The TES is reporting that sample questions for the new tougher tests which will be taken at the end of primary school from 2016 have been released by the Department for Education today…
The number of tests pupils take at age 11 will remain the same, but assessments have been overhauled to bring them in line with the new curriculum which starts this September.
There will be tests in reading, mathematics and grammar, punctuation and spelling. A sample of pupils will also take a science test every two years.Teacher assessment has been used to gauge pupils’ ability in writing since 2012.
The changes to the maths tests have been particularly controversial. From 2016, pupils will sit a 30-minute arithmetic paper, rather than the current 20-question mental maths test, and two 40-minute problem-solving papers.
Topics on the new papers will include adding and subtracting fractions with different denominators and calculating the area of a parallelogram and a triangle.
The marking scheme will reflect the government’s insistence that students use standard long division and multiplication methods. Children who get the wrong answer to a calculation will still get marks if they used these methods in their workings, but not if they use ‘chunking’ for division or ‘grid method’ for multiplication.
Dr Sue Pope, chair of the general council of the Association of Teachers of Mathematics, said: “For schools to say, ‘right we will make sure everyone does long multiplication or long division’, for the sake of one or two marks is crackers….”
Calculators were banned from the tests from this year. A move which some academics have called a “backwards step” because it restricts the type of problems that can be asked.
But Elizabeth Truss, education minister, said that the changes were necessary to ensure that English pupils can keep up with their peers in the Far East…
The new tests will have a higher pass mark and rather than being reported in terms of the level reached, a scaled score will be used to show how each child has compared to their expected standard for their year. A score of 100 will represent the standard expected and parents will be provided with their child’s score alongside the average for their school, the local area and the country….
More (including question examples) at: Sample questions of tougher tests for 11-year-olds released today
Your thoughts on the new test and the insistence that students use long division and multiplication methods? Please let us know in the comments or via Twitter and take part in our poll…[yop_poll id=”236″]
Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link!