Blogs

The latest thoughts, insight and ideas from both the AQi and a range of other sources. Get in touch if you have a viewpoint or research you think we should include.

Assessment

The Birth of GCSEs: Four decades on, what were the reasons for GCSEs?

With the exam season nearing its end, Andrew Taylor, AQA’s Head of Mathematics, outlines the reasons why GCSEs were created.

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Assessment

Making the grades – How does an exam turn into a qualification?

AQi considers how exam boards make sure that grades reflect the hard work and effort put in by students.

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Assessment

What was education like when the Queen ascended to the throne in 1952?

For Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, AQA looks back on what education and exams were like in 1952.

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Assessment

Journey of a script – What happens after students put their pens down?

What happens after an exam is finished? AQi explains how they are turned into grades, in a matter of weeks.

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Assessment

Making up an exam: How does a question paper get made?

With this year’s exam season kicking off, AQi explores the processes that help create the final exam papers that end up on students’ desks.

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Assessment

A National Baccalaureate for England?

AQi looks at the National Baccalaureate Trust's recent proposals for introducing a national baccalaureate in England.

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Assessment

A post-16 perspective on the EBacc

Eddie Playfair, Association of Colleges, provides a personal view of the education system, informed by decades of teaching and advising post-16 students.

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Assessment

What do teachers think of the EBacc?

Digging deeper into the views of secondary school teachers.

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Levelling Up

Careers advice: Why is it important and how to improve it?

AQi looks at a recent report on careers advice in England and explores the challenges and opportunities for helping students find their right track.

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Assessment

The role of assessment in meritocracy

A recent book on meritocracy highlights how it has always gone hand in hand with fair assessment.

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EDI

Getting in and getting on: Encouraging students to aim high and succeed

Susie Whigham, CEO of The Brilliant Club, writes about supporting students to develop the skills and confidence to progress to university and succeed when they are there – crucial factors for social mobility.

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Assessment

A New Era? NEU comments on the Independent Assessment Commission

The Independent Assessment Commission published its final report recently. Andy Case from the NEU explains their findings.

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Assessment

High speed internet in all schools? A key ingredient for on-screen assessment

The government has announced that every school in England will have access to high speed internet. What does this mean for on-screen assessment?

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Assessment

Open-book exams: what does the evidence say?

Amid debate around the merits of open-book exams, AQi examines some of the evidence.

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Levelling Up

The skills agenda: signs of what’s ahead

The progress of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill through Parliament is yielding lively debate on the future of skills policy.

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Assessment

Can digital technology transform assessment practices?

The transformative power of digital technology in formative assessment

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Creative Arts and 21st Century Skills

What are the benefits to studying the Creative Arts?

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Assessment

Time to rethink the use of tiering in GCSEs?

What do students feel about being split into tiers for their GCSEs? Dr Rhian Barrance summarises her recent research.

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EDI

Economics: Where are all the girls?

What can we do about the gender imbalance in Economics?

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Assessment

Who is responsible for Digital Literacy?

With the rise of digital and on-screen assessment, how can students be prepared?

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Levelling Up

Levelling Up qualifications and assessment

What does the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper mean for qualifications and assessment?

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EDI

How can History be made more diverse?

With growing scrutiny of history curricula, how can we make sure History doesn’t reinforce outdated views?

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Assessment

How Hard is it to Learn Soft Skills?

Everyone agrees that soft skills are important, but what is the best way to assess them?

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Levelling Up

Levelling Up the EBacc

A panel debate on the EBacc organised by AQi, the assessment and qualifications insight hub

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Assessment

The SAT Goes Digital – A Sign of Things to Come?

One of the most famous exams in the world is going digital.

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Assessment

Digital assessment: why we’re closer than we think

With continued technological development, it’s time to explore the potential of digital assessment in earnest.

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Assessment

Accessing the curriculum at home

What lessons are there from Covid-19 that could benefit home education in future?

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Assessment

What role is there for students in assessment and curriculum debate?

Should students and young people be involved in education debates? What value can they bring?

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Levelling Up

Which students take degrees they’re overqualified for?

Could some students be at a more selective university or on a more financially rewarding degree? Stuart Campbell and Gill Wyness, UCL Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, explore.

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Assessment

The 1963 Newsom Report – Looking back, and to the future

The lessons of education policy past for the present day

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Assessment

Learning Loss: What is the evidence for extending the School Day?

Amid debate about extending the school day to address Covid disruption, AQi looks at the evidence

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Assessment

Four key ingredients for a high-quality assessment

The top things to consider when writing assessments

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Assessment

Qualifications and Assessments 2021 – Year in Review

After a second summer of exam cancellations, AQi speaks with education leaders to review the year

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Assessment

The complex case of Post-Qualification Admissions

Is technology the key to unlocking ‘post qualification’ reform to university admissions?

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EDI

How to ensure diversity in English Literature?

How can we achieve a truly diverse curriculum for English Literature?

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Assessment

Should students sit fewer GCSEs?

Amid debate about the 'right' number of GCSEs, AQi explores the pros and cons of sitting fewer GCSEs

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Mental Health

Young Peoples’ Mental Health: Seven Key Facts

Evaluating the link between mental health, Covid-19 and KS4 assessment

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Assessment

Four Key Facts for the new Social Mobility Commission

After two years of disruption to examinations, what does the new Social Mobility Commission need to know about qualifications?

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Levelling Up

What does levelling up mean for qualifications?

Jonathan Simons of Public First provides his view on the role of qualifications in the Government’s Levelling Up agenda

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Technology

How do schools feel about digitising examinations?

Four school leaders give us their views

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Assessment

Accessible for All: How to make assessments fair?

Ruth Johnson, Senior Head of Assessment, examines the challenges in designing fair assessments and how we ensure the stories that assessments provide are the right ones

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Assessment

Digital Assessment Now: A case study

In one part of the UK, digital assessment of the core curriculum is a reality

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Assessment

Time to top-up? Rethinking Maths and English after 16

When young people with reformed GCSEs in Maths and English enter the labour market, how much will they remember?

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Assessment

The Power of Public Education Data

Why Massachusetts makes its education data open to all

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Technology

The theme to which all parties are finally turning their attention

Thoughts from Colin Hughes, AQA CEO, following the party conferences

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Technology

Digitising a country’s examinations

How Finland moved from paper to digital

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Assessment

Why teacher assessment needs to be carefully assessed

Tom Richmond of EDSK compares notes with the primary sector

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International Approaches

Finland: Going against the global trend

The country's success in zigging while others zag poses tough questions

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Assessment

Could comparative judgement replace traditional exam marking?

There are rumblings of a revolution

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Timeline

Qualification reform in England since 1950

A blast through the past of assessment

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International Approaches

Singapore: probably the best organised education system in the world

The city state takes a new direction

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Vocational Education

Talking to students about T-Levels

What will it take to give T-Levels momentum?

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