Our approach to Assessment in the New Curriculum
Our approach to Assessment in the New Curriculum (2014) KS1- KS2
In April 2014 the Department for Education released 'Assessment Principles', a document outlining the core values all effective assessment systems should implement as part of the changes introduced with the 2014 National Curriculum. As the ‘Government will not impose a single system for ongoing assessment’, it is up to schools to implement a system that can: ‘Give reliable information to parents about how their child, and their child’s school, is performing, help drive improvement for pupils and teachers and make sure the school is keeping up with external best practice and innovation.’
We have been developing an effective assessment system that will meet the needs of all children and support the school in embedding the DfE ‘Assessment Principles’ referenced above.
Our Philosophy of Assessment
Assessment should have a purpose at every level for everyone involved:
- Pupils should be given appropriate feedback on their learning from the formative assessments carried out by class teachers.
- Class teachers should be able to use formative assessment to support planning and implementation of a curriculum designed to meet the needs of learners.
- Teachers and school leaders should be able to use assessment to help ensure that the pupils who need specified intervention are quickly identified, appropriately supported and monitored so that all can fully achieve their potential and no one is left to struggle behind.
- School Leaders should be able to use summative assessment as a tool for monitoring the progress and attainment pupils make, to ensure the school is helping pupils achieve their potential.
- Parents should be able to get a clear and accurate sense of their child’s achievement and progress as well as areas where they can support development.
- Governors should be able to use data to ensure the school is supporting pupils learning effectively.
- Schools can provide data for inspection teams to show how children are performing.
Our Assessment System
Our assessment system has been developed carefully to meet DfE guidance and Our Philosophy of Assessment.
Tracking Attainment with Statements
The new National Curriculum has set out clear expectations for what children should achieve by the end of each key stage and, for English, Maths and Science, has provided guidance as to when in each phase this content should be covered. The programme of study expected end of year outcomes have been adapted to help support practitioners in making their step judgements over each academic year. These formative statements may be shared with pupils to help define and guide next steps in learning.
Tracking Attainment and Progress with Steps
To track pupil attainment we use a system of steps. This performs the function of communicating progression and attainment in a simple format that may be aggregated to produce reports of overall and average progress. This is based on a carefully considered logical approach to assessment and follows on from the assessment system we have introduced in EYFS.
Each year band has been broken down into six steps:
beginning + (b+)
working within (w)
working within + (w+)
secure + (s+)
The three broader sections may be thought of in these terms-
Beginning – Pupil learning is chiefly focussed on the criteria for the band. There may be minimal elements of the previous band still to gain complete confidence in.
Working Within – Pupil learning is fully focussed on the criteria for the band. This is a teacher best fit decision but could be informed by statement assessments between around 40% and 70% achieved.
Secure – Confidence in all of the criteria for the band. There may be pupil learning still focussed on gaining thorough confidence in some minimal elements but the broad expectations for the band have been met
Year 1- band 1 b, b+, w, w+, s, s+
Year 2- band 2 b, b+, w, w+, s, s+
Year 3- band 3 b, b+, w, w+, s, s+
Year 4- band 4 b, b+, w, w+, s, s+
Year 5- band 5 b, b+, w, w+, s, s+
Year 6- band 6 b, b+, w, w+, s, s+
Where the sections have been broken down into steps this is designed to allow the practitioner to represent and report progress for a pupil where they may not feel that the best fit is within the next section.
For example, a pupil may be assessed as Band 2 Beginning in the Autumn term in year 2. The next time the practitioner records a summative assessment they may not feel that the pupil has progressed to Working Within, but the pupil has made progress. An assessment of Beginning + allows that progress to be represented and will feed through to overall class and key stage reporting.
At the start of the term in September, January and April we carry out GL assessment tests for every child Year 1- Year 6. This tests and analyses scores in children’s abilities in Reading, Writing and Maths. We use the information to find gaps in children’s knowledge and to confirm that what the teachers have assessed is accurate. The information that these tests generate are available to parents.