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Product Review – Assessing Primary Writing

  • Product Review – Assessing Primary Writing

Time-saving standardised and nationally benchmarked writing assessment for Y1-6 from No More Marking.

At a glance

  • Digital subscription service that uses a comparative judgement approach
  • Upload and assess writing in national judging windows to get whole-school and nationally benchmarked data
  • Measure the progress of cohorts accurately across the entire primary phase
  • Compare attainment and progress of different year groups

Summative assessments can be a pain in the neck, especially those based on the quality model, such as extended pieces of writing. Assessing creative and open-ended tasks can be complicated, time-consuming and sometimes feels pointless because there is too much subjective smog and inconsistency to establish any sense of shared meaning.

Popularised and championed by prominent educationalist Daisy Christodoulou, comparative judgement (CJ) is described as an elegant solution to teacher decision-making. It’s an assessment approach that promises radical changes to the way we evaluate students’ work.

This involves comparing a series of two pieces of work side-by-side to establish a measurement scale and so avoids absolute judgements against unhelpful rubrics. CJ taps into our intuitive modes of thinking so is faster and more reliable.

CJ forms part of a movement summed up by the company name of software specialists No More Marking.

It has developed a CJ algorithm and engine for assessing primary writing which allows you to get standardised information on tasks in three easy steps: upload scripts, judge and compare two pieces of writing, then benchmark attainment and progress.

What Assessing Primary Writing allows you to do is upload and assess your pupils’ writing in six national judging windows. It is this that enables you to get whole-school and nationally benchmarked data.

You judge your own pupils against each other or you judge pupils from other schools with each other – never your pupils with other schools. What you get back are scores and grades for every child, including full progress reports aggregated by school, gender and pupil premium status.

It might be hard to believe, but by using CJ a group of teachers can actually assess the writing of an entire year group in 20 minutes.

Assessment has changed and it doesn’t have to break you into a thousand pieces, so stop marking assessments and judge them instead. If you want to make a 75% time saving then CJ is for you.

It’s time to leave the marking mindset, ditch the reliance on descriptor-based assessment and enter the judging zone for some direct comparison.

This project resource is a practical, valid and highly dependable alternative to slow, analytical marking. It’s a workload wonder supported by assessment experts who really know their stuff.

Verdict

  • Saves time and supports progression and intervention planning
  • Cancels out bias so it is efficient, reliable, fair and meaningful
  • Reduces the assessment burden
  • Avoids the tick-list approach to assessing writing
  • Fast, intuitive and tacit

Upgrade if…

You are looking to avoid bias and move beyond traditional marking and moderation in order to gain a clearer understanding of what excellence looks like.

Assessing Primary Marking is priced at £595 plus VAT, find out more at nomoremarking.com.


Reviewed by John Dabell

Pie Corbett