Assessment at Farsley Springbank is an integral part of teaching and learning. It is a continual process and is incorporated systematically into our teaching strategies with the aim of promoting better than expected progress for all pupils. Our aim is to ensure high quality teaching is supported and informed by our various types of assessment, allowing teachers to respond accurately to the learning needs of every pupil. Pupils have an active role in their own assessment, identifying their own learning needs and how they could improve their work. They are continually encouraged to be reflective and have a good understanding of their own strengths and how they can develop their learning further. All our assessment has a clear purpose and is done without adding unnecessarily to teachers’ workload.
Formative assessment enables teachers to understand pupils’ progress at all times and is a vital part of all lessons to ensure teachers can adapt and shape their teaching to best suit the needs of all learners. It allows teachers to provide appropriate support or extension where necessary, identifying where pupils need to consolidate their learning and when they are ready to further progress. It also enables teachers to evaluate their own planning and teaching in order to plan future lessons accordingly. Teachers will always have a planned structure of how they would like to see a certain group of lessons progress, with the National Curriculum outcomes at the forefront, however they will continually be flexible and ready to adapt their planning and teaching to suit the various needs of the pupils they teach. Typical types of formative assessment used at Farsley Springbank include:
Summative assessments are carried out periodically (termly) across the school year to assess the progress and attainment of individuals as well as groups. These assessments are used to monitor and support pupils’ progress as well as informing parents about their child’s achievement and progress. They also allow the progress of cohorts, classes and other key groups to be tracked so that this information can be reported to Governors and appropriate action can be taken to address any concerns. Information from these assessments is used in pupil progress meetings to plan for the term ahead, ensuring any children who are not making good progress are provided with the appropriate support/intervention to enable them to ‘catch up’ or to extend the learning of those children who may be able to make excellent progress. Pupil progress meeting ensure teachers are given appropriate support to achieve this for their pupils.
A range of ‘In-school summative assessments’ may take place in Years 1-6. We use standardised commercial tests, including/we have access to:
National standardised assessments are used to provide information on how our children are performing in comparison to children nationally and to children in similar schools. They will provide parents with a clear understanding of how the school is performing in comparison to schools locally and nationally. They will also provide the leadership team with information to benchmark the school against other local and national schools and will therefore contribute to the judgements on the school’s overall effectiveness. The government and OFSTED will make use of nationally standardised summative assessments to provide a starting point for OFSTED’s discussions when making judgements about the school’s performance.
A range of nationally standardised summative assessments will be used:
Our own way of recording and measuring pupil attainment and progress, with the focus on all children achieving age related expectations, is as follows: In each year group children will be assessed using the following descriptors:
Working Towards 1 (W1), Working Towards 2 (W2), Working Towards 3 (W3),
Secure 1 (S1), Secure 2 (S2), Secure 3 (S3) or Greater Depth (GD)
If a child cannot access the curriculum at their chronological age then they will be assessed according to whichever year group curriculum they are working on – for example a Year 5 child who is working securely but only just within the Year 3 curriculum will be assessed as a ‘3S1’.
If a child is working pre-curriculum we would assess them using a P-scale assessment which would be recorded from P4-P8.
Any child that is working out of their NC year group will either be still working on the National Curriculum objectives or on the P-scales objectives. These children will be assessed using the B-squared assessment system which breaks down the objectives into smaller steps and is recorded as a percentage and then transferred into the same language as the whole school assessment system (W1,W2,W3,S1,S2,S3,GD).
Assessment within Reception at Farsley Springbank Primary School is based on the staff’s knowledge of child development and is in line with statutory regulation.
As each child enters Reception, staff use their professional judgement to assess the age band children are working within across each of the 17 areas of learning set out in the Development Matters document and the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. Staff use information gained from nursery and home visits alongside children’s first weeks in Reception to help form their judgements.
Staff within Reception observe children’s development and progress both inside and outside on a daily basis. Recording of these observations is often documented on the schools chosen form of electronic learning journal ‘Tapestry.’ Observations capture play and self-chosen activities as well as planned adult directed activities, children’s work, photographs, videos and parent/carer contributions. Over time observations are made in different learning contexts and at different times of the day to cover the breadth of learning opportunities.
Paperwork should be limited to that which is absolutely necessary to promote children’s successful learning and development and should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children.
Observations are analysed to support planning for next steps. This includes all contributions from parents.
Progress of the children against the Development Matters document is tracked and analysed all through their time in Reception through individual and cohort data tracking. This is completed on a half-termly basis.
Parental involvement plays a key role in our assessment. As children’s learning journeys are electronic parents always have access to these and are actively encouraged to contribute their own observations and comments. We hold Parents evenings twice a year where children’s development and progress is discussed and also hold termly stay and play sessions where parents can interact their children and class teacher’s in their school environment.
An end of year report is sent home during the Summer term. The report informs parents/carers of their child’s achievements across all 17 areas, summarising their achievement as being exceeding, expected or emerging for their age. A short comment on children’s characteristics of effective learning along with a comment from their class teacher is also included.
The data sent home during the Summer report is also sent into the local authority with the exceeding, expected and emerging descriptors being turned into numerical scores. Children who achieve expected or exceeding across the first 12 areas of learning are classes as attaining a good level of development.
Reception end of year results are discussed with the Year 1 teachers and learning journeys and other evidence is moderated together throughout the year.
We ensure consistency in our assessments in the following ways:
We invite parents to attend ‘Curriculum Evenings’ at the end of each academic year which outline the aims and expectations of the following year. These allow parents to be aware of the overarching, age related aims and expectations of the year group their child will be starting in September in addition to the support and challenge which is offered to ensure all pupils can continually progress in their learning.
Pupil Trackers are sent home to parents each term which detail their child’s current attainment grades for reading, writing, maths with a target. There is also an indication from the child’s teacher as to how they are performing overall in terms of behaviour, organisation and effort.
We hold 2 parents’ evenings a year and provide an end of year report, all of which detail pupils’ attainment and progress alongside all pastoral elements. We also operate an ‘open door’ policy so that any parent can book arrange to meet their child’s class teacher if they wish to discuss any concerns.
The Assessment Leader is responsible for ensuring this policy is received and understood by all new staff and is adhered to by all staff. They, alongside the senior leadership team, are also responsible for the overall effectiveness of assessment throughout the school and for reporting this to the Governing Body. The Assessment Leader will ensure this policy is kept up to date with any new developments in the school and new government guidance.
Policy approved by the Teaching and Learning committee in January 2018
To be reviewed every 3 years unless circumstances mean an earlier review is needed.
Review January 2021