Writing

Writing assessment rationale

‘Life after levels’

Following the scrapping of National Curriculum levels, the school has used Target Tracker to track pupil progress. However, the descriptors are not finite enough to accurately assess pupils’ writing skills and knowledge. Therefore, the school has adopted Ros Wilson’s Criterion Scale to support teacher assessment. We have adapted the Criterion scale to match Target Tracker’s steps (Beginning, Working Towards, Secure), which the school will continue to use to track progress in writing from term-to-term, and year-to-year.

This is an interim protocol until the Department for Education make a decision on descriptors and teacher assessment of the new National Curriculum (September 2013). Currently, Year 1 and Year 6 have layers of interim teacher assessment frameworks, which are deemed temporary. While these year groups must use the interim frameworks, these are inappropriate for other year groups.

 

The Criterion Scale

The Criterion Scale emerged from Ros Wilson’s Big Writing scheme and was revised for the new National Curriculum. Each year group’s expectations are expanded into more detailed descriptors derived from the National Curriculum understanding. These enable teachers to identify individual strengths and weaknesses in children’s writing and make more secure judgements about their progress.

 

Greenacres assessment procedure

Children are assessed using the Criterion Scale to guide our judgements. In a process similar to that of APP, each piece of assessed written work (usually final drafts or ‘hot pieces’, although other work and cross-curricular writing may be assessed) is judged against a year group’s expectations. When the teacher is confident that that descriptor has been demonstrated competently and independently by a pupil, it is ticked. The total number of ticks leads to score, from with a ‘level’ is derived. Not all children are working at their chronological age, therefore younger year group assessment grids may be used.

Each assessed piece of work is collated in the child’s writing portfolio. At least six pieces of work per year are filed chronologically, along with the teacher’s assessment. This portfolio is carried through the pupils’ time in school, providing a snapshot of their progression in writing.

   

 

Reading assessment rationale

Each class has a file dedicated to reading assessment. This file will hold all the data on pupils’ reading, and be used to support judgements at pupil progress meetings and during handover meetings between teachers.

 

‘Life after levels’

Following the scrapping of National Curriculum levels, the school has used Target Tracker to track pupil progress. However, the descriptors are not finite enough to accurately assess pupils’ reading skills and knowledge. Therefore, the school has adopted Lancashire’s KLIPs and LAPs to support teacher assessment.

Although Lancashire advises that the KLIPs are the assessment tool and the LAPs are tools to support planning, the school feels that the LAPs provide the type of stepped progression towards more meaningful descriptors which Target Tracker lacks. In addition to this, the termly stepped progression (LAP1, LAP2 and LAP3) matches Target Tracker’s steps (Beginning, Working Towards, Secure), which the school will continue to use to track progress from term-to-term, and year-to-year.

 

KLIPs

The Key Learning Indicators of Performance are more defined and detailed descriptors derived from the National Curriculum, and have been assigned to specific year groups (as opposed to phases). They are split into two groups: Word Reading and Comprehension (which itself it further divided into three subgroups: Developing pleasure in reading and motivation to read; Understanding books which they can read themselves and those which are read to them; and Participating in discussion. The underlined descriptors are deemed to have “the greatest impact on the further development of skills and subsequent learning” and therefore should be considered vital to secure understanding.

 

LAPs

The LAPs (Learning and Progression steps) are based on each KLIP and are further deconstructed into three progressive steps. These steps are carefully gauged and offer teachers with even more accuracy in their assessment judgements than the rather broad descriptors in Target Tracker.

 

Greenacres assessment procedure

KS1 & KS2

Children are assessed using the LAPs to guide our judgements. In a process similar to that of APP, LAPs are highlighted (pink = autumn term, yellow = spring term, green = summer term) when the teacher is confident that that descriptor has been demonstrated competently and independently by a pupil. Highlighted descriptors may be annotated with dates and evidence (e.g. RC = reading comprehension, RJ = reading journal, CN = class novel, GR = group/guided reading, CD = class discussion, ST = spelling tests). Descriptors may be partially-highlighted to show that pupils have begun to show evidence of demonstrating.

 

Foundation Stage Framework

The development matters statements within the Foundation Stage Framework provide the necessary objectives against which to assess the children’s reading abilities.  As defined in the framework, such asessment should stem from both child initiated activities as well as adult lead.

Our assessment tool - Target Tracker - matches exactly the Development Matters statements allowing assessment to be broken down further into ‘beginning’, ‘working towards’ and ‘secure’.  This will allow assessment to be easily transferred from gathering data through observation/assessment per child in class, to a whole class overview on our Target Tracker system from term to term throughout the year.  At the end of Reception, both methods will allow assessment in terms of the Early Learning Goal for reading.

 

1:1, group, guided and whole class reading

Children in the early stages of learning to read need to be heard by an adult as much as possible; 1:1 reading with a teacher or teaching assistant is essential. To augment this, children take books home from the reading scheme and we expect parents to listen to them read regularly, recording the date, book and pages read in their reading journal and signing it. Teachers set expectations in their classroom, but reading daily for 15 minutes at home is to be encouraged and checking reading journals should be regular and recorded.

 

Reading books

As they get older and read more sophisticated books, pupils will need to be guided in their choice. Before this, they should progress though the school’s reading scheme. If a book band is proving unchallenging, the child is to move on to the next band. Sometimes, if books are very short, it may be appropriate to give a child two reading books at a time in order to pass through the scheme at their rate of progress, or even jump to the next band before they have read every book at that level. We do not want to stunt children’s progress or enthusiasm as readers by holding them back.

Only when the child has completed our new Collins Big Cat scheme – or when their teacher deems it appropriate – they become a ‘free reader’, which means they are able to select their own books from the school library. Fiction books are labelled for suitability for each phase and their book choices should still be checked by an adult to determine the pupils’ ability to access and understand the text.

 

Evidence to support judgements

Teacher’s evidence may include examples of the following:

  • 1:1 or class reading session notes
  • reading comprehension notes
  • formative assessment data from optional or statutory tests
  • pupil’s reading journal records
  • pupil’s reading scheme records
  • other examples of teacher’s and/or TA’s formative assessment data, including evidence from class novels




Early Years Reading assessment rationale

Each class has a file dedicated to reading assessment.  This file will hold formative data on pupils’ reading and will be used to support judgements at pupil progress meetings and during handover meetings between teachers.

 

Foundation Stage Framework

The development matters statements within the Foundation Stage Framework provide the necessary objectives against which to assess the children’s reading abilities.  As defined in the framework, such asessment should stem from both child initiated activities as well as adult lead.

Our assessment tool ‘Target Tracker’ matches exactly the Development Matters statements allowing assessment to be broken down further into ‘beginning’, ‘working towards’ and ‘secure’.  This will allow assessment to be easily transferred from gathering data through observation/assessment per child in class, to a whole class overview on our Target Tracker system from term to term throughout the year.  At the end of Reception, both methods will allow assessment in terms of the Early Learning Goal for reading.

 

Greenacres assessment procedure

Children are assessed using the Development Matters Statements to guide our judgements. The Teacher or Teaching Assistant will highlight each statement when they are confident that that statement has been demonstrated competently by a pupil.  Highlighted descriptors may be annotated with dates and evidence if necessary (eg. CR = Class Reading (1:1 with staff) LJ = Learning Journal, CD = Class Discussion). Highlighting of statements will be as follows:

Pink – Autumn Term     Yellow – Spring Term     Green – Summer Term

 

1:1, group, guided and whole class reading

Children in the early stages of learning to read need to be heard by an adult as much as possible; 1:1 reading with a teacher or teaching assistant is essential. To augment this, children take books home to share with family from the Early Years Home Reading Library and then the reading scheme as soon as they show a readiness to read.  We expect parents to listen to their children read regularly, recording the date, any comments they wish to make and finally signing their childs’ journal.  Daily reading at home for 15 minutes is an expectation and is to be encouraged and checking reading journals should be regular and recorded.  Extra reading support in school may also be given as an intervention in order to ensure progress is made.

 

Reading Books

Initially, the children will be encouraged to choose a book to take home to share with their family and some guidance in their choice will be given when applicable.  Once ready to access the reading scheme, the Teacher or Teaching Assistant will provide a book at an appropriate level.  The children will progress through the reading scheme but should a book prove unchallenging, the child should be moved on to the next band.  Flexibility within the reading scheme in order to meet the needs of each child is essential and should be discussed with the class Teacher.  This might include providing more phonics based books to ensure extra practise or to provide a phonics based book alongside a book from our reading scheme.  In this way, the children will be able to pass through the scheme at their rate of progress, or even jump to the next band before they have read every book at that level.  We do not want to stunt children’s progress or enthusiasm as readers by holding them back.

 

Evidence to support judgements

Teacher’s evidence may include examples of the following:

  • Photographs and observations in the children’s Learning Journals
  • Whole class reading/discussion observations
  • Children’s reading scheme records
  • Children’s reading journals