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How We Assess

Assessment in Years 1 to 6

At the heart of our assessment approach is a definition of the core learning in each year group from 1 to 6 – the essential knowledge and skills from the national curriculum that we believe each child in the year group must have mastered in order to have a secure foundation for moving into the next year.

These Key Objectives are embedded into the weekly teaching and learning cycle in order to ensure that the intended learning is being taught, recalled and understood by all pupils:

  • The Key Objectives are referenced and used for weekly and half termly lesson planning
  • The Key Objectives are used to support and review work in children’s books for evidence of learning and achievement of the objective.
  • Key Objectives are used by the children and teachers regularly during the week to assess learning
  • Understanding what pupils can do/know from one lesson/week is used to inform planning for the next steps in teaching.

Our main focus therefore is on ongoing formative assessment to check that pupils are on track to meet the end of year expectations.  We formally report on and analyse progress once a term.

This cycle of termly progress monitoring has several elements:

1. At the start of the Autumn term, each child is set an end of year attainment target.  This target is embedded into performance management and appraisal.

2. Each term, teachers use the formative assessment tracking together with summative test benchmarks and results to judge whether a pupil is not on track, on track or ahead of the end of year target.

3. We share pupils’ attainment and our judgement of whether they are ‘on track’ at parent consultation evenings in the autumn and spring terms.

4. Summative tests include end of unit tests/quizzes which are useful to cross check pupils’ recall of knowledge and content.

At the end of an academic year, we now make only one final assessment judgement for each child: Working At Greater Depth; Working At; Working Towards; or Working Below, and report on this to parents.

In order to validate and triangulate our ongoing assessment judgements against key objectives, we are also now using termly standardised tests in reading and maths – Progress in Reading Assessment PIRA and Progress in Understanding Mathematics Assessment PUMA – that have been age-standardised against a national population of 12,000 children. 

These tests produce a reading/maths age and an age standardised numerical score (based on a normal distribution around a median of 100:

Analysis of standardised scores is also useful for indicating whether pupils/pupil groups are below, at or above age-expectations in a more consistent and regular way (as there is no longer any standard national benchmark of attainment except at year 2 and year 6).

Statutory Assessment in Year 2 and 6

At the end of year 2, pupils take tests in maths, reading and grammar/punctuation/ spelling.  These tests are marked internally, and the pupil raw results converted to scaled scores (around a national mean of 100) for each test – similarly to our PIRA/PUMA standard scores.  We use these scaled scores to inform and validate teacher assessment judgements, but we do not report these to parents.

Teachers also make assessment judgements as to whether pupils have met end of key stage performance descriptors in maths, reading, writing and science.  Evidence must come from the body of pupil’s work in their books and be available for external moderation.  The judgements that teachers make and which are reported to parents will be “working towards the expected standard”, “working at the expected standard” or “working at greater depth within the expected standard”.

At the end of year 6, pupils take tests in maths, reading and grammar/punctuation/ spelling.  These tests are marked externally, and pupil’s results reported to parents as scaled scores (around a national mean of 100) for each test.

In addition and similarly to the end of year 2, teachers make judgements as to whether pupils have met end of key stage performance descriptors in maths, reading, writing and science.  Evidence must come from the body of pupil’s work in their books and be available for external moderation.  The judgements that teachers make are simply whether a pupil is “working at the expected standard” (for reading, maths and science), with further judgements of “working towards the expected standard” and “working at greater depth within the expected standard” for the writing judgement.

Parents' Presentation on Assessment (Mar 2016)

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