The Unfairness of The KS1 Writing Tests


This morning I had a brief conversation with @SheliBB regarding the Key Stage 1 writing exemplification materials. Sheli expressed her concerns about workload for each child and also discussed a child who is working at the expected standard apart from letter reversals and poor handwriting due to dyslexia. Sheli was asking for thoughts on this matter.

I have watched this debate growing over the last couple of days and it has close parallels with the way assessment is conducted in special schools. As everyone knows, a huge number of children in our special schools are on P Scales and never reach the dizzy heights of Key Stage tests. The only way we can ensure our assessment is rigorous is to moderate across school and furthermore to moderate with other schools on a regional basis. It is quite common for our subject leaders to travel 30 miles to other special schools…

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On exclusion


This post is inspired by Lynn McCann @reachoutasc writing a poem about being different. As a girl I was always dreaming away in my room in a host of rhymes…mainly angst ridden and about love I had never known!!

At college I took a creative poetry course and produced a plethora of bad verse with an occasional hidden gem praised by my tutor!! At that time I adored the pared down songs of Susanne Vega singing about Marlene on the wall and yearned to be a successful writer with the world at my feet. The reality was somewhat different but I have never lost my love for poetry and that lovely release of the soul and hopeless search for one’s heart’s desires!

This is a poem I have written for the lost:

The government say I can never go back
I was sent away from all I had known

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Articulating messy thoughts

Most of you that have attended my training sessions, worked with me or even connected with myself via social media will know that the subject of looked after children is very close to my heart. I’ve lived with, looked after and worked with these children for many years now. Let’s just say that because of my experiences, I very rarely find my jaw descending towards the ground at rapid speed when I witness or read something about the system failing them.

Part of my previous role across police, education and care was to advise professionals working with looked after children on best practice and support – Things that actually worked. These workings were based on much research, experience and the often overlooked key element – Common sense. I was usually called when things were desperate.

Last week I was called to a crisis meeting regarding a child whose case I…

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