How do we assess pupils’ learning?
The school welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum in 2014 and saw it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach. We were very clear that whatever assessment tool we used, it needed to be robust and track pupils’ progress across the school and not just at the end of a Key Stage. We trialed various assessment tools and we are confident that the one we have chosen is the best tool to monitor pupils’ attainment and progress so that we can challenge every child to fulfill their true potential.
The principles that underpin our assessment system are:
- Every child can achieve their full potential.
- The National Curriculum objectives will be used as the expectations for all children (KLIPs – ‘Key Learning Indicators of Performance’ objective documents from Lancashire are used to support teachers’ judgements).
- Pupils will make age appropriate progress from their different starting points – 12 months in 12 months, more for those who need to ‘close the gap’ to reach age related expectations.
- Assessment will be effectively used daily to ensure the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.
Our assessment and reporting system includes:
- Ongoing assessment against the National Curriculum objectives by the class teacher throughout each lesson; through questioning, observation and dialogue.
- Children knowing what they are being asked to learn and more importantly, why.
- Success Criteria are discussed and agreed with or formulated by the children during each lesson, work is then assessed against the success criteria.
- Three-way feedback is evident in children’s work – pupil, peer, teacher with clearly identified next steps – this can be written or verbal feedback.
- Regular pupils’ work scrutiny.
- Progress tests/Assessment Weeks for English and Mathematics.
The teacher assessments made for each child are entered into our tracking system at the end of each term. The data is analysed and an action plan is put in place, which involves targeting specific children for intervention to support or challenge them.
In addition to the above assessments, pupils also complete the following statutory assessments:
- Reception – Baseline, (statutory Sep. 2016), EYFS profile.
- Year 1 (and 2) – Phonics Screening Check.
- Years 2 and 6 – end of Key Stage assessments.
Alongside the introduction of the new National Curriculum, levels were removed for all year groups. Instead, at the end of KS1 and KS2, pupils will be given a scaled score and a ‘performance descriptor’ against the expected standard.
In order to be ‘secondary ready’ children need to meet the required end of Key Stage 2 expectations; this is broken down into key outcomes for each curriculum year. We use the National Curriculum objectives to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year – for example:
- A child that has achieved all the objectives set out for Year 3 for reading (and no further) would be said to be working at the end of Year 3 expectation for reading.
- A child achieving some, but not all, of the mathematics objectives for Year 5 would be classed as working at the mid-Year 5 expectation for mathematics.
- A child achieving only a few reading objectives for Year 1 would be classed as working at the beginning of Year 1 expectation.
We use the following judgements to assess pupils’ knowledge of the curriculum, against age-related expectations, in each core subject area:
- Entering: to show that a child has achieved one or two of the key objectives in that area.
- Developing: to show that a child has achieved some, but not all, of the key objectives in that area.
- Secure: reflecting that all of the age-related objectives have been achieved in that area.
Please see the School’s Assessment Policy for more information.
Early Years – Reception
Class teachers will use a combination of the EYFS profile and the baseline assessment to measure children’s progress.
- The baseline assessment will result in a score that forms part of each child’s baseline profile. By having a good understanding of the child’s abilities when they start school, class teachers are able to measure each child’s progress and plan for next steps in learning.
- Our school uses a program called ‘Base’ to help with our baseline assessment. It is conducted face-to-face with a mixture of tasks and observational checklists.
- The EYFS profile assessment is carried out in the final term of Reception.
- The main purpose of the EYFS profile is to provide a reliable, valid and accurate assessment of individual children at the end of the EYFS.
EYFS profile data is used to:
- Inform parents about their child’s development against the early learning goals (ELGs) and the characteristics of their learning.
- Help Year 1 teachers plan an effective, responsive and appropriate curriculum that will meet the needs of each child.
Children in Reception are assessed against the Prime and Specific areas of Learning in the EYFS profile; these are recorded on our on-line system, Early Essence. Assessments are based on observation of daily activities and events. At the end of Reception for each Early Learning Goal, teachers will judge whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of the Reception year:
- Emerging: not yet reached the expected level of development.
- Exceeding: beyond the expected level of development for their age.
Phonics Screening Check – Year 1
- The Phonics Screening Check demonstrates how well pupils can use the phonics skills they have learned up to the end of Year 1, and to identify those who need extra phonics help.
- The checks consist of forty words and non-words that your child will be asked to read one-on-one with a teacher. Non-words (or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything.
- The forty words and non-words are divided into two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex word structures of five or six letters.
- Pupils will be scored against a national standard, and the main result will be whether or not they fall below, within or above this standard.
- Pupils who do not meet the required standard in Year 1 will be re-checked in Year 2.
KS1 English – Year 2
- The reading test is comprised of two components; one integrated reading and answer booklet and one separate reading booklet with an associated reading answer booklet. Children will have access to all components but teachers can stop the child at any stage of the test that they feel is appropriate for that particular child. The total testing time is approximately 60 minutes.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
- Children will sit two papers.
- Paper 1: Spelling – Grammar and punctuation – 15 minutes. Consists of an answer booklet with 20 sentences with missing words.
- Paper 2: Questions – Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary questions – 20 minutes.
- Handwriting will also be assessed.
KS1 Mathematics – Year 2
Children will take two maths papers:
- Paper 1: Arithmetic, 15 marks, 15 minutes, context free calculations.
- Paper 2: Fluency, solving problems and reasoning, 35 marks, 35 minutes. A range of contexts, five questions at the start will be oral, and in the approximate order of difficulty. The paper will include the following types of questions:
- Selected response.
- Multiple choice.
KS2 English – Year 6
- The reading test will be a single paper with questions based on three or four unrelated texts of between 1800 and 2300 words; there will be an emphasis on comprehension. One hour, including reading time, to complete the test – 50 marks available.
Grammar, punctuation and spelling test
- The grammar, punctuation and spelling test will consist of two parts: a grammar and punctuation paper requiring short answers, lasting 45 minutes, and an oral spelling test of twenty words, lasting around 15 minutes. (70 marks in total).
No formal test, ongoing teacher assessment; a selection of schools will be chosen for external moderation by the local authority.
KS2 Mathematics -Year 6
There will be three papers in maths:
- Paper 1: Arithmetic, (number, calculations and fractions, decimals and percentages) 30 minutes (30 marks).
- Papers 2 and 3: Mathematical fluency, solving problems and reasoning, 40 minutes per paper (80 marks in total).
- Paper 1 will consist of fixed response questions, where children have to give the correct answer to calculations, including long multiplication and division. Each question will have a grid to encourage working out, questions will be context free.
- Papers 2 and 3 will assess children’s ability to apply mathematics to problems and to reason, they will involve a number of question types, contextualised and context free, including:
- Multiple choice.
- True or false.
- Constrained questions, e.g. giving the answer to a calculation, drawing a shape or completing a table or chart.
- Less constrained questions, where children will have to explain their approach for solving a problem.