How Do We Assess Your Child’s Progress and Achievement?
Assessment FOR Learning
We use many different strategies to assess whether children understand the programme of study, whether they need to consolidate their learning further or if they’re ready to apply it to more complex problems or scenarios. This is referred to as Formative Assessment and it helps us all to adapt teaching and learning strategies.
For children who aren’t sufficiently fluent with the programme of study then we spend some time consolidating the basics, building a firm understanding that we can move on from.
If children show they understand and can communicate their learning well, they will be provided with further opportunities to apply what they know and have learnt to more complex and challenging scenarios, rather than moving on to the next level. This is referred to as deep learning or Mastery.
We’ve been implementing some of the research about Growth Mindsets and have found that mixed ability groupings offer great opportunities for children to explain, question and clarify their learning with each other. This is yet another strategy we use to support children to progress at broadly the same pace through the programmes of study.
Assessment OF Learning
Following the introduction of the National Curriculum in 2014, all schools have seen significant changes to the way assessment is managed, and this is an area that is still seeing huge changes since the ‘Interim Assessment Framework’ has been extended for another year into the 2016/2017 period.
‘Levels’ have been removed and children will have statutory assessment points in:
- Reception (the planned phasing out of the EYFS profile has been cancelled, therefore this is still in place)
…and the ‘Baseline’ that was planned to start in Sept 2016 was cancelled. Recent news (mid 2017) is that this might be brought back.
- Year 1 Phonics Checks with a re-take, if needed, in Year 2
- Year 2 As KS2 below… (2017 has been reported as possibly being the last year of the formal data point at KS1)
- Year 6 With an end of Key Stage assessment, providing a scaled score*.
All these assessment points are referred to as a Summative Assessment, providing all of us (the child, their parents, school staff and County and/or the DfE too) an understanding of how the child is doing at that point in time.
* Each child’s raw score will be converted to a scaled score from that year’s specific conversion table. A scaled score of 100 (+/- a small amount) is ‘average’ , whereas anything below (to 85) is below average and anything above (to 115) is above average.
End of Year Expectations
At the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), children will be assessed as either:
- 1; Working Towards expectations,
- 2; Meeting expectations, or
- 3; Exceeding expectations
Through the other year groups, we use the following terminology:
- Emerging; a child that shows some understanding but needs additional support.
- Developing; a child who understands many aspects and just needs some consolidation to fully embed their learning.
- Secure; a child who is secure in most of the end of year expectations and is able to use and apply skills independently.
- Mastery; a child who can apply their learning to different and more complex situations
The statements above are based on end of year expectations and therefore any assessments made at the end of the year are a more accurate measure than assessments made at the end of the Autumn and Spring terms. At these two earlier points of the year, we use our knowledge of the child’s learning (our formative assessment data) and an awareness of their development, attitude and progress through the programmes of study to provide an assessment grade.
Reporting to Parents
Our reports are issued in the middle of the Spring Term. We provide an assessment grade as above, and comment on strengths and things to be proud of as well as any areas that we hope to improve over the next term.
With the development of the National Curriculum, some schools also now report on attitudes to learning, including some mentioning the level of ‘mastery’ from shallow to deep; we simplify this and report on the child’s attitude to learning from, a. inconsistent, b. a good attitude, and c. a thirst for learning.