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Assessment

This policy and procedure has been produced based on recommendations in the Final Report of the Commission on Assessment without levels (Sep 2015) and in line with the ‘Purposes and Principles of Assessment without Levels’.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/commission-on-assessment-without-levels-government-response

Rationale

Assessment is a continuous process which is integral to teaching and learning allowing children to reach their true potential. It should be incorporated systematically into teaching strategies in order to promote better than expected progress for individuals, groups and cohorts. At Vale School, we use the National Curriculum as a starting point for all of the teaching and learning experiences that we provide for our children.

Aims

  • Monitor and record the attainment and progress of individuals, groups and cohorts.

  • Use attainment and progress information to guide teachers’ planning, strategies and use of resources and plan intervention.

  • Inform parents and the Governing Body about progress and attainment.

  • Ensure a consistent approach to measure progress towards and against national standards.

  • Enable pupils to reflect on their own progress, understand their strengths and identify what they need to do to improve.

Forms of Assessment

In-school Formative Assessment

This is the ongoing, day-to-day assessment which is carried out by teachers and is key to effective classroom practice. Learning outcomes are shared with pupils and they play an important role through self assessment of their own learning. Formative assessment is used by teachers to inform planning, resources and support in order for all children to progress.

At Vale School, pupils and teachers carry out ‘Assessment for Learning’ activities which identifies any gaps between where a child currently is in their learning, and where they need to be.

Children learn best when:

  • they understand clearly what they are trying to learn, and what is expected of them

  • they are given feedback (by word of mouth, marking etc.) about the quality of their work

  • they are given advice about how to go about making improvements

  • they are fully involved in deciding what needs to be done next, and who can give them help if they need it

 

Teachers use ‘learning objectives’ and ‘success criteria’ in the classroom which are designed to allow the children to understand what they are learning and how they can achieve success in every task.

For example, in Year 1 the children might have the following learning objective:

To write sentences.

They may then have the following success criteria for this writing task:

  • I will start every sentence with a capital letter

  • I will leave a finger space between words

  • I will read through my writing to make sure it makes sense.

Sometimes the children are encouraged to create their own success criteria which may be linked to targets they know they need to work on.  E.g. I must use punctuation at the end of my sentences.

 

These success criteria are not a simple fix-it list, but aspects of the task the child needs to focus on.  When marking the children’s work, the teacher will refer back to the Learning Objective of the lesson, the success criteria and sometimes to a specific target a child might be working on.  

 

As a school we also use highlighters and different coloured pens to help the children identify where they have been successful and where they need to improve.  

  • Pink is used to show success - tickled pink

  • Green to show areas for improvement - green for growth

 

Children also use red editing pens to improve their work and in response to teachers feedback.

Engaging children in their own learning process using Assessment for Learning is also a key factor in raising children’s attainment. The children are encouraged to assess their own work against the success criteria and also collaborate with a partner to improve their work.

In-School Summative Assessment

Children are assessed periodically and attainment data is recorded on Target Tracker. A range of materials are used to support teachers with accurate teacher assessment judgements. These assessments are carried out throughout the year and are used to monitor the performance of individuals, groups and cohorts as well as identifying gaps and next steps for planning.

 

Materials we use:

  • End of Year tests

  • End of topic or unit tests/tasks

  • Prove it tasks

Nationally Standardised Summative Assessment

At key points, children are assessed against national expectations. These are:

  • A Baseline Assessment in EYFS

  • End of EYFS

  • End of Year 1 (Phonics Screening)

  • End of KS1 (Year 2 SATs)

  • End of KS2 (Year 6 SATs)

Assessment in Early Years

During the year children are assessed against statements from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum, linked to their age. These assessments are used to inform their star and a wish targets recorded in their WOW books.  Objectives for children in their first year at school are banded in the following way:

  • 30 - 50 months

  • 40 - 60 months

  • Early Learning Goals

 

When children start school a baseline assessment is undertaken which informs the teachers planning. Vale School use EExba.

At the end of the year children are then assessed against the Early Learning Goals using the following terms:

  • Emerging (1) - Where children are still working in the 40-60 band

  • Expected (2) - Where children are working within the Early Learning Goals

  • Exceeded (3) - Where children are working above the expectation for children in Early Years

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Roles and Responsibilitiess

  • Governing Body: Monitor whole school attainment and progress data

  • SLT: Monitor attainment and progress at key points in the year.

  • Teachers: Carry out regular, accurate assessments of pupils, provide high quality feedback and use assessment information to inform planning.

  • Support Staff: Support children with their learning as directed by class teachers and provide feedback on children’s learning.

  • Parents/Carers: Support children with home learning and inform class teachers of achievements observed at home, eg feedback on a child’s progress in reading.

Communication with Parents

Children’s attainment and progress will be discussed at Parent Consultation Meetings which take place during the year. Reports will comment on children’s attainment and progress and key assessment data will be included in these reports.

 

Autumn Term:

  • Meet the Teacher Meeting in September

  • Formal Parent Consultation in November where achievements and targets are shared

 

Spring Term:

  • Formal Parent Consultation in February where achievements and targets are shared

 

Summer Term:

  • Parent and Child Consultation Meeting to celebrate success

  • Written Report

 

Teachers are also available for informal consultation if parents wish to discuss their child’s learning at other points.

 

At the end of each year in KS1 and KS2 the school reports to parents using the following language:

  • working above expected

  • working at expected

  • working towards expected

  • working below expected

Moderation

Regular moderation of assessments take place throughout the year to ensure accuracy and consistency across the staff team. These include;

  • Year group moderation

  • Whole school moderation

  • Locality moderation

  • Moderating with a local outstanding school

Monitoring and Evaluation

The Headteacher and Assessment Leader are responsible for updating this policy in line with any new developments in school and new government guidance. All staff are expected to follow the policy and the SLT will be responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of practice across the school.

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