Sum up

John Dabell recommends a package to help with key stage 1 and 2 assessment

Numeracy Assessments: Reception and Key Stage 1, pound;39.85. Key stage 2, Pack 1 and 2, pound;49.95.

pound;84.80 when bought together.

SP Educational Services Freepost NWW 3280A, Blackburn BB1 8ZY Email:

Summative assessments are controversial but their value cannot be denied in providing some indication of a child's learning. The myriad tests available make selecting a reliable package difficult. However, SP Education Services provides an extremely useful set of resources.

So what are the ingredients for producing assessment materials that are practical, uncomplicated and inexpensive? Take one headteacher and one deputy head, mix their years of experience and serve. And the outcome? A healthy portion of credibility and intellect wrapped in a co-ordinated and structured resource that will benefit all schools looking to furnish their resources bank without breaking the bank.

The Numeracy Assessments have been created to test children's knowledge and understanding of key objectives in the National Numeracy Strategy. The tests have been constructed to be administered at the end of each half-term and will provide a worthwhile guide to pupil progress when used in addition to other forms of assessment. They are presented in black and white format with good, useful child-friendly illustrations.

A useful feature of the resource is that the notes are succinct and do not waste time. The teachers' notes provide an overview of the pack, instructions and sensible advice. The reception assessments contain a picture stimulus with questions to be asked individually or of small groups. The Year 1 and Year 2 assessments are based on written and oral tests and are completed in small groups. The key stage 2 tests are presented as A4 booklets for independent use.

The assessments are easy to mark and results achieved can be recorded on a manageable "objectives grid".

A key feature of a quality assessment tool is whether it can help future teaching. The simple grid format will enable teachers to see at a glance what pupils have learned and what needs going back to. This is a no-nonsense, functional and proven package that will help teachers make evaluations in conjunction with more dynamic formative assessments.

John Dabell is maths co-ordinator at Derby High Junior School, Derby

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