We believe that effective assessment provides information to improve teaching and learning. We give learners regular feedback on their learning so that they understand what it is that they need to do better. This allows us to base our lesson plans on a detailed knowledge of each pupil. We give parents regular written and verbal reports on their child’s progress so that teachers, children and parents are all working together to raise standards for all our children.
Currently we are in a transition period, since the removal of National Curriculum Levels descriptors and the implementation of the New Curriculum. During this period of transition (from Autumn 2014) we will work in partnership with the local authority and other local schools to design a new assessment tool.
Aims and objectives
The aims and objectives of assessment in our school are:
- to enable our children to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do in their work
- to help our children understand what they need to do next to improve their work
- to allow teachers to plan work that accurately reflects the needs of each child
- to provide regular information for parents that enables them to support their child’s learning
- to provide school leaders and governors with information that allows them to make judgements about the effectiveness of the school
Assessment is not a singular activity; it is about measurement of performance at a given point in time and a way of gaining information to promote future learning. Our first point of principle should be to hold on to aspects of assessment that aim to measure what we value rather than simply valuing what we are able to measure.
Our principles for assessment
1. Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning
Assessment provides evidence to guide teaching and learning.
Assessment provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate and review their progress.â€¨â€¨
2. Assessment is fair
Assessment is inclusive of all abilities.
Assessment is free from bias towards factors that are not relevant to what the assessment intends to address.
3. Assessment is honest
Assessment outcomes are used in ways that minimise undesirable effects.
Assessment outcomes are conveyed in an open, honest and transparent way to assist pupils with their learning.
Assessment judgements are moderated to ensure their accuracy.
4. Assessment is ambitious
Assessment places achievement in context against nationally standardised criteria and expected standards.
Assessment embodies, through objective criteria, a pathway of progress and development for every child.
Assessment objectives set high expectations for learners.
5. Assessment is appropriate
The purpose of any assessment process should be clearly stated.
Conclusions regarding pupil achievement are valid when the assessment method is appropriate (to age, to the task and to the desired feedback information).
Assessment should draw on a wide range of evidence to provide a complete picture of student achievement.
Assessment should demand no more procedures or records than are practically required to allow pupils, their parents and teachers to plan future learning.
6. Assessment is consistent
Judgements are formed according to common principles.
The results are readily understandable by third parties.
A school’s results are capable of comparison with other schools, both locally and nationally.
7. Assessment outcomes provide meaningful and understandable information for:
pupils in developing their learning
parents in supporting children with their learning
teachers in planning, teaching and learning
school leaders and governors in planning and allocating resources
government and agents of government.
8. Assessment feedback should inspire greater effort and a belief that, through hard work and practice, more can be achieved
Our approach to assessment
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
All staff are regularly trained in our approach to assessment
We have senior leaders who analyse assessment and data across the school
Our method 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 as a means of continuous school improvement.
Assessments take two forms:
Ongoing assessments happen within lessons on a regular basis.
More formal testing takes place each half term. These results are collected by the teachers and fed back to the SLT (Senior Leadership Team) and analysed. Regular pupil progress meetings are an opportunity for teachers to discuss the assessments for their children and provide evidence of teaching / intervention that supports each child.
Our use of assessment
Teachers use the outcomes of our assessments to summarise and analyse attainment and progress for their pupils.
Teachers use this data to plan the learning for every pupil to ensure they meet or exceed expectations.
Teachers analyse data to ensure that pupils identified as vulnerable or at particular risk are making appropriate progress and that all pupils are suitably stretched.
Assessment results are collected by members of the SLT and analysed. The analysis informs the SLT of an overall picture of achievement and progress and helps with the provision of support for children and training for staff.
Regular pupil progress meetings are an opportunity for teachers to discuss the assessments for their children and provide evidence of weekly teaching that supports each child’s level.
The information from assessment is communicated to parents and pupils through progress meetings with parents. We celebrate achievements including attitude to work.