Our approach to Assessment
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.
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.
Our teaching staff use effective formative assessment by:
- Finding out what children already know so that they can build on this, at the start of a unit of work and at the start of each lesson.
- Unpicking children’s misconceptions from the previous lesson, at the start of each lesson.
- Checking learning within (as well as at the end of) lessons and providing a same-day intervention through post-teaching or next day pre-teaching.
- Providing regular, effective feedback to move learning forwards.
Assessment activities we carry out:
- Learning walks, work scrutiny, talking to students, discussions with teachers.
- Use of knowledge organisers, mind maps, concept cartoons, regular quizzes to assess retention of prior knowledge and starting points.
- Use of assessment techniques such as diagnostic questions within lessons before moving from one concept to another eg, when the second concept is reliant on understanding of the first.
Subject leaders regularly look at books with students and teachers and build a bank of evidence that they can direct inspectors and visitorsto and refer to if required to back up their self-evaluation.
-Senior and subject leaders are able to evidence and articulate how teachers evaluate whether children are where they should be in their learning journey through the school curriculum.
-Our data collection and analysis is proportionate and purposeful, with workload in mind. Our teachers are able to discuss how workload has reduced due to better use of assessment. Subject and assessment leaders are able to articulate how data has been used to bring the greatest benefits to learning.
-We have a great understanding of all our pupils' learning, what they know and what they still need to learn.
Tracking Attainment with Statements
The National Curriculum 2014 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
To track pupil attainment we use a system of three bands for every national curriculum subject. 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.
Our bands are:
The three broader sections may be thought of in these terms-
Below – Pupil learning is below that of the expected standard for their age group. For example, if the child is in Year 3 and has been assessed as 'B', it means they aren't yet working at the standard expected for Year 3 children nationally.
Expected– Pupil learning is within the expected standard for that age group. If a child has been assessed as 'X' in Year 5, it means they are keeping up with the expectations that all Year 5 children should meet nationally.
Above – The pupil is working at a greater depth within the expectations for that year group. They are confident in the basics and are working at the year groups expectations in more complex ways.
Where a child is working way below their year group, which sometimes happens due to a specific learning difficulty or if they are new to English, then the teacher and support staff will use a system called 'PIVATS' to assess exactly where the child is up to and what they need to focus on.
Three times a year, our children from Reception- Year 6 take part in some standardised tests, which enable teachers to see exactly how well the children are performing compared to children of the same age all over the country. From these tests, detailed plans for groups of children are created to enable them to make further progress. This information will be communicated to parents via termly reports and parents' evenings, as well as daily conversations.