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National Numeracy and Reading Tests and Personalised Assessments

Please find attached important information relating to the arrangements for the Personalised Assessments and National Tests 2019.

Dear Colleague

We are quickly approaching the 2018-2019 National Test period and the first time for Reading and Numerical Reasoning only to be in paper format, with Personalised Assessments in place for Procedural Numeracy. I am therefore writing to share all the necessary details with you.

Paper tests: the test window for 2019 is Primary schools: 7th-14th May 2019; Secondary schools: 29th April-14th May 2019.

Personalised Assessments: school have the flexibility to schedule the National Numeracy PAs (Procedural) at any point during the academic year that they consider most beneficial to inform learning and teaching. Learners are required to take the assessment once during 2018-2019 academic year. Schools have the option to use the assessment once more during the academic year. (Page 19 National Reading and Numeracy Tests- Test Administration handbook 2018-19)

The assessments website will be available from the first week of December 2018. The website will be accessed by staff members and learners via Hwb, WG’s online Learning Platform, using their Hwb logins.

I would like to draw your attention to the Test Administration Handbook for 2019, which was published on the Learning Wales website in November. For ease of reference the link is here for you:

http://learning.gov.wales/resources/browse-all/national-reading-and-numeracy-tests-administration-handbook/?lang=en

This document contains all the important information you will require to successfully deliver the tests and Personalised Assessments.  I should like to reiterate WG’s view, as outlined on p.2 of the guidance,

The National Reading and Numeracy Tests are for formative use so that teachers in all maintained schools have information on the reading and numeracy skills of their learners and a common understanding of strengths and areas for improvement in these skills. The National Tests are focused on understanding learner progress, and not school performance or accountability.

In order to achieve this, it is very important that learners are not drilled beforehand.  I would strongly discourage you from using teaching time to revise for the tests, and from setting  past years’ papers as homework, as this not only causes unnecessary stress for pupils, but also has the potential to mask areas for improvement that teaching staff will need to be aware of.

Key dates for 2018-19

http://learning.gov.wales/resources/collections/national-reading-and-numeracy-tests?lang=en

Tests dispatched to schools

Primary schools: week commencing 29th April 2019
Secondary Schools: week commencing 8th April 2019

Testing timetables must be submitted to tests@gwegogledd.cymru  by 12th April 2019.  Please complete the proforma attached to this letter. If you have to amend the timetable at any point you must inform us at the same email address, and also inform parents.

Schools administer tests
Primary schools: 7–14 May 2018
Secondary schools: 29 April – 14 May 2018

Please be aware of the changes here: Middle schools and other settings with learners in years 2-9, may administer the year 7-9 National Numeracy Tests (Reasoning) and the years 7-9 National Reading Tests from 29th April 2019.

Last Date for Data upload
As set by local authority

Results/feedback to schools
Paper tests: before the end of the summer term
Personalised Assessments: feedback on individuals will be available on the assessment website one day after the assessments are completed.

The sitting of an individual test – e.g. the Y2/3 and Y4/5 Reading Test – should take place on the same day.

Support
To raise any queries about information in this handbook, schools can contact the
Test Order Helpline on 029 2026 5327 or wgto@nationaltests.cymru.

Supported Marking Sessions
Supported marking sessions for the Numerical Reasoning test will be held for Secondary schools, organised and delivered by NFER, who will contact schools directly with details of how to register. Primary school sessions will be held locally from the afternoon of 14th May 2019 (details to follow via email to all schools, G6 and GwE Bulletin).

Disapplication
This will only be relevant in the case of a small minority of pupils in mainstream schools and specifically for the paper based tests. Please take time to consider the full range of access arrangements suggested in Annex 5 p. 44 of the ‘Test Administration Guidance’. Should you decide that disapplication is the only route available to you for an individual pupil, please email tests@gwegogledd.cymru  to ask for further guidance. NB – signed approval will be required by 22nd of March 2019.

Monitoring
We will be visiting a sample of schools before and during the paper based test administration window, to monitor compliance with the guidance. Local Authorities are required by Welsh Government to monitor the implementation of the tests in schools, as part of their wider responsibilities, in relation to assessment and they have asked GwE to undertake this on their behalf. Below you will find (for information only) the criteria that will be used by those individuals who will be involved in this task.

This will also include the monitoring of the Personalised Assessments, which will occur from January 2019 onwards. Please see below:

“Monitoring of how schools are implementing the Personalised Assessments may take place at any time. Monitoring visits will focus on promoting good practice in the use of the assessments and on how the information about learner’s skills, provided by the assessments, has been used to plan learning and teaching.”

(page 24 of National Reading and Numeracy Tests – Test Administration Handbook 2018-19)

I know that I can, as always, be confident in asking you for your support and cooperation if your school is selected for a visit during this period.

 Headteacher’s Declaration for Paper based tests
Within seven school days of the final date for data submission, the Head teacher must sign and submit a declaration to the regional consortium confirming that the test packs were received and stored securely, that the tests were administered correctly according to the requirements set out in the NT administration handbook (this handbook), and that the tests were marked in accordance with the mark scheme. A downloadable declaration form is available at www.learning.wales.gov.uk/resources/browse-all/headteachers-declaration/?lang=en

Kind regards

Arwyn Thomas
Managing Director, GwE Gogledd Cymru

Criteria for monitoring visits 2019

PRE-TEST VISIT:

Has the delivery of the tests been checked against the delivery note?
Has the disk and the teacher script for the numeracy reasoning test been issued to the member of staff who will be responsible for test administration in each class/year group?
Have the boxes containing the tests been resealed??
Are the boxes containing the tests stored in a secure place where no learner has access to or sight of the test content??
Has the school checked that the disk required to deliver the numeracy reasoning test is fully functional?

VISIT DURING THE TESTING PERIOD:

Are learners able to work undisturbed and individually?
Do learners have access to materials that could, with reference to the test content, give them an unfair advantage, e.g. wall displays or similar classroom resources, mobile telephones?
Are learners reminded that the work they produce in the tests must be their own and that they should not discuss questions or copy answers?
Are learners given the appropriate length of time to complete the test, with reference to the timings given in the test manuals?
Are learners reminded that they should not discuss the content of the tests or the answers outside their immediate peer group?
Is there appropriate supervision at all times proportionate to the number of learners being supervised?
Do learners have access to the test materials and all necessary resources?
Is the test administered according to the guidance given in the handbook and with regard to the information in the test manuals?
Is any additional support, information or help given to learners with the content of the tests, other than in line with the provisions of the National Reading and Numeracy Tests – access and disapplication arrangements guidance?
Are learners aware of what they are required to do and the time they will be given to complete the test?
Are learners allowed to return to and revise their answers to the tests after the allotted time has passed?
If any pupils have been disapplied from the test, has written approval been secured?