What are the school’s core aims for assessment?
At Croft Church of England Primary School we aim to:
- ensure personalised, formative, ongoing assessment is firmly at its heart
- be sensitive and constructive
- foster learners’ motivation
- promote understanding of learning goals and criteria
- be part of effective planning
- develop learners’ capacity for self-assessment
- help learners know how to improve
- recognise all educational achievement
- be central to classroom practice
- be a key professional skill for teachers
- focus on how students learn
- support parents understanding of how they can help their children to succeed
Assessment is integral to high quality teaching and learning. It helps us to ensure that our teaching is appropriate and that learners are making expected progress.
What are our key principles of assessment?
- Assessment serves many purposes, but the main purpose of assessment in our school is to help teachers, parents and pupils plan their next steps in learning.
- We also use the outcomes of assessment to check and support our teaching standards and help us improve.
- Through working with other schools and using external tests and assessments, we will compare our performance with that of other schools.
- We assess pupils against assessment criteria, which are short, discrete, qualitative and concrete descriptions of what a pupil is expected to know and be able to do.
- Assessment criteria are derived from the school curriculum, which is composed of the National Curriculum and our own local design.
- Assessment criteria for periodic assessment are arranged into a hierarchy, setting out what children are normally expected to have mastered by the end of each year.
- The achievement of each pupil is assessed against all the relevant criteria at appropriate times of the school year.
- Where a pupil is assessed as exceeding the relevant criteria in a subject for that year they will also be assessed against the criteria in that subject for the next year. For those pupils meeting and exceeding the expected standards, we provide more challenging work.
- Assessment judgements are recorded and backed by a body of evidence created using observations, records of work and testing.
- Assessment judgements are moderated by colleagues in school and by colleagues in other schools to make sure our assessments are fair, reliable and valid.
What are the key principles of our use of assessment?
- Teachers use the outcomes of our assessments to summarise and analyse attainment and progress for their pupils and classes.
- Teachers use this data to plan the learning for every pupil to ensure they meet or exceed expectations. Teachers and leaders analyse the data across the school to ensure that pupils identified as vulnerable or at particular risk in this school are making appropriate progress and that all pupils are suitably stretched.
- The information from assessment is communicated to parents and pupils on a termly basis through a structured conversation. Parents and pupils receive rich, qualitative profiles of what has been achieved and indications of what they need to do next.
- We celebrate all achievements across a broad and balanced curriculum, including sport, art and performance, behaviour, and social and emotional development.
Who is responsible for assessment?
Class teachers are responsible for accurately assessing the pupils in their care. Teaching Assistants will support this process. Subject leaders will have a good understanding of assessment systems and structures across the school. The Head Teacher, Mr Robson, has overall responsible for assessment across the school.
How are pupils assessed?
A wide range of strategies are used to assess pupils at Croft Church of England Primary School.
Day to day formative assessment:
- Marking of pupils’ work using the school’s marking policy
- Questioning and answering during learning
- Observational assessment of pupils during learning
- Regular, short recap challenges and tests to check understanding
- Scanning work for pupil development
In school summative assessment:
- Salford Reading Test to give a reading age (completed in the first half term every year).
- End of term tests (PUMA, PIRA and GAPS tests to give reading, maths and GPS ages; these tests also give a Hodder score to enable progress to be monitored)
- Individual Provision Map Reviews for pupils with Special Educational Needs (Reviewed each term – minimum)
National standardised summative assessment:
- National curriculum end of KS2 teacher assessments and tests
- National curriculum end of KS1 teacher assessments and tests
- Baseline assessment for all children in Foundation Stage (completed within the first three weeks of Autumn Term).
In the core subject areas, pupils are assessed against ‘attainment outcomes’. These are displayed in the front of pupils’ books and teachers gather information using formative assessment methods to track pupils’ attainment and progress against attainment outcomes.
Below is an example of the school’s attainment outcomes end of year tracking sheet for Mathematics for a Year 5 pupil who is ‘working at’ expectations:
Attainment Outcomes are displayed as ‘I can’ statements so that pupils can see their progress and so that staff can have discussions with pupils about ‘next steps’ in their learning.
Each attainment outcome has a code eg the code for ‘I can tell how many minutes are in an hour and how many hours are in a day’ is M2.8 (Measure, Year 2, Point number 8). As pupils begin to show evidence that they are making progress towards attainment outcomes teachers will make a decision about each pupils’ progress towards attainment targets. Emerging, Developing, Secure and Greater Depth are used to indicate steps of progress towards achievement of attainment outcomes and provide continuous live indication of where pupils are in relation to their learning.
E: This means that the pupil is emerging in their understanding. Emerging means that the pupil is beginning to show evidence that they are successfully practising the skill.
D: This means that the pupil is developing in their understanding. Developing means that the pupil is showing evidence that they are beginning to apply the skill in different situations.
S: This means that the pupil is secure in their understanding. Secure means that there is evidence that the pupil is able to consistently apply the skill in a range of situations.
G: This means that the pupil is showing greater depth in their understanding. Greater depth means that there is evidence that the pupil is able to consistently apply the skill in a range of complex situations.
How are parents and carers kept informed during the year?
Parent and carer consultations are held in October and February and they are provided with a ‘pupil report card’ as part of the consultation meeting to provide parents with a summary of information relating to:
Attainment – how well their child is currently performing in relation to the expected standard (working at greater depth, working at expected or working towards expected standard for their age)
Progress – how much progress their child is currently making (more than expected, expected or less than expected)
Learning Skills – what their child’s current learning skills targets are
Next steps in learning – what their child currently needs to do next to make the next step of progress in their learning
Example pupil report card:
Croft Church of England Primary School
‘Achievement for Everyone’
|Name||Pupil z||Class Teacher||Teacher x|
|Punctuality and Attendance so far this academic year (total number sessions = 190)||Attainment||working at greater depth||working at||working towards|
|Number of unauthorised absences||0||Writing||✓|
|Number of sessions recorded as late||3||Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling||✓|
|My child’s current learning skills targets are…||Maths||✓|
|To show a positive attitude ‘I can do it!’||✓||Progress||greater than expected||expected||working towards expected|
|To be a good listener||Reading||✓|
|To ask for help only when it is needed||Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling||✓|
|To show good concentration||Maths||✓|
|To do homework well and hand it in on time||My child’s next steps in learning are…|
1. To be able to find 1000 more or less than a given number
2. To add and subtract numbers up to 4 digits
3. To recognise some different forms of poetry
|To not be afraid to get things wrong||✓|
What happens at the end of an academic year?
Evidence gathered from pupils’ work in books and folders and tracked attainment outcomes will be used at the end of the academic year to decide how pupils have performed against each year group’s Performance Standards. Performance Standards are split into individual Key Performance Indicators (KPI). KPI are higher order statements derived from the national curriculum document. They represent the major criteria by whose mastery by pupils provides evidence they have grasped the key elements of knowledge, skills and understanding.
Parents will be informed at the end of each academic year about their child’s attainment against the Performance Standards using the following:
Working towards expectations where one or more of the year’s KPI will have to be revisited.
Working at the expected level and is secure with all KPIs and can move onto next year’s KPI.
Working at greater depth and is working beyond expectations and can move on to the next year’s KPI.
How are parents kept informed at the end of the year?
All parents and carers are provided with an end of year report for their children in July and are also given an opportunity to attend a third consultation meeting if they would like to. The report will provide information as described above but will also be in the form of a ‘descriptive report’ and will address the following in relation the pupil:
- Has shown expected progress in…
- Now needs to develop….
Our current report format an appendix at the end of this document.
How are targets set?
At the beginning of the year, each pupil has individual targets set for them based on their prior attainment. After this academic year, pupils will have additional targets based around the number of KPI they are expected to achieve and/or exceed by the end of the year.
How is in-year progress measured and displayed?
The new world of assessment without levels is intended to encourage a more professional, intelligent assessment. There is recognition that learning is neither neat, nor linear. Progression is more focused on understanding and developing greater depth in the national curriculum than on mere progress to the next set of content. However, in order to track pupil progress across a year, an end of year prediction is updated in October, December, February and May. This prediction will indicate whether a pupil will be working towards, expected or working at greater depth if they continue their ‘current rate of progress’ and attainment. Pupils who are not on target to meet end of year targets are identified as urgent action pupils and appropriate, adapted and additional provision is put in place to ensure that pupils make more rapid progress and meet their end of year targets.
How are activities differentiated to meet the needs of all pupils?
The new national curriculum is very different. Unlike the previous curriculum, pupils will not be ‘rushed’ through curriculum expectations. If pupils are particularly able they will be provided with greater opportunities to ‘deepen’ their knowledge and understanding and apply higher order thinking skills and demonstrate independence, fluency, application, consistency, synthesis and many opportunities to revisit learning. Only in situations where pupils are considered to be gifted and talented, will the next year group’s expectations be considered appropriate. Pupils who cannot access year group expectations may need to ensure that gaps within their learning are addressed and this may mean that expectations for the previous year group are relevant. Pupils that this may be relevant for would have previously been identified through the school SEND register.
The school follows the principle of teach, practise and apply. Sometimes pupils may need to practise more than other pupils and others may be ready to go on and apply their skills and use higher order thinking skills and deepen their understanding. In pupils’ books, staff use symbols to indicate to pupils the level of complexity of tasks that pupils are engaged in. The codes are as follows:
Type of Activity
Mathematics and English
These codes are used by staff to assess pupils’ level of understanding when making judgements about attainment and progress. This is particularly useful in assessing pupils who are ‘working at greater depth’.
These pupils will be able to demonstrate:
Apply the skill or knowledge without recall to the teacher
Apply the skill or knowledge with a high level of confidence and show good resilience when the task seems demanding
Apply the skill and knowledge to a range of different contexts including other areas of the curriculum
Consistently use their skills, knowledge and understanding
Organise ideas to make connections with other areas of learning and new areas
Return to this aspect of learning after a break and still feel confident that they can work on the skill and knowledge without difficulty
Able to explain to others their understanding and perhaps be a learning buddy to others
We are continually developing our assessment practice and understanding of assessing the new curriculum. If parents or carers have any questions with regard to assessment, they should speak to their child’s class teacher or the Head Teacher for more information.