The school has embraced the changes in the National Curriculum in 2014 and we saw it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems. 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.How do we assess pupils’ learning?
The principles that underpin our assessment system are:
- Every child can achieve: teachers at Raynham have the mindset, ‘What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?’
- The National Curriculum ‘age related expectations’ (ARE) objectives will be used as the expectations for all children.
- 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 is linked to high expectations and is viewed as an integral part of teaching and learning.
- Teachers are experts at assessment – assessment will be effectively used 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.
- Effective questioning by the teacher ensures that misconceptions are identified and quickly acted upon.
- Feedback is given and the teacher clearly identifies the next steps – this can be written or verbal feedback. Children are then given time to respond to the feedback.
- Regular pupils’ work scrutiny.
- Pupils who are accessing the Read Write Inc phonic programme have assessments every six to eight weeks and are re-grouped according to their levels and progress.
- Progress tests for Maths at the end of units taught.
- Teachers assess pupil attainment in Reading, Writing, Maths and Science on a termly basis against the New National Curriculum objectives which have been taught in class.
All of the above feed into ‘Data snap-shots’, these will take place at class, phase and subject level three times a year, towards the end of each term.
At Raynham we use the following language:
Emerging – this category is used for EAL pupils arriving within that term with little or no knowledge of English, for some pupils with identified special educational needs and for pupils who are working significantly behind their peers. Most pupils will not remain in this category for long as swift progress is expected of EAL pupils and other pupils will be assessed quickly for appropriate and effective intervention.
Developing – pupils are yet to be secure in what has been taught.
Working within secure – pupils have achieved success with the most of objectives taught but not all. This becomes a targeted group and the expectation would be that most pupils in this group at the start of the year would move towards secure by the end of the year.
Secure – pupils have achieved success in the vast majority of objectives taught in class and are on track to achieve age related expectations by the end of the year.
Working at Greater Depth – pupils are secure in what has been taught and are their applying knowledge to solve challenges and broaden their understanding, confidently and independently.
In addition to the above assessments, pupils also complete the following statutory assessments:
- Progress check at age two
- Reception Baseline Assessment
- Reception Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
- Year 1 (and 2) – Phonics Check
- Year 4 – Multiplication tables check (MTC)
- Years 2 and 6 – end of Key Stage assessments (SATs)
Early Years – Two Year Olds, Nursery & Reception
Assessment in Early Years is based on the statutory EYFS Framework and the DFE guidance ‘Development Matters’. These set out children’s learning and development from birth to five years old, over seven areas of learning – three ‘prime’ areas (Communication and language, Physical development and Personal, social and emotional development) and four ‘specific’ areas (Literacy, Maths, Understanding the world and Expressive arts and design). These areas are further divided into 17 strands, which lead to the Early Learning Goals at the end of the EYFS.
In addition to the statutory Reception Baseline Assessment at the start of Reception, all children have an internal school baseline assessment on entry to Raynham, at TWOs, Nursery or Reception. This baseline is informed by our observations, and information from parents and previous settings. In Reception, children are assessed in all areas of learning (prime and specific), in our Two Year Old provision and Nursery, the focus is on the prime areas. Judgements are made against the age bands set out in ‘Development Matters’. Children are assessed on entry, and then termly throughout the EYFS. Progress is tracked, from each child’s starting point on entry to Raynham to the end of Reception – the Early Learning Goals.
Ongoing assessment is largely through observations. Children’s interests, developmental stages and needs are identified, and next steps, extensions, challenges and support are met in the moment or planned for. Observations are shared with parents through our online programme ‘Evidence Me’. Through this, parents have the opportunity to share their child’s learning and progress, contribute to assessments and offer their comments and views. Observations provide the basis for all our assessments. They, along with other evidence, feed into the termly judgements made against the Development Matters statements.
The EYFS Profile
The EYFS profile is carried out in the final term of Reception. The main purpose of the EYFSP is to provide a reliable, valid and accurate assessment of individual children at the end of the EYFS.
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 reaching the expected level of development
- Expected, meeting the expected level of development
Teachers will also provide a brief commentary about each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the different ways in which children learn – ‘the characteristics of effective learning’.
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.
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 40 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 40 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.
Key Stage 1 SATs (end of Year 2):
The tests will be administered during May at a time determined by the school. They are not strictly timed tests.
There is an arithmetic test to check your child’s ability in basic mathematics and a mathematical reasoning paper.
There are also 2 English reading papers: short text and question and a longer text with separate questions.
There is an optional English grammar, punctuation and spelling test. Schools may choose to administer the 2017 KS1 English grammar, punctuation and spelling test and use the result to inform teacher assessment (TA), but there is no requirement to do so.
Teacher assessment is used to report children’s attainment and progress to parents. Teachers will use the key stage 1 test results to help them to reach an overall judgement of the standards children have reached in English reading and mathematics. You will also receive a teacher assessment judgement for science, but there is no science test. You will receive your child’s results by the end of the summer term.
Key Stage 2 SATs (end of Year 6):
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. The expected standard is a scaled score of 100.
Your child will take these tests on set dates in May. There is a maths, reading paper and a grammar, punctuation and spelling paper.
Mathematics is tested using an arithmetic paper and two mathematical reasoning papers.
You will receive test results for your child in English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling and mathematics.
There is no test for English writing; this will be reported using teacher assessment. You will also receive separate teacher assessment judgements for English writing and science.
Tracking progress over-time:
All our children are entered onto a tracking sheet in ScholarPack. This gives us a visual picture of the progress pupils are making over time and as a school we are focussed on increasing the percentage of pupils working at secure (or above) during the year and as a result of this increasing our percentage of pupils reaching Age Related Expectations at the end of each Programme of Study (see the national curriculum document for details on the Programmes of Study).
Reporting to Parents
Discussions at parent, consultation meetings in the Autumn and Spring terms are based on the assessment system in place for each age group. Parents also receive an annual report.