Category Archives: Assesssment

Have you seen our apps for Luc et Sophie?

Our new series for teaching French to primary children (7-11 years old) comes with apps which work on computers, interactive whiteboards and on most tablets. We have deliberately written software which is generic, which should work on every type of computer regardless of age and model. You don’t need to be a computer expert or a French expert to use the software!

Learn French with Luc et Sophie is a story-based approach to teaching French. There are 14 specially written French stories in each part. Each story is available as an illustrated book, and as an app (interactive pdf with audio), and as an audio track on a cd. If you’re not confident at speaking French, you can use the pre-recorded audio in the app, or on the audio cd. The audio tracks are acted out by native French speakers.

There are also songs, listening exercises, vocabulary lists, interactive sentence building activities for use on smartboards and laptops, reading passages and games. All of this is explained in much more detail in the comprehensive teacher’s book which accompanies each part. The stories are available on their own, or bundled with the apps and Teacher’s Book.

Why not TRY before you BUY? Download SAMPLE PAGES from our website:

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Filed under Assesssment, Brilliant Publications, French, Gifted and Talented, Key Stage 2, lesson plans, National Curriculum, Primary school, Teaching Ideas

A vague curriculum needn’t mean vague progress

What is the most effective way of interpreting the requirements of the KS2 Programmes of Study for Foreign Languages?

The requirements of the KS2 Programmes of Study for Foreign Languages are somewhat vague. Indeed, how do you translate ‘speak in sentences, using familiar vocabulary, phrases and basic language structures’ into a four-year scheme of work? It is very much open to interpretation.

Not to mention how one might go about interpreting pupils’ progress – what exactly does ‘substantial progress’ look like?

Fortunately, Assessing Primary Languages is a tried and tested resource which has found answers to these questions by breaking the Programmes of Study into achievable, understandable objectives which are then cross-referenced across a total of four stages.

What’s more, the clearly laid out framework makes it possible to implement a unified tracking approach so that measuring pupils’ progress is effortless and, as such, can be used to plan subsequent lessons.

Both specialist and non-specialist teachers will find this rigorous tool, which contains a large number of creative and adaptable ready-to-use activities, to be invaluable.

For more information or to order Assessing Primary Languages for £37.99, simply visit: 

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Filed under Assesssment, Brilliant Publications, French, German, Italian, Key Stage 2, lesson plans, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), National Curriculum, Primary school, Spanish, Teaching Ideas

What crazy rules for using exclamation marks!

According to the latest guidance issued by the DFE, pupils will only receive marks for using exclamation marks if the sentence starts with ‘What’ or ‘How’.

The guidance suggests “What a lovely day!” or “How exciting!” as acceptable examples.

“A sentence that ends in an exclamation mark, but which does not have one of the grammatical patterns shown above, is not considered to be creditworthy as an exclamation (e.g. exclamatory statements, exclamatory imperatives, exclamatory interrogatives or interjections),” it says.

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Filed under Assesssment, English, News

Online multiplication tests for 11 year olds

Nicky Morgan has announced that 11 year olds will be given an online test to check that they know their multiplication tables.

While I think it is essential that children know their times tables, I worry that this will result in more rote learning and testing rather than in a true understanding of mathematics.

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Filed under Assesssment, Key Stage 2, Mathematics, News

Do new test arrangements contravene rights of SEND pupils?

Barney Angliss, SEND co-ordinator at Rydens Enterprise School in Surrey, feels they do. He has written to the children’s commissioner, Anne Longfield, to say the recommendation goes against the Equality Act and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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Filed under Assesssment, News, Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)

How useful are times tables tests?

In the drive to raise standards, the National Curriculum in England has now said that children need to know their times tables to x12 by the end of Year 4 (two years earlier than in the previous National Curriculum). This, not surprisingly, has led to more testing to ensure that children can tell you that 7×8=56 and 6×9=54.

9780857476296 The Mighty Multiples Times Table Challenge Brilliant Publications

The Mighty Multiples Times Table Challenge

Professor Boaler from Stanford University recently caused a stir by saying that children found times table tests stressful and that they should be banned. This immediately caused a furore of people accusing her being against raising standards in education.

But this is misunderstanding what Prof Boaler’s research has shown (see attached article). She does not say that children shouldn’t learn their times tables. She isn’t saying that they aren’t important and fundamental building block for future study of mathematics.

What Prof Boaler is arguing against are the tests themselves. By over-emphasising times tables tests, we develop in children the wrong attitude towards maths with a “narrow and impoverished” focus on getting the right answers fast.

Prof Boaler continues: “We need to free our young people from the crippling idea that they must not fail, that they cannot mess up, that only some students can be good at maths and that success should be easy and not involve effort.”

Maths is so much more than that, and an essential life skill. Yes, we need to know if children have learned their times tables. But before we start grilling children on their times tables, we need to ensure that they’ve grasped the concept of multiplication (and its relationship to addition and division). They need to be shown concrete and abstract examples of multiplication in a variety of interesting ways. They need to be given opportunities to apply multiplication to real life situations.

That is what I love about The Mighty Multiples Times Table Challenge. It provides a fresh approach to learning times tables and will help all children to feel that they can do maths and – most importantly – that maths is fun.

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Filed under Assesssment, Mathematics

KS1 teacher assessment requirements

The government has just released the requirements for moderation of teacher assessments at KS1.


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Filed under Assesssment, Key Stage 1