Professor Donaldson has clearly recognised the role of standardised assessments in the new curriculum
‘Teaching standards in Wales “are not fit for purpose”’. When I saw this headline I was taken aback. It seemed negative and unfair in light of the way so many schools and teachers in Wales have welcomed the Donaldson Review and are working to hone and extend their skills and knowledge to be ready for the introduction of the new curriculum. Many are dedicating lots of extra time and energy to attending meetings and training sessions as part of this preparation.
One aspect of the work being done, which I thought especially important, was an effort to keep the best teachers in the classroom, offering them real progression and reward without having to move into a management role. In the medium and longer term this will really help attainment.
However, one area of teachers’ skills that is known to need more professional development in Wales is assessment, especially as teacher assessment will be at the heart of Successful Futures. Professor Donaldson has clearly recognised the role of standardised assessments in the new curriculum and our new blog by Finola Wilson (Director at Impact Wales) makes a clear case for how judicious use of testing, and importantly good use of the resulting data, can benefit students and support teachers in their own judgements. Our own ‘whole pupil’ view emphasises the encompassing role teachers’ judgements play with a wide range of assessment options, including standardised assessment, contributing to produce the best outcome for each child.
By Sue Thompson, Senior Publisher, GL Assessment
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Mirkka Jokelainen addresses the question how can we ask students to demonstrate thinking skills and the ability to apply knowledge by ticking a box?