How we assess
Our assessment provides valuable information to help children, teachers, parents and school leaders to acknowledge, analyse and review achievements and progress in learning against expected standards. Our assessments inform both our immediate and long-term planning. Our assessment gives:
- Children - the learners - an understanding of where they are secure, what it is that they need to do to rectify any gaps and the next steps needed to extend their learning
- Teachers the detailed knowledge of their pupils’ achievements which they can use to inform future learning, their planning and their teaching
- Parents and carers regular reports on their child’s progress in meeting expectations and ensures that teachers, pupils and parents can work together to secure learning and raise standards for all children
- School leaders and governors information that they can analyse and use to make decisions about future actions to improve standards, learning and teaching in the school
- External agencies and partners the evidence that a school knows its pupils well and sets and maintains high standards in learning and teaching as part of the school’s public accountability to its pupils’ future.
What are schools statutorily required to assess?
Teachers carry out day to day assessments and checks on pupils’ understanding and progress as part of their day to day teaching. Statutory, formal assessment procedures and examinations also exist to measure attainment against national standards. Our pupils’ achievements are compared nationally with all those pupils of the same age.
Early Years (Nursery and Reception)
We assess the development of those children in our early education and care in three prime learning and development areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development; Physical Development; and Communication and Language; when they join our Nursery and Reception. We monitor how well pupils are achieving and the extent to which they are meeting identified expectations in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile which helps to identify those who are achieving a good level of development and those who we need to give additional help.
Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2)
The Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 (and Year 2 for children who did not meet the threshold in previous year). It assesses pupils’ phonic skills as part of early reading. The End of Key Stage 1 currently draws on a test (KS1 SATs) and teacher assessments to help us to assess whether pupils are making progress and are attaining national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics.
Key Stage 2 (Year 3 to Year 6)
Pupils take statutory tests at the end of KS2 that assess whether pupils attain national expectations in reading, spelling punctuation and grammar and mathematics. We also assess pupils’ progress over the key stage. Our assessment practices will continue to provide information about pupils’ attainment and progress. They will still involve marking pupils’ work and providing written and oral feedback that identifies successes and the next steps for improvement and checking that they have responded to this feedback. We will continue to engage pupils in the whole assessment process by building self-assessment strategies into our teaching. We will provide periodic summaries of attainment and progress through in-class tests, teacher assessment and the formal externally set tests.
We want children, teachers, parents and school leaders to have confidence in our assessments and to use this information to help everyone be involved in raising standards for all our children. Rigorous assessment can sometimes be a draw upon time, but we want the assessments we make to be accurate and informative. Good assessment requires attention to detail and analytical skill. It involves teachers in: asking questions and interpreting answers; observing behaviours and responses to tasks; knowing if and when to intervene; and drawing on a wide range of evidence to build up a picture of a learner’s strengths and weaknesses.
To help teachers get a stronger picture of pupils’ learning, their achievements and barriers to success, we will provide time for focused observation of learning. The more we can observe learning the better we will be at defining and assessing the learning outcomes.
What are the key features of our assessment procedures?
Our assessment procedures will continue to give attention to helping pupils to meet or exceed national expectations and achieve the highest standards they can over each key stage of their learning. The National Curriculum sets out what our pupils are to learn but we decide how we are to assess our pupils’ attainment and progress over the key stage. Our assessment procedures will:
Make clear to all pupils our expectations in terms of learning behaviours
- Set out the attitudes and behaviours we expect of pupils when in the classroom
- Show them how work is to be presented in their books
- Tell pupils that they will succeed and acknowledge how and when they are becoming successful learners to establish self-confidence and good learning behaviours
Share Learning Intentions (LI) with pupils
- Share learning intentions at the beginning of a phase of learning and highlight them during the lesson and in plenaries, using language that pupils understand
- Use these intentions as the basis for questioning and feedback during the learning activities, as well as in plenaries
- Use this ingoing assessment to inform planning and to make any adjustments to the learning intentions for the week and future weeks
- Refer pupils back to earlier learning intentions to demonstrate and review progress over time
Help pupils to recognise the standards they are to achieve and have already achieved
- Share and discuss pupils’ work explaining how and why they have met the standards expected
- Give pupils clear success criteria that relate to the learning intentions
- Set clear and shared expectations about the presentation of work and model how this is to be achieved with examples to set out standards
- Display examples of pupils’ work-in-progress as part of a working wall
Involve pupils in self-assessment and peer-assessment
- Provide time for pupils to read teacher feedback and assess how successfully they carried out the tasks set
- Give pupils opportunities to talk in pairs or small groups about what they have learnt, what they have found difficult and what they might do differently to improve
- Ask pupils to explain the steps in their thinking and justify their decisions and reasoning
- Model with pupils the language of assessment that they can use to review their own and their peer’s learning and to identify next steps in learning
- Establish a classroom ethos that enables a critical review of work to be undertaken that is seen as positive and not taken as any personal criticism
- Engage the pupils in feedback through their responses to a teacher’s comments and giving pupils a short additional challenge to carry out that highlights what they have learned or what they need to correct
Provide feedback which leads to pupils recognising their next steps and how to take them
- Provide immediate oral feedback that helps pupils to identify mistakes, correct errors and take the next steps needed to move their learning on
- Mark work sharing criteria, give feedback and identify next steps
- Acknowledge success and give positive feedback but avoid giving excessive or underserved praise
- Ensure feedback is constructive and identifies what a child has done well, what needs to be done to improve, and how to do it
- Identify the next steps for individual pupils and where appropriate for groups who can collaborate on a common approach to improvement or progress
Involve teachers and pupils in reviewing and reflecting on assessment information
- Identify carefully progressed steps in learning through the learning outcomes and success criteria to enable pupils to see their progress, thus building confidence and self-esteem
- Use appropriate tasks that will provide us with quality assessment information by showing pupils’ thinking as well as the answer
- Provide time for pupils and teachers to reflect on what they have learnt and understood, and to identify where they still have difficulties
What procedures will be in place to ensure assessment is rigorous?
We will draw on the expertise that is available in our school, locally and in partnership within the Maritime Trust, and nationally as further information and guidance is made public. We will implement monitoring and evaluation procedures and maintain a continuing overview of the whole in-school assessment through:
Monitoring of pupils’ work
- Provide time for leaders to carry out regular scrutiny of work to monitor pitch and expectations, coverage, marking and feedback in books and to review pupils’ progress with their teachers
- Senior leaders will carry out learning walks and lesson observations, review books and talk to pupils about their learning and steps to improve
- Senior leaders will quality assure the strengths and weaknesses identified by staff following their own and subject or year group leads analyses of progress and standards in learning
Moderation across year groups and phases of learning
- Provide time for staff to carry out moderation of assessment and standards within and across key stages
- Set out clear expectations about marking and feedback to pupils that everyone puts into practice
- Collect examples of pupils’ work that highlight standards, common mistakes and effective assessment and feedback that staff can refer to when underrating moderation exercises
- Use past test or examination papers and commercially produced materials to provide an independent check on how well pupils are doing and to compare outcomes against judgements made using a range of other assessment evidence
- Use analysis of these tests to find out where there are areas of overall strength and weakness in pupils’ knowledge in order to inform how we organise and teach this in future
Pupil Progress Meetings
- Senior leaders, teachers and, if appropriate, support staff, together carry out a review of pupils’ progress in each year group and class and identify the extent to which pupils are meeting expectations
- Analyse ongoing and past performance data against expectations to review and if necessary set new or revised targets for pupils to achieve and evaluate the effectiveness of intervention and assessment strategies
- Use the outcomes of the meeting to target intervention for groups and to review the provision map for pupils across the ability spectrum
Professional development and support
- Key staff attend local and national meetings to learn more about assessment and reporting arrangements
- Cross-schools moderation events provide an opportunity to ensure expectations are set at the right level and pitch
Parents’ Evenings and meetings
- Provide opportunities for parents/carers to discuss their child’s progress and to highlight any key issues that are affecting the child’s learning
- Update parents on changes to the curriculum and assessment arrangements, and identify ways in which they can support their child’s learning
- Discuss the assessments and comments in pupils’ books and statutory reports to parents