Better than testing

WELSH primary teachers believe that assessment is a more accurate means of measuring pupils' attainment than national tests, according to a new study.

As part of a study of key stage 2 results academics questioned primary teachers as their former pupils joined a comprehensive school.

"Our teacher assessments represent a much more accurate profile of a pupil's academic ability," said one respondent.

Another agreed, adding: "We use the test levels to confirm our own assessments."

The study, conducted by Rosemary Davis, an academic at Oxford Brookes University, and David Rolfe Hopkins, a teacher, also found that key stage 2 tests create stress for both teachers and pupils.

"We're rushed off our feet... our pupils leave feeling exhausted," said one teacher.

Most had also detected a steady decline in pupils' long-term memory. Several attributed this to teaching methods that cater for the short-term demands of national tests.

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