How do we assess pupils' learning?
The school welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum in 2014 and saw it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach that makes sense to parents. 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.
The principles that underpin our assessment system are:
- Every child can achieve: teachers at Ruswarp have the mindset, ‘What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?’
- The National Curriculum 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.
- 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.
- Three way feedback, pupil, peer, teacher with clearly identified next steps – this can be written or verbal feedback.
- Regular pupils’ work scrutiny.
- Progress tests for English and maths
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.
Statutory Assessments (End of Key Stage)
In addition to the above assessments, pupils also complete the following statutory assessments:
- Reception – Baseline, (statutory Sep. 16), EYFS profile
- Year 1 (and 2) - Phonics Check
- Years 2 and 6 - end of Key Stage assessments
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.
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 reading (and no further) would be said to be securely working at the Age Related Expectation for Year 3 reading.
- A child achieving half or so of the mathematics objectives for Year 5 would be classed as working towards the Age Related Expectation for Year 5 maths.
- A child achieving only a few reading objectives for Year 1 would be classed as working below the Age Related Expectation for Year 1 reading.
We use the following terminology to assess pupils knowledge of the curriculum, against age-related expectations, in each core subject area:
- Not begun - objective has not been taught
- Working Towards - not all age-related objectives have been achieved
- Achieved - all age-related objectives have been achieved
- Mastered - working at a greater depth - working above the age- related expectation
Tracking progress over-time, Yr 1- 6
To track progress overtime we carry out progress 'Data snap-shots' three times a year at the end of each term. Any child who is not making the expected rates of progress will then recieve targeted intervention and support to accelerate their learning.
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.
Reporting to Parents
- Following the Spring term 'Data-Snapshot' we invite parents into school to meet with the class teacher. An interim individual assessment report is provided at this meeting. Along with any information about intervention, support and next steps.
- Following the Summer term 'Data-Snapshot' we invite parents into school to meet with the class teacher. An end of year individual assessment report is provided at this meeting. Along with any information about transition intervention and support.
- Discussions at parent, teacher, consultation meetings in the Spring and Summer terms are based on the assessment system in place for each age group.
- Parents also receive annual progress test reports, outcomes of statutory assessments and an annual report.