At Westmorland Primary, there is a belief that effective assessment provides valuable information to inform and improve teaching and learning thereby raising standards. Our aim therefore, is to ensure that all staff, children and parents are all working together. In order to achieve this, the children are encouraged to take an active role in assessing their own learning and staff feedback regularly to all pupils so that they know and understand what they need to do to next in order to make further progress. Parents also receive regular verbal and written reports about their children’s learning thus, creating strong and positive relationships within and between school and the wider community.
Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of assessment in our school are:
- To enable our children to demonstrate what they know and understand in their work.
- To help our children to recognise and understand what they need to do next to improve their work and make their ‘next steps’ of progress.
- To allow teachers to plan work that accurately reflects the needs of each child.
- To provide regular information for parents that enable them to support their child’s learning.
- To provide the Headteacher and Governors with information that allows them to make judgements about the effectiveness of the school.
- To have high expectations of success, with all pupils expected and encouraged by all staff and parents to achieve their potential.
- To evaluate progress by analysing assessment results to keep track of the relative performance and attainment of different groups and to tackle underperformance by any particular group.
- To ensure each child is able to ‘enjoy and achieve’ through making personal developmental steps and attaining stretching national educational standards at primary school.
Planning for Assessment
We use the national curriculum key skills, our school’s curriculum map and assertive mentoring documents to guide our teaching. The curriculum map details the units of work to be taught in each subject area and sets clear objectives to be taught.
Teachers plan their lessons with clear learning intentions which are based on the teacher’s detailed knowledge of each child. We strive to ensure that all tasks set are appropriate for each child’s level of ability.
Each lesson has clear success criteria which are shared with the children and are used to assess achievement in every lesson.
Target Setting 2
Every school is required by law to set targets in mathematics and English each year for those children who are in Year 6. This is calculated through analysis and consideration of previous progress, attainment in Year 5 and socio-economic status.
Every child throughout the school has specific targets for the core subjects, behaviour attendance and punctuality. These targets are shared with the children and their parents.
Teaching and learning is planned appropriately to allow opportunity for children to achieve their targets and assessments are made regularly in order to develop them as necessary.
Summative Assessment process
With the exception of early years foundation stage, assessments will be carried out towards the end of each term ( 3 times per year) rather than half termly. This is the data that will be recorded on sims again termly.
Base line assessments will be carried out for the children as they enter the foundation stage. Teachers will assess regularly both formally and informally all the children throughout their time in the early years setting. At the end of reception, the early years staff will report on the 17 areas of learning and development. Within each area teachers will identify whether the children are emerging, expected or exceeding. At the end of the academic year the data will be analysed by the assessment leader and key stage 1 progress leader so that comparisons between groups of children can be made.
The children, at the end of the autumn term, will be assessed using the 17 areas of learning and development. Those children who have completed the early learning goals will be assessed using assertive mentoring in both writing and maths. At the end of the spring term all of the cohort will be assessed using the assertive mentoring grids, those children who are working towards level 1 will be assessed using the B squared assessments.
Year 2/Key stage 2
Formal assessments using the assertive mentoring grids in maths and writing are to be used to assess the children towards the end each term only, (Dates for these assessments are on the assessment timetable).
Assessment of maths
All the children complete an assertive mentoring maths test, which is at their appropriate level, and a weekly times tables test.
Assessment of writing
At least four totally independent pieces of writing in a range of genres are to be completed throughout the term then assessed using the assertive mentoring grids. Writing moderation staff meetings will then follow directly after this. 3
Assessment of reading
The reading accuracy (not reading comprehension ) for all the children from year 2 through to year 6 will assessed by using the Salford reading test towards the end of each term. The tests will be carried out by the management team.
Year 1 will be tested towards the end of both the spring and summer terms.
So teachers are fully informed of the next steps of learning within reading; assertive mentoring grids will be used throughout all the guided reading sessions. These results will be recorded on sims.
Assessment of Speaking and Listening
A sample of children across the range of abilities and year groups will be assessed on their ability to tell a story and ability to make up a new story. The assessment will be carried out by the speech and language specialist and the Literacy leader, both at the beginning and the end of the year.
Assessment of Science
Assertive mentoring grids are being used to assess the using and applying of Science (AT1).
Assessment of ICT
ICT assessment grids are used to help teachers make informed judgements of each child’s ability within ICT. These assessments are to be carried out at the end of each topic.
Assessment of Foundation Subjects
- All foundation subjects will be assessed at the end of each term, using a new levelled grid.
- Recording of data on class, group and independent grids
- The expectation is that teachers will assess and level the writing and will assess reading comprehension as its being completed throughout the guided reading sessions.
- The marking of the maths papers can be done by teachers and/or teaching assistants.
- Class grids are to be completed by the teachers as it’s this information that identifies the next steps of learning for the class or groups of children.
- The teaching assistants will then transfer that information on to each child’s individual grids. Time out of class will be allocated for them to do this.
- Mentoring sessions will be completed on a termly basis rather than half termly. Time again will be allocated for this.
- Concerns about children
- If teachers have concerns about a child or children then they can speak to the maths, literacy leaders, Senco, or Assessment leader who may be able to advise on other assessments but these results are not to be formally recorded.
4 SEN Children
Those children throughout the school that are unable to access the national curriculum will be assessed using B Squared
Marking and Feedback to Pupils
We take a professional approach to the tasks of marking work and giving feedback on it. There will naturally be some differences in the marking symbols and grading systems used by individual teachers, and the age of the children will have to be taken into account. However, all children are entitled to regular and comprehensive feedback on their learning showing their next steps in learning. Therefore, all teachers will mark work and give feedback as an essential part of the assessment process.
We have an agreed code for marking (see marking policy) to ensure consistency across the school.
Wherever possible, we give children verbal feedback on their work, comments will also be written on the child’s work.
When we provide written feedback to a child we relate this to the learning intention for the lesson as well as identify what they have done well, set targets for improvements in the future and identify the next steps in each child’s learning (This may be in the form of questions or a further challenge).
Assessment for Learning
In all areas of the curriculum we encourage children to self assess. They are given clear success criteria for each lesson and we use various activities such as ‘traffic lights’, ‘thumbs up/down’ and smiley faces for children to indicate how well they have achieved the learning intention.
We also use peer assessment for children to make judgements about what makes a piece of work successful. This is always done by identifying all the positive features and then suggesting one area of improvement.
We hold termly pupil progress meetings with teachers, SMT and mentors where we identify children who need particular support to make their expected progress. Interventions are put in place to support the progress of those children. We also hold pupil meetings with the children themselves where they are able to discuss their progress and their preferred learning styles. A climate survey is regularly conducted to provide us with information on children’s attitudes to self and school.
Each child will be assessed before accessing the intervention and again after completing it, this enables staff to assess the impact the interventions are having. Once the interventions have been completed the children will be closely monitored to ensure that progress is maintained.
5 Assessment packs
- Each teacher will receive an assessment pack on a termly basis which will contain data in reading, writing and maths specific for their year group.
- Once the assessment leader has analysed all the data they will identify all the children in each class who has either made no progress or fallen behind in each subject area. Teachers will then be asked to target those specific children over the term. These children will then be discussed in the termly pupil progress meetings.
- The middle leaders will be asked to analyse data for literacy and maths across the school and look for emerging trends and identifying areas for development, the findings of which, will then feed into the school development plan.
- All staff moderate each other’s decisions for children’s levels of achievement. We also use Local Authority consultants to monitor and scrutinize consistency of judgements.
- We regularly monitor and develop our methods and approach to assessment ensuring that all information is used as a valuable tool for informing teaching and learning and identifying progress.
Reporting to Parents
- We have a range of strategies to keep parents fully informed of their child’s progress in school. We encourage parents to contact the school if they have any concerns about any aspect of their child’s progress or achievement.
- We regularly offer parents the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher both informally at coffee mornings and after class assemblies and formally at parents’ evenings.
- Parents are given regular written feedback of their child’s progress and effort throughout the year. These reports also include the targets for the child’s next steps in learning.
This policy is to be reviewed every two years and has been presented to staff and Governors.