What do we assess? (Our intent)
In Early Years, Development Matters is used to assess pupil development in Seven Areas of Learning – the 3 prime areas of Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language, literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design. Learning Journals are used to capture and record learning. Achievement is reported at the end of Reception, against the Early Learning Goals and whether a Good Level of Development has been met.
Baseline Testing for Reception is under development.
In Key Stage 1, day-to-day learning across the National Curriculum is assessed by classroom staff, with some points at which specific classroom assessments are made in, e.g. maths, phonics or spelling to further inform teachers’ knowledge. Achievement is evaluated in statutory national assessments in KS1 at the end of Year 1 – Phonics Screening Check – and in Year 2 SATs for reading and maths, where these inform teacher assessed reported achievement.
In Key Stage 2, day-to-day learning across the National Curriculum (NC) is assessed with some points at which specific assessments are made in, e.g. maths, phonics or spelling to further inform teachers’ knowledge, as above. Achievement is evaluated in statutory national assessments in KS2 at the end of Y6, with testing in reading, maths (arithmetic and reasoning) and grammar, punctuation and spelling. Assessment in writing is through teacher assessment. After introduction, children in Y4 also have statutory national assessments of times-tables.
Results of these are reported to the Local Authority and government to build a national picture of pupil progress and attainment. This also allows us to compare ourselves to similar schools around the country. Early Years, Phonics and Year 2 data is used to set individual pupil targets for the end of Year 6.
How do we assess? (Our implementation)
Assessment during learning (formative day-to-day assessment) –
The aim of formative assessment is to gather a wide range of evidence in order to build as complete a picture of each child’s learning as possible, in order to inform the learner, for planning and teaching to accurately match work and provide support for those not on track to meet national standards.
Learning objectives are shared in all lessons so children know what they are learning – and why. Children know the targets to meet across the year in order to meet national expectations and know how these fit into the picture of their learning. Working walls support children in this. For English – reading, no formal reading tests are used but Guided Reading and published ‘running records’ inform staff of reading achievement. In other core subjects – English – writing, maths and science teachers judge achievements against NC objectives. In foundation subjects achievement against ‘I can’ end of year/ 2-yearly statements are measured.
Verbal feedback and staff discussion with pupils, watching talk between pupils, observations of learning and scrutiny of work, alongside children or in marking after completion, all build a picture of achievement – successes and progress and next steps or support needed – and contribute to staff knowledge of children’s learning. Children are encouraged to reflect on their work and progress and how best to make improvements, recognise where they have met targets and what they still need to work on, and take some ownership of their learning.
Assessment after learning has taken place (summative assessment) –
This is ‘testing’, national assessments and in-class activities to check what has been learnt. (See ‘what do we assess’ above for details of national assessment expectations.) Summative assessment (results of, e.g. testing) is also used in day-today planning to highlight where additional focus needs to be, but, largely, ‘assessment after learning has taken place’ is used to provide a picture of the standard children have reached in their knowledge and skills at a fixed point. Progress is measured termly by assessing whether a child can independently apply learning, in day to day application and whether objectives are fully met. Progress is the distance travelled from the knowledge held at one point to another.
Information on in-year achievement is collected and collated at the end of every season – 3 times a year, after children are assessed against year-group objectives for reading, writing and maths. Key Stage testing is undertaken nationally.
Why do we assess? (Our impact)
We assess to ensure that learning is planned to meet the needs of children so that they make progress by gaining knowledge and skills across the curriculum. Formative assessment ensures that individual lessons and units of work are planned to meet the needs of all children – regardless of their abilities, so that lessons are targeted to challenge and extend understanding. Work is focused to support pupils to make at least expected progress and meet nationally expected standards. Assessment at St Mary’s is fair and inclusive of all abilities; those pupils not on track are quickly identified for additional support. National assessment data is used to identify school improvement areas.