Assessment

Statutory National Assessments (SATs) 

Statutory National Assessments are carried out at the three phases of the primary structure:

Phonics Testing in Year 1 (children who have not met the standards in Y1 are retested in Y2)

End of Key Stage 1 (Year 2, age 6-7)

End of Key Stage 2 (Year 6 age 10-11)

More information about end of Key Stage tests can be found by clicking the links below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/standards-and-testing-agency 

The schoolrun.com

http://www.theschoolrun.com/primary-school-grading-system-explained-for-parents

Tracking Progress with in the EYFS

The children within Foundation 1 and Foundation 2 are tracked against the Development Matters bands of the Early Years Curriculum. At the end of Foundation 2 it is expected that the children will have attained The Early Learning Goals within the Prime and Specific areas of learning.

At the beginning of Foundation 1 and Foundation 2 baseline assessments are undertaken by the children’s class teachers to establish a starting point from which their future learning will take place. This information is shared with Parents and Carers’ at the first Parent’s evening of the year.

Throughout the year daily assessments are made against all Areas of Learning through careful observations of what the children can do, how they interact with other, how they can explain what they are doing; alongside any creative, numerical or written work they may produce.

A learning Journal is kept of the children’s development. This is shared on a regular basis with Parents and Carers; who are actively encouraged to contribute to this with any further achievements the children may have made at home.

By the end of Foundation 2 the Foundation Profile is completed detailing whether the children are emerging, have established or exceeded a Good Level of Development in all Areas of Learning. This information is reported to Parents and Carers in July and clearly paints a picture of all the children’s progression. It is also used to inform Year 1 teachers of the children’s next steps in learning as they enter the National Curriculum.

AFL

 'Assessment for Learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there'.   (Assessment Reform Group, 2002)

Assessment for learning involves using assessment in the classroom to raise pupils’ achievement. It is based on the idea that pupils will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim (or close the gap in their knowledge).

Assessment is closely linked to teachers’ curriculum planning, since it is only by continually assessing what children have learnt and understood, that we can know what “next steps” should be planned.   

In mixed ability classes it is essential that teachers “differentiate” in the work given to different ability groups, particularly in the core subjects of Maths, English, ICT and Science.  Children’s progress can then be assessed against the “learning intentions” in the curriculum planning.  Planning and assessment form an ongoing cycle.

Effective assessment for learning happens all the time in the classroom. It involves:

v  sharing learning goals with pupils

v  helping pupils know and recognise the standards to aim for

v  providing feedback that helps pupils to identify how to improve

v  believing that every pupil can improve in comparison with previous achievements

v  both the teacher and pupils reviewing and reflecting on pupils' performance and progress 

v  pupils learning self-assessment techniques to discover areas they need to improve

v  recognising that both motivation and self-esteem, crucial for effective learning and progress, can be increased by effective assessment techniques

Research has shown that being part of the review process raises standards and empowers pupils to take action to improve their performance. 

Assessment and Testing... are not the same thing! 

Children’s learning is assessed in a variety of ways.

v  By observing the children

v  by talking with them about their learning and designing assessment tasks/activities at the end of an area of learning in order to find out what children have learnt. 

v  In some parts of the school children are given “tests” in the classroom from time to time and also to help them learn to work “against the clock”. The emphasis is not on children competing with each other, which could be very disheartening for some children, rather the emphasis is “improving on your own previous best”.  This motivates children to achieve at their own pace.

Feedback

Assessment drives learning. Feedback to pupils about their learning leads to new learning. Assessment is an essential part of the ethos in every classroom and a continual two-way process between adults and children. Planning and assessment are thus interdependent processes.

At Sacred Heart we are committed to teaching children in focus groups when possible to ensure that 'learning conversations' take place. Such conversations focus on the planned learning for the lesson and enable teachers to assess learning, give instant and constructive feedback and to scaffold / develop the next step with the child - immediate improvements can be made. Pupil self-evaluation becomes an essential component of this dialogue. 

Self-Assessment 

Self- assessment is known to make a valuable contribution to children’s learning, and children throughout the school are now used to being involved in self-assessment, using the Balance learning wheel as a way to assess their learning- see image below. Children are involved in setting and working towards targets and with adult support develop the skills needed to assess for themselves when those targets have been achieved.  We believe that the more aware children are of the purpose of what they do, and the steps they need to take to achieve a target, the more responsibility they will begin to take for their own learning - a vital aspect of achieving success. 

Peer Assessment

Peer assessment involves students taking responsibility for assessing the work of their peers against set assessment criteria. They can therefore be engaged in providing feedback to their peers (sometimes referred to as peer review). It's a powerful way for the pupils to act as the 'assessor' and to gain an opportunity to better understand assessment criteria It can also transfer some ownership of the assessment process to them, thereby potentially increasing their motivation and engagement. In doing so, the children are encouraged to learn more deeply, building up their understanding, rather than just their knowledge of the facts, as well as gaining an insight into their own approach to an assessment task in comparison to their peers. This makes peer assessment an important component of Assessment for Learning, rather than simply a means of measuring performance. We find that peer assessment is particularly useful in aiding the pupils to develop judgement skills, critiquing abilities and self-awareness.