Following two years of significant changes to primary school assessment arrangements due to COVID 19 all assessments within KS1 and KS2 are back on track for the 2021-2022 academic year.
On the 11th October the Standards and Testing Agency (STA) published all the new guidance for KS1 and KS2 for summer 2022. In part 2 of this blog I have summarised the main points of the KS2 document with specific reference to children identified as SEND.
Part 2 – Key stage 2: assessment and reporting arrangements (ARA) 2022
Changes for 2021-2022
All existing statutory KS2 assessments will return in 2021/22, following their usual timetable.
- the end of KS2 assessments (including tests and teacher assessment)
- the year 4 multiplication tables check
- statutory trialling
If any changes are needed due to unprecedented circumstances beyond STA’s control, schools will be informed at the appropriate time, via the assessment update.
The DfE has announced that school-level data from the KS2 national curriculum assessments will not be published in performance tables in 2022. Results will be shared securely with primary schools, academy trusts, LAs and Ofsted for school improvement purposes.
Multiplication Tables Check (MTC)
From the 2021/22 academic year, the MTC is statutory for all year 4 pupils.
The engagement model replaces P scales 1-4 and is a new statutory teacher assessment tool for pupils working below the standard of the national curriculum and not engaged in subject-specific study. It should be used to assess pupils’ learning regularly throughout the year, enabling these pupils’ achievements and progress to be measured over time.
Schools must report to STA which pupils have been assessed using the engagement model when the pupil is at the end of KS2. This is so the DfE is aware of how many pupils are not engaged in subject-specific study and where they are being educated.
There will be no science sampling in 2021/22.
Braille versions of the English reading test
All KS2 tests are available in contracted braille. The English reading test will also be available in uncontracted braille, by request.
Teacher assessment moderation training
Online self-guided teacher assessment (TA) moderation training in English writing has been added to the Primary Assessment Gateway.
Monitoring of local authorities’ moderation
STA will no longer visit a sample of LAs during the moderation period to monitor their moderation processes and procedures.
Removal of ‘D’ codes for KS2 teacher assessment
The ‘D’ code, originally used to record where a pupil was ‘disapplied’ from the national curriculum assessments, has been withdrawn for KS2 TA.
The 2022 National tests (9th – 12th May)
The KS2 tests consist of:
- English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 1: questions
- English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 2: spelling
- English reading
- Mathematics Paper 1: arithmetic
- Mathematics Paper 2: reasoning
- Mathematics Paper 3: reasoning
Test Framework are available for each test. Although written for test developers, these may also be of interest to schools. Each framework sets out:
- what is assessed in the test
- how each element of the subject is assessed
- the structure of the tests
- a performance descriptor that describes the standard a pupil is expected to achieve on the test in each subject
Teachers should not use the test frameworks to guide teaching and learning. They do not provide information on how schools should teach the national curriculum.
Special schools, PRUs and secure units should place test orders on the Primary Assessment Gateway by Friday 19 November if any pupils are working at the standard of the tests and are able to access them.
Modified Test Papers
Standard booklets are A4 (297mm x 210mm) with multi-tonal diagrams and illustrations. STA also develops modified versions of the tests. They are primarily designed for pupils with significant visual impairments, although they may be suitable for pupils with other needs. A pupil is not required to have an identified special educational need or disability to use modified tests.
The modified tests available are:
- enlarged print versions, which are produced in a larger format booklet (364mm x 257mm) − all text, pictures and non-scaled diagrams are larger than the standard versions
- modified large print versions, which are in the larger format (364mm x 257mm), but more white space is present − some diagrams are substituted for a high contrast design or require the use of physical models
- braille versions, available in contracted (Grade 2) Unified English Braille (UEB) (297mm X 275mm) for the English Reading, GPS and mathematics, which are suitable for pupils with extremely limited or no vision − diagrams are produced in tactile formats or as physical models
- braille versions, available in uncontracted (Grade 1) braille UEB for KS2 English Reading only. Uncontracted braille is suitable for pupils who have not learnt to read contracted braille
All schools can order modified versions of the tests, in enlarged print, modified large print, contracted and uncontracted braille, using the modified test order form on the Primary Assessment Gateway, until Friday 19 November.
The tests are designed for pupils who have completed the KS2 programmes of study and are working at the overall standard of the tests. This means that if pupils are working above the pre-key stage standards, they should be entered for the tests. Most pupils taking the KS2 tests will be in year 6 and will reach the age of 11 by the end of the academic year. Teachers should use their knowledge of each pupil when considering whether to administer the tests to them. They may also use practice materials to inform these decisions.
Pupils who should not take the tests
Pupils should not take the tests if any of the following apply:
- they have not completed the relevant KS2 programme of study
- they are working at the pre-key stage 2 standards26 or being assessed using the engagement model
- they are working at the standard of the KS2 tests but are unable to participate, even when using suitable access arrangements
If the 2022 tests are incorrectly administered to pupils who should not have participated, their test scripts must be sent for marking. This includes if a pupil starts a test and is unable to complete it. Pupils will be awarded test outcomes based on their achievements in those tests and their results must be reported to parents.
Headteachers make the final decision about whether it is appropriate for a pupil to take the tests.
Pupils working below the overall standard of the tests (code ‘B’)
Pupils who are assessed as working below the overall standard of the KS2 tests should be registered as below the standard during pupil registration. This includes pupils who are not expected to reach this standard by May 2022. They should be marked as ‘B’ (working below the standard of the test) on the test attendance register and should not take the test.
Pupils working at the standard of the tests but who are unable to access them (code ‘U’)
Schools should consider using access arrangements to enable all pupils who are working at the overall standard of the tests to take them. If a pupil is working at the standard of the tests but is unable to access them, even with appropriate access arrangements, they must be registered on the Primary Assessment Gateway but should not take the test.
Some examples of pupils who may fit this category are:
- pupils who have a disability
- pupils with specific medical needs or who have spent time in hospital towards the end of the key stage
- pupils who have been educated at home or excluded from school and need time to adjust to regular school life
- pupils who are experiencing, or have recently experienced, severe emotional problems
KS2 tests are intended to assess pupils’ abilities in a fair and comparable way. They are designed so that most pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) can participate using the standard versions. However, a small number of pupils may need additional arrangements.
Access arrangements may be appropriate for pupils:
- with an education, health and care (EHC) plan
- for whom provision is being made in school using the SEN Support system
- whose learning difficulty or disability significantly affects their ability to access the tests
- who have behavioural, emotional or social difficulties
- with English as an additional language (EAL) and who have limited fluency in English
Arrangements requiring applications:
Schools must apply to STA, in advance, to request permission to use the following access arrangements:
- additional time
- early opening
- compensatory marks for spelling
Arrangements requiring notifications:
At the end of each test, test administrators should inform the headteacher about:
- any pupils who used a scribe, transcript, word processor or other technical or electronic aid
- who acted as the scribe or transcriber, if applicable
- whether the aid was used for all or part of the test
The following access arrangements may be used without prior approval, or the need to notify STA, providing they reflect normal classroom practice. Schools must have evidence to show that the pupil routinely receives this support in case of a monitoring visit.
- Written or oral translations
- Rest Breaks
- Accessibility objects in the mathematics test
- Highlighter pens
- Administering the tests at an alternative location
The support given during the tests must never advantage or disadvantage individual pupils. The school must have evidence that is the support provided is based on normal classroom practice. Schools could be subject to a maladministration investigation if they fail to use access arrangements appropriately.
Making modifications to tests
Before deciding to modify test materials, schools should consider whether modified tests provided by STA would meet the needs of the pupil. Schools should consider how much time they will need to make modifications. Schools can open test materials up to one hour before the administration of the tests if they need to make minor modifications (print on coloured paper) to the papers for particular pupils.
Teacher Assessment is based on a broad range of evidence from across the curriculum and knowledge of how a pupil has performed over time and in a variety of contexts. It is carried out as part of teaching and learning. Teachers must consider the pupil’s written, practical and oral classwork. The Teacher Assessment frameworks must be used to assess pupils who have completed the KS2 programmes of study in English writing and science and are working at the standard of the national curriculum assessments.
The KS2 English writing framework contains 3 standards:
- working towards the expected standard
- working at the expected standard
- working at greater depth
The KS2 Science framework has one standard:
- working at the expected standard.
Pre-key stage standards must be used for statutory assessment of pupils at the end of KS2 who are working below the overall standard of national curriculum assessments and engaged in subject-specific study, as well as for pupils who are working below the standard of the national curriculum assessments because they:
- have not completed the KS2 programmes of study but are still moving onto KS3 with their current year group (and are engaged in subject-specific study)
- cannot communicate in English (and are engaged in subject-specific study)
The pre-key stage 2 standards for English reading, English writing and mathematics are:
- Standard 6 (working at the KS1 expected standard)
- Standard 5 (working towards the KS1 expected standard)
- Standard 4
- Standard 3
- Standard 2
- Standard 1
In 2021/22, if a pupil is working below the standard of national curriculum assessments and not yet engaged in subject-specific study, they must be assessed using the engagement model at the end of KS2.
The engagement model is a teacher assessment tool that replaces P scales 1 – 4 and is formed of 5 areas of engagement: exploration, realisation, anticipation, persistence and initiation.
Each of the 5 areas are interrelated and should be used when assessing pupils who are not engaged in subject-specific study. From September 2021, schools are required to:
- use the engagement model to assess pupils who are working below the standard of national curriculum assessments and not engaged in subject-specific study at the end of KS2
- report to DfE which pupils have been assessed using the engagement model for KS2 – schools are not required to submit any other data to DfE about the progress of these pupils
The multiplication tables check (MTC) is an online assessment, designed to determine whether pupils can fluently recall their multiplication tables up to 12, through a set of 25 timed questions. It will identify pupils who have not yet mastered this mathematical skill so schools can give them additional support.
Schools can access the MTC service via DfE Sign-in from Monday 21 March, alongside publication of the multiplication tables check guidance. This will allow schools to review their pupil register and use the try it out area with their pupils. The check window opens on Monday 6 June for a 3-week period. All participating pupils must complete the check in this 3-week period. Schools are strongly encouraged to administer the check within the first 2 weeks, leaving the final week for pupils who were absent during the first 2 weeks or in case of any delays due to technical difficulties.
Schools should administer the check to all pupils in year 4, unless the headteacher decides it would not be appropriate for a pupil to take the check.
Pupils should not take the check if they:
- are absent during the entire 3-week check period
- are unable to access the check, even when using access arrangements
- are working below expectation for year 2 in multiplication tables and are considered unable to answer the easiest questions
- have just arrived in school during the check window, with EAL, and there is not enough time to establish the standard at which they are working
- have been incorrectly registered for the check
The headteacher’s decision regarding participation is final.
On 8th November the STA updated two pieces of guidance for the multiplication tables check, taking place in June 2022
A range of access arrangements will be available to support pupils. Further information will be published in the MTC guidance. Schools do not need to request permission from STA to use access arrangements for the MTC. However, the support given must not advantage or disadvantage individual pupils. Pupils should use the try it out area with the devices they will use, with any access arrangements enabled, to ensure they are familiar with the check.
Special Educational Provision
Schools must use their best endeavours to ensure that special educational provision is made for those pupils who need it. Schools must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services, to ensure that any disadvantage to disabled pupils, compared to their peers, is minimised