After a period of pandemic disruption, during which national assessments were heavily impacted, discussions around the value of primary testing came to the fore. Leaders and educators found themselves asking how they could best support progress, measure impact, and make the most of modern innovations without markers remaining in their traditional places.
The value of collaboration – to listen, understand and improve the learning journey – stands at the heart of our work with schools and settings across the UK. It is our ongoing mission to support every child, at every level; encouraging pupil development through both well-established and innovative testing approaches.
We firmly believe that, when used the right way, every assessment can bring a valuable boost of knowledge to schools, settings and educators, helping them build clearer understandings of pupil progress and support, and refine approaches to planning and teaching. By doing this, we can facilitate further progress and create fair and flourishing whole-school communities.
As part of our work to inspire new ideas, insights and interactions on this theme – exploring the thoughts of teachers and experts on a national level – Pearson was one of three sponsors of a recent report produced by the independent think tank, EDSK, Making progress: The future of assessment and accountability in primary schools. The report explored the topic of assessments and accountability in primary schools, while making a series of independently determined recommendations for change.
In support of this debate, we also hosted a free online roundtable event about primary assessment, providing a chance to connect and challenge within the wider community. Among the key themes that arose was the question of when to use assessments – and for what reason. Speakers discussed different assessment types – diagnostic-focused, accountability-focused, performance-focused – and stressed the importance of ensuring each was used for its intended purpose only.
Speakers also explored the value of online assessments versus their paper-based counterparts; debated the value of internal testing; raised the relevance of gathering data; considered their impacts on teacher workloads and pupil development, and posed that all-important question: What does good practice look like?
United by the aim to improve outcomes and progress for primary learners, there is plenty of common ground to be shared in the subject – and we’re eager to keep the conversation flowing in all areas. We look forward to sustaining the discussion with teachers, pupils and their families as we continue our commitment to inclusive spaces, diverse voices and thought-provoking developments both within, and outside, the primary community.
We will continue to offer further valuable updates, including expert insights from the evolving world of primary assessments. Follow us on Twitter @PearsonPrimary to keep up to date.