Aims of assessment
Principles and types of assessment
We believe that assessment is an integral part of teaching and lies at the heart of promoting pupils’ learning and progress. We believe that effective assessment provides clear and reliable information to improve teaching and learning for all children. To achieve this we undertake two very different but complementary types of assessment:
Assessment for learning; in-school formative assessment, which is used by teachers to evaluate pupils’ knowledge and understanding on a day-to-day basis and to tailor teaching accordingly.
Assessment of learning; in-school and nationally standardised summative assessment which enables the school and stakeholders to evaluate how much a pupil has learned at the end of a teaching period. This data is used to hold schools to account.
Formative assessment is used to assess knowledge, skills and understanding, and to identify gaps and misconceptions. The primary purpose of formative assessment is to inform teaching and learning by providing information for teachers and pupils about where pupils are going, how close to it they are and what they need to do to get there.
Barncroft expects that all aspects of the National Curriculum are assessed formatively; however staff are not required to record all formative assessment. Records of formative assessment for the teacher pupil, and parent are limited to:
Marking in pupil’s books
Flip over books for Guided Reading, where there is no evidence of a pupil’s understanding from that lesson in books (Adult Led tracking sheets to be used for this in EYFS)
Termly PM Benchmark records
Termly Assertive Mentoring parent meeting records (half termly for Y6)
Effective formative assessment at Barncroft Primary School includes:
Rich questioning during lessons to evaluate pupil understanding and identify gaps or misconceptions.
Regular opportunities for feedback enabling pupils to understand what they need to do to improve (see marking and feedback policy).
Checking both during and at the end of lessons whether pupil’s knowledge and understanding is secure enough to move forward, or whether further consolidation work or a different approach is necessary.
Observational assessment recorded in flip over books, where needed, for reading, which informs future planning.
Looking for evidence of pupil’s producing work which exemplifies their learning and demonstrates, in a variety of ways, their understanding of age related attainment targets.
Effective marking of pupils’ work (see marking and feedback policy).
Daily opportunities during morning task for pupils to respond to feedback.
Use of strategies to enable pupils to demonstrate their understanding through marking.
Using flexible grouping for short term target setting and identification of children who need additional support to ‘keep up’ with Age Related Expectations.
Informing and quality assuring teacher’s attainment judgements
Regular discussions about children’s attainment, progress and next steps within pupil progress review meetings.
Teachers have access to banks of questions to help with formative assessment. This includes those developed by subject leaders within school and commercial products such as ‘Testbase’ and ‘Assertive Mentoring’ which have been designed to support assessment of specific aspects of the National Curriculum.
The purpose of summative assessment is to evaluate pupils’ learning and progress at the end of a period of teaching.
Summative assessment at Barncroft Primary School includes:
End of Key Stage tests and the EYFS Profile at the end of Reception
Short end of topic or unit tests (including half termly Assertive Mentoring tests in maths and half termly Phonics and grammar tests in English)
Reviews for pupils with SEN and Disabilities
Regular pupil progress reviews
Summative assessment at Barncroft Primary School should be used to:
Provide pupils with information about how well they have learned and understood a topic or course of work taught over a period of time and how they can continue to improve.
Improve future learning, pupil progress and outcomes for pupils by informing medium and long term planning.
Inform parents of pupils’ development and progress to ensure that they understand their child’s current attainment, progress and next steps, and how they can support their child’s learning.
Facilitate a smooth transition from one year to another through effective information sharing between teachers
Standardise and validate formative assessments (by supporting accuracy of teacher assessment through use of standardised tests).
Provide Leaders, Governors and other stakeholders information on progress and attainment over time which enables them to monitor and to demonstrate the effectiveness of teaching and learning and to contribute to the self-evaluation and school improvement process.
Enable school leaders to monitor the performance of pupil cohorts, to identify where interventions may be required and to work with teachers to ensure pupils are supported to achieve sufficient progress and expected attainment.
Provide information on how pupils are performing in comparison to pupils nationally, enabling leaders and governors to benchmark against other schools locally and nationally, and make judgements about the school’s effectiveness.
Assessment data and collection reporting
Formative assessment is integral to the process of planning, teaching, learning and progress and as such should be evident in all lessons. The school’s marking and feedback policy describes the expectations of recording formative assessment through marking.
Flip over books for Guided Reading are expected to be used in each lesson to record the understanding that the pupil’s demonstrated in that lesson and to feed in to future lessons.
Flip over books for Maths are expected to be used by staff in lessons where the productivity in books does not itself provide permanent evidence of a pupil’s understanding from that lesson (such as entirely practical maths lessons).
Termly PM benchmark assessments are expected to be carried out for all children in Reading in Y1-6.
Half termly Assertive Mentoring tests in Maths and half termly Grammar tests in English are expected to be carried out for all children in KS2.
Teachers meet with parents and pupils termly for Assertive Mentoring parent meetings (half termly for Y6). During these meetings attainment data is shared with pupils to aid their understanding of what they need to do to progress.
Pupil attainment against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of Age Related Expectations (ARE) in Reading, Writing and Maths are recorded on Target Tracker by all teachers. This judgement is informed by both formative and summative assessments. Target Tracker is used as a working document and can therefore be updated at any point that a teacher believes that a child is demonstrating understanding at the ‘beginning’ of, ‘within’, or ‘secure’ in ARE for a particular year group. This data is captured and monitored by leaders every 6 weeks and is reported formally to Governors termly.
End of Key Stage tests are carried out in Year 2 and Year 6 in line with statutory requirements
Phonics screening in Year 1 and Year 2 is carried out annually in line with statutory requirements.
Reporting to parents
The school has a range of strategies that keep parents fully informed of their child’s progress and involved in the assessment process. Each term (each half term for Y6) parents attend an Assertive mentoring meeting attended by the parent, teacher, child and a member of the leadership team. During these meetings previous targets are reviewed and new targets are set. These targets cover all aspects of the curriculum, welfare and personal development, British values and learning behaviours. Parents receive three written reports per year on their child’s attainment and progress which are shared at the Assertive Mentoring meetings. Parents are also given the opportunity once per term to come into school for ‘curriculum show case in their child’s classroom after school.
Arrangements for ensuring teachers are able to conduct assessment competently and confidently
The school will have a named Assessment Lead who will be responsible for ensuring good practice across the school. The assessment lead will liaise with other schools through assessment networks in order to continually develop best practice in assessment.
Continuous professional development (CPD) will be provided so that every teacher has the opportunity to become skilled and confident at assessing pupils’ learning. Teachers will be kept up to date with developments in assessment practice through regular staff training and moderation opportunities. This will include standardisation and moderation tasks termly with other local and contrasting schools.
Barncroft Primary School recognises the importance of engaging pupils and parents in the assessment process. At Barncroft Primary School ‘Assertive Mentoring’ is used in all year groups to provide parents and children with feedback on their learning so that they understand their own next steps and can take ownership of their own learning and progression. This involves:
Termly mentoring meetings (half termly in Y6) attended by the pupil, their parent, teacher and a member of the leadership team.
Half termly tests in Maths which are used diagnostically to inform next steps in learning.
Scaffolding structures in English to promote pupil independence in application of knowledge.
Ensuring a fully inclusive approach to assessment
The principles of assessment set out in this policy apply to all pupils, including those with SEN and disabilities. The school will ensure pupils with SEN and disabilities are assessed appropriately and effectively in line with the purposes and principles of inclusive assessment.
All assessments in all year groups contribute to the early and accurate identification of children and young people’s special educational needs and any requirements for support and intervention. Barncroft Primary School values and measures all aspects of progress for all children including: communication, social skills, physical development and independence.
In order to meet the needs of all pupils, assessment methods are adapted for some pupils with SEN and disabilities. This includes adapting the use of questioning to give pupils sufficient time to respond, using visual stimuli and alternative means of communication and observation.
Arrangements for the governance, management and evaluation of assessment
It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that this policy is followed consistently across all aspects of teaching and learning. The effectiveness of this policy will be monitored by the Assessment Lead, the Leadership Team and Governors. Regular pupil progress review meetings, evidence in pupil’s books and feedback from stakeholders will all be used in order to continually monitor the effectiveness of this policy.