 and that the results will be valid and reliable.
How have schools been selected to take part?
The schools have been randomly selected by the STA and make up a nationally representative sample. If your school has been selected we will have written to your headteacher and, if your school is LA maintained, we will have informed your LA that your school has been selected.
Please note that from 2016, participation in these trials is statutory.
For more information please go to: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/introduction-of-statutory-participation-in-trialling-of-national-curriculum-tests-from-2016
What does being selected to take part involve?
Your school will be asked to trial a test for either Key Stage 1 English reading, English GPS or mathematics.
Class teachers will be responsible for administering the test. Please note that, due to the highly confidential nature of the materials, this guidance will have to be provided on the day of testing. Therefore, it is important to ensure that teachers plan for sufficient time prior to testing to review and familiarise themselves with the guidance for administrating the test. We will arrange for a representative from the NFER to come to your school to support the class teacher with the administration of the tests.
The test should be given to pupils that will be entered for the Key Stage 1 statutory assessments, in the appropriate subject, in May 2017. The date of the trialling will be arranged at your convenience in the period 18 April to 5 May 2017.
Each school will be asked to trial the tests in one subject only. The tests will take the following form in each subject.
- Key Stage 1 English reading – each pupil will take one reading test comprising two test papers lasting 30 and 40 minutes
- Key Stage 1 English GPS – each pupil will take one test comprised of a spelling paper lasting 15 minutes and a question paper lasting 25 minutes
- Key Stage 1 mathematics – each pupil will take one test comprising an arithmetic paper lasting 25 minutes and a reasoning paper lasting 35 minutes.
At the end of the administration, the class teacher will be required to complete a short questionnaire giving their opinion of the content of the tests.
How will my school benefit from being selected for the trials?
A member of your staff will be able to see what future assessments may look like and will have the opportunity to provide input into the development of the tests. Feedback from your school will give the STA a very good idea of what content to include in final examination papers.
Test scores will not be calculated until after the trials and because they are based on trial evidence there is a possibility that children’s results could give misleading data. For this reason, we are regrettably unable to give feedback to the schools who take part in the development of tests. However, participating children will receive a pencil and certificate as acknowledgment for their help with these trials.
How will NFER use and protect the data collected from my school?
For the purpose of this trial, STA will provide NFER with census data for participating schools and pupils. Schools will only be asked to provide data for new pupils and to make any amendments to existing data. All data collected will be held in strict confidence by NFER and the STA, and no individual school or child will be identified in any report arising from the trial.
Who can you contact for more information?
Our aim is that your experience of taking part in the trial is a positive one and we are on hand to support you throughout if required. Please feel free to contact our team on 01753 637440 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries or require further information.