Assessment at St Mary’s
Assessment is the means used to evaluate children’s progress and, as such, it sits at the heart of teaching and learning. It also helps parents to understand and participate in their child’s educational journey. Assessment can take place through questioning, by making a judgement from the work children produce or in the form of tests.
At St Mary’s CE Primary and Nursery School, we track every child’s progress and identify their next steps in reading, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) and maths. At least every term teachers review children’s progress against the National Curriculum age expectations and summarise their achievement as to whether they are working towards age expectations, working at age expectations or working at greater depth. Wider curriculum subjects (eg. science, RE, history, geography, art etc) are also tracked in a similar way and professional judgements made against subject specific skill progressions. Our own school judgements are validated through moderation with other local primary schools where good practice can also be shared.
We work carefully to ensure children are assessed consistently and accurately. Our work incorporates the following agreed principles of assessment:
1. Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning
Assessment for learning is ongoing. It celebrates and measures achievement and informs planning for teaching and learning across all curriculum areas.
2. Assessment sets ambitious and appropriate expectations
Assessment objectives set high but differentiated expectations for all children. Different types of assessment are used in order to accurately identify knowledge, skills and understanding as well as inform barriers and next steps.
3. Assessment draws on a wide range of evidence
Assessments are made based on a range of evidence including learning that is both recorded and observed.
4. Assessment is consistent, reliable and transparent
Assessment is inclusive of all children and expectations for each child are made clear. It forms part of ongoing dialogues between staff, children and parents. It is rigorous and moderated carefully to ensure consistency across school.
5. Assessment outcomes are meaningful and accessible
Assessment is a shared process so children understand and take responsibility for their learning and next steps. Assessment outcomes provide meaningful and relevant information for teachers, support staff, governors and the local authority. They provide parents and carers with clear information about what their child can do, what their next steps are and how well they are achieving in relation to age-related expectations.
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 English (and no further) would be said to be working at the end of Year 3 expectation for English.
A child achieving half or so of the mathematics objectives for Year 5 would be classed as working at the mid-Year 5 expectation for maths.
A child achieving only a few reading objectives for Year 1 would be classed as working at the beginning of Year 1 expectation.
Our assessment and reporting system includes:
Ongoing assessment 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, pupil, peer, teacher with clearly identified next steps – this can be written or verbal feedback.
Regular pupils’ work scrutiny.
All of the above will feed into our data collection which take place about three to four times a year.
More able children
Rather than moving onto the next year’s curriculum, these children will work on ‘deepening’ their knowledge and learning through the application of skills in different contexts.
The depth and application of a child’s learning is an important marker of their achievement and progress.
Early Years - Nursery & Reception
Children in Nursery and Reception continue to be assessed against the Prime and Specific areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage profile.
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:
Not yet meeting expected levels
Meeting expected levels
Progress is tracked using the software ‘Tapestry’.
Reporting to Parents
We will continue to report termly to parents via Parents Evenings and a ‘Snap shot’ report will be discussed. An annual report to parents is written during the summer term although parents are welcome to discuss their child’s progress at any point throughout the year.