Case Studies Formative English & maths assessment in schools for Rising Stars

Schools UK Trialling


AlphaPlus has worked on a number of projects with Hodder Education and Rising Stars, leading publishers of books, teaching resources and assessment that support primary teachers and learners.

We have worked for several years with the team at Hodder Education supporting their development of outstanding school assessment resources. Here are some examples of projects we have led:

Marking scripts for a research project

We scored 4000 Year 2 Reading Tests and standardised the results to support a KS1 assessment project run by University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast

PIRA Test Development

We developed, pre-tested and standardised termly KS3 English Reading tests for Years 7, 8 and 9, in order to:

  • assess reading and language elements of the English national curriculum from year 7 to year 9
  • provide high quality calibrated assessment data for all pupils, for use in a variety of contexts
  • provide termly standardised scores in reading and at topic level, providing information about which pupils are on track to achieve target results in GCSE examinations
  • provide diagnostic information in reading and language performance for individuals and groups

Optional Tests – Standards Setting and Regression

We analysed threshold test scores on existing Rising Stars tests as part of standard setting processes to align with national tests.

PUMA Project

We developed and standardised maths tests as part of the PUMA series at KS3. The tests are offered to pupils termly in years 7 to 9 and assess the national curriculum alongside the existing PiRA and GaPS tests. The tests were standardised using nationally representative samples of over 1000 pupils for each test and calibrated to a single standard scale.

Optional Tests Validation

We validated a suite of tests for use in primary schools, in the Maths, Reading and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS).

Our role

We supported Rising Stars with a turnkey service in:

  • Test development
  • Trialling of new tests, including recruiting and managing schools
  • Calibration and standardisation
  • Marking and analysis of results