What role for the three Rs? Progress and attainment during primary school
(2007) Kathryn Duckworth
Wider Benefits of Learning Research Report No.23
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This study builds on earlier work by the Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning, and explores the balance of change and stability in children’s school test scores during primary school. We consider how the foundation stones of literacy and numeracy operate to support progress in Key Stage attainment, looking at within- and between-subject effects for literacy, numeracy and science.
In line with other research, we find that Key Stage 1 tests are the best predictors of attainment at Key Stage 2. Overall, there is substantial stability over the Key Stage 2 period, but also mobility, both upward and downward, in pupils’ performance.
Progress and attainment were also moderated by socio-economic factors. Children from more socially advantaged homes, on average, do better in both Key Stage 1 and 2 assessments. However, for children of parents with lower levels of education, doing well in Key Stage 1 tests, particularly in maths, is more important (i.e. more predictive of later attainment) than for other groups.
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