Assessment Policy – written in conjunction with NEARs Schools
At St Augustine’s CEP School, we believe that assessment should place the child at the centre of their learning and that it should raise achievement for all. We focus on the progress of each individual child. Assessment is not a singular activity; it is both about the measurement of performance at a given point in time and an ongoing process of gaining information to promote future learning. We believe that this process should be thorough, manageable and relevant.
The purpose of assessment is:
- To enable children to progress
- To support children in recognising how to progress
- To inform future planning for individuals, groups and classes
- To summarise attainment
In addition, assessment supports teachers and the SLT in monitoring the effectiveness of teaching and learning.
Good assessment practice at St Augustine’s School will:
- raise standards of attainment and behaviour, and improve pupil attitudes and response
- enable the active involvement of pupils in their own learning by providing effective feedback which closes the gap between present performance and future standards required
- promote pupil self-esteem through a shared understanding of the learning processes and the routes to improvement
- guide and support the teacher as planner, provider, facilitator, learning designer and evaluator
- enable the teacher to adjust teaching to take account of assessment information and to focus on how pupils learn
- draw upon as wide a range of evidence as possible using a variety of assessment activities
- track pupil performance and in particular identify those pupils at risk of underachievement
- provide information which can be used by teachers and the SLT/Headteacher as they plan for individual pupils, groups and cohorts
- provide information which can be used by parents or carers to understand their pupils’ strengths, weaknesses and progress
- provide information which can be used by other interested parties
Two distinct types of assessment are identified and used in our school. These are:
- Assessment for learning (AfL)
Assessment for learning helps to identify the next steps needed to make progress. It takes account of pupils’ strengths as well as weaknesses. Assessment for learning essentially promotes future learning, often expressed in ‘next steps’ targets and teacher’s planning.
‘’AfL is the single most powerful tool we have for both raising standards and empowering lifelong learners.’’
Assessment Reform Group
Assessment for learning will:
- Provide insight into pupils’ learning for both pupils and teachers
- Promote success for all
- Support the target-setting process
- Enable continuous reflection on what pupils know now and what they need to know next
- Measure what is valued
- Raise standards by taking pupils to the ‘edges of their capability’
- Be used to support effective planning
- Help learners know how to improve
Implications for teaching:
The teacher will:
- Provide targeted oral and written feedback which identifies strengths and the next step for improvement
- Promote pupil involvement in self and peer assessment
- Act on insights gained to inform curricular targets
- Plan against what children know/can do/understand
- Promote inclusion by attending to all pupils’ learning needs, particularly for pupils who are at risk of underachievement
- Build in time for focused observation of teacher-directed and child-initiated activity
- Impact on learning and the learner
Impact on learning and the learner
The pupil will:
- Know what to do to improve
- Be clear about the expectations set
- Know what has been achieved against known success steps and what to do next
- Gain confidence, motivation and self-esteem as a learner
- Improve their own self-evaluation skills
- Make progress
- Improve their feedback, encouragement and critique skills
Teacher assessment evidence in support of AfL
This may include the use of:
- Children’s work done in class
- Homework and information from parents
- Observations of play/learning (including photographs)
- Questioning and discussions (both child and adult led)
- Speaking and listening activities
- Specific assessment tasks, such as spelling tests, times tables tests, phonics assessments.
Assessment of learning
Assessment of learning is more associated with judgements based on scores or levels for statutory or summative purposes. Assessment of learning describes and labels past learning. At St Augustine’s we use some tests and external assessments (for example SATs papers, Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, SEND reports) as well as teacher assessment. These assessments give a snapshot of a child’s attainment on a particular day, and are useful for benchmarking and comparative purposes.
Assessment of learning will:
- Provide a summary judgement about what has been learned at a specific point in time
- Establish national benchmarks about what children can do and about school performance
- Show what pupils can do without support
- Inform the target setting process
- Hold the school to public account
- Promote subsequent intervention(s)
Implications for teaching
The teacher will:
- Provide a periodic summary through teacher assessment
- Identify gaps in pupils’ knowledge and understanding
- Identify weaknesses in the taught curriculum and in specific areas of learning through analysis of performance which guide future planning
- Implement strategies to accelerate progress to meet local and national expectations (narrowing the gap)
Both AfL and AoL are essential in raising standards and should be used in all classes within our school therefore assessment for learning and assessment of learning are both embedded throughout the school. These 2 assessment types are complementary in many senses, and have an equally significant role to play when making teacher assessment judgements.
Pupil Progress Meetings
We value many types of assessment and appreciate that, although tests provide an easily achieved score, we should not only value that which can easily be measured and personal knowledge of each child is key. For this reason pupil progress meetings are held regularly throughout the year.
The progress of individuals and specific groups of children is discussed in relation to assessment data that teachers have prepared. As a result of these meetings, targets may be revised and intervention groups planned. Trends across cohorts, vulnerable groups, key stages and subject areas are collated and actioned as necessary.
Teachers are supported in their judgements through regular progress meetings, staff meetings and locality moderations.
From May 2016 new style National Curriculum tests will be implemented. Children will no longer receive a level, but will achieve a numerical score whereby 100 is deemed to be average.
Attainment at the end of the EYFS
The current Reception cohort will be assessed in June 2016 using the EYFS Profile. For each Early Learning Goal (of which there are 17), teachers must decide which one of the following three judgements is most accurate as a ‘best fit’:
- Emerging (1 point) The child has not yet achieved the ELG but is working within the one of the previous developmental bands of the EYFS framework e.g. 30-50 months
- Expected (2 points) The child has achieved the ELG as a best fit judgement
- Exceeding (3 points) The child has gone beyond the ELG and is working within the KS1 National Curriculum
This assessment will produce a number/percentage of children emerging, expected or exceeding for each of the 17 Early Learning Goals.
Our school data is compared with national outcomes. School staff must consider the attainment of children at the end of Reception compared with Early Years Foundation Stage Profile national figures, including the proportion that achieve a good level of development.
Progress Expectations in the EYFS
There is no national data for attainment on entry to Nursery and Reception and as yet no prescribed methods of assessing children when they start school.
At St Augustine’s School we make baseline judgements within the first half of the autumn term. These judgements will be made within the context of gathering information from parents and from liaison with early years’ settings during transition visits. Information from all sources will build a picture of each child’s learning and development on entry to school.
The age bands, in Early Years Outcomes, describe the ‘typical development’ for children at that age.
Attainment and progress expectations
All year groups are following the new National Curriculum. It is important to appreciate that this is far more challenging than previously and pupils will need to acquire more knowledge and skills to be working at Age Related Expectations (ARE). Transferring from the old curriculum to the new may give the impression that pupils have not made expected progress.
Along with the principles of the new curriculum, it is our aim that every child will reach ARE by the end of each academic year, with many children having the time and opportunity to work in greater depth and breadth.
Reports are sent to parents each year. These reports inform parents of their children's achievements and progress. They also give suggestions for the next steps in each child's learning.
Parent consultations are vital to the reporting and communication process in our school, as well as to promote the positive partnership between home and school. There are two scheduled times during the school year:
Also, there is an opportunity for parents to meet teachers to discuss any issues arising from the formal written end of year report.
Parents of children on the SEND register are formally invited into school regularly to review progress against the individualised targets on their child’s support plan. The support plans are updated at these meetings, and the children concerned are part of this process.
Governors are kept well informed throughout the year regarding pupil progress and attainment.
Monitoring and Evaluation of this policy
Governors will, in consultation with the Headteacher/Deputy/Headteacher monitor and evaluate the implementation of this policy.