Join CfEY for the The Primary Extended Project Award pilot


17th January 2023


In 2022, CfEY embarked on an exciting new journey into assessment innovation. We wanted to create a new rigorous, flexible and scalable assessment instrument for eleven-year-olds that any primary school across the UK (and possibly beyond) could use to support the development and recognition of a wide set of learning dispositions, that extend beyond what the national curriculum and SATs currently value.

With support from awarding organisation NCFE and in partnership with multi-academy trust Big Education, we are now in the final design stages for the Primary Extended Project Award (PEPA). We are looking forward to beginning prototyping and piloting later this year – read on to find out more and how you can get involved.

Express your interest in participating in our pilot here

What is the PEPA?

The PEPA is an extended project for Year 5 and 6 children, based on addressing real-world challenges. Pupils shape the project themselves and receive meaningful, formative feedback throughout the process from a variety of people both in and outside of their school and community. They reflect on their own learning and progress, recording their thoughts in an online project record that also logs feedback from others and can be carried through to the next stage of their education. At the end of their journey through the PEPA, pupils present their project using a variety of media at a ‘festival’ style event, where their work is critiqued and celebrated by others. 

Why do we need it?

SATs do an important job at Key Stage 2 – but they don’t tell the whole story of what a child can do. The overemphasis on testing of literacy and numeracy skills at primary level can lead to teaching to the test at the expense of other learning opportunities, increasing stress for teachers, pupils, and families. This can limit pupils’ chances to develop wider dispositions, undertake in-depth learning, and identify and pursue their own talents and interests.

Through the PEPA, we want to give primary pupils the opportunity to delve into the topics they feel passionate about and develop and value a wide set of learning dispositions. The award will help them to recognise their ability to effectively drive and reflect on their own learning over time, and provide opportunities for schools to collaborate and offer pupils the chance to develop based on feedback from beyond their classrooms.

What will the PEPA look like in schools?

The PEPA is not an alternative to SATs. It is a complementary piece of work embedded in Key Stage Two learning, which is inclusive of all pupils and supported by external mentors with specialist knowledge.

We have co-designed the PEPA with school staff, taking on board their ideas to ensure it is a valuable experience for pupils while being realistic for teachers to deliver.

The work will begin in Year 5, with pupils being introduced to the concept, developing underpinning skills, and completing a ‘mini PEPA’ to give them a feel for how the process works. They will then carry out the full PEPA in Year 6, with the support of teachers and a mentor who has expertise in the topic they have chosen for their project. 

How can I get involved?

The piloting stage of the PEPA will begin in September 2023 and take place over two years, as pupils move from Year 5 to Year 6.

We are looking to recruit five clusters of three to six schools from across the UK – if you are a school leader or teacher who wants to know more about getting involved we would love to hear from you!

We would also be delighted to hear from anyone who might be interested in taking part as an expert mentor and supporting pupils with their projects.

If you would like to express an interest and receive more information about taking part, please complete the short form below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Express your interest in participating in our pilot here