How we assess our pupils
- There is a short baseline assessment at reception, which currently takes around four weeks to complete.
- We then complete the EYFS profile across the year to be able to report on the progress of each child in relation to the areas of learning. We will also report on the percentage of pupils who have achieved a good level of development (GLD)
Key Stage 1
- There is a Phonics check towards the end of Y1. If a pupil does not achieve the required standard in Year 1, they will repeat the assessment in Year 2.
- There are externally set tests at the end of KS1 in maths, reading and spelling, punctuation and grammar but these will be internally marked.
- There are currently no tests in writing, speaking and listening and science but teachers will be expected to assess children in these subjects. The writing assessment at KS1 will partly be informed by grammar, punctuation and spelling test.
- Teacher Assessment will be against one of several new performance descriptors in mathematics, reading, speaking and listening and writing. There will be a single performance descriptor for science.
- The government will be looking to work with schools and Ofsted on improving the moderation of teacher assessment at the end of Key Stage 1.
Key Stage 2
- The externally set and marked tests at the end of KS2 will be in mathematics, reading and grammar, punctuation and spelling.(SPaG)
- There will be teacher assessment against one of several new performance descriptors for writing and a single performance descriptor for mathematics, reading and science.
When looking at how we assess English in the school, it is best to look at the different strands individually. The fine details of the assessment process varies class by class, but these overarching timetables and principles are adhered to.
The assessment of reading
Reading is assessed differently depending on the age and phase the children are working in. At an early age we teach and assess the child’s ability to decode words – essentially in the broadest sense, they learn to read. The mechanism of assessment is seamlessly linked with our primary approach to teaching phonics – Read Write Inc Phonics. Reading is continuously tracked and assessed throughout the EYFS to ensure that the children are on track to make the greatest progress possible within their own setting. Teachers continually update EYFS profiles to track the children and set suitable targets. This is done in conjunction with the EYFS leader and the Reading Leader within the school. Once the children move into Y1, they are streamed along with all of the other children in the school into small teaching classes aimed at their level of development. The placement of these children is determined through a screening test carried out by the reading leader once every half term. Children remain as part of the Read Write Inc Phonics groups until they have been assessed as completing the programme by the Reading Leader, which is usually sometime in Year 2.
Once the children have completed the phonics programme they move on to broader english lessons which will encompass guided reading, where the children continue to develop their comprehension skills with less emphasis on the skills of decoding – Essentially moving from learning to read, to reading to learn. Assessment at this stage is undertaken through a range of strategies such as Accelerated Reader tests, guided reading records, and classroom observations, all of which are fed into the formative assessment element of Classroom Monitor.
Guided reading is used to stimulate discussion and also track progress, which again is fed back into the tracking system to create a well rounded picture of each child from a range of evidence. All children receive timetabled guided reading sessions, with some children receiving additional sessions to support their continued reading development.
Where a pupil is not secure in their understanding and use of phonics, small group and 1:1 sessions are put in place to ensure that their phonic knowledge is secure in order to support their reading journey through KS2 and beyond.
In KS2, reading is also assessed through the use of option tests in the summer term. The results from these tests are used both as a diagnostic tool, and also as an indication of progress and ability.
Assessment in mathematics
Our approach to assessment in mathematics is based around our use of the key resources we have selected to deliver the curriculum. These resources are:
- White Rose Mathematics resources
- Rising Stars Progression Framework
- Big Maths
- My Maths
Rising Stars is a robust skills progression, or set of learning ladders. With National Curriculum levels being abolished, these ladders are a great tool for showing progress from Years 1-6. Prerequisites for learning are built into every piece of teaching. This means that if children struggle with a specific concept, we have the ability to work on the mathematical building blocks that might be impeding their understanding.
All staff are constantly assessing the children as they learn, and are working to develop fluency, reasoning and problem solving through the use of a Mastery Curriculum and White Rose resources. Teachers are highly skilled in intervening as early possible to ensure that every child makes the best progress possible through a greater depth of learning rather than moving on. Teachers use formative assessment techniques within lessons to gauge the understanding of the children in guided sessions and also when marking books to ensure that the work is always at the correct stage. The children are heavily involved in assessments and gain instant feedback through self and peer assessment.
Additional assessments and data on the performance of children is collected from My maths, where the children undertake targeted activities and games to test their understanding of concepts they have been studying.
Medium and Long term summative assessments take the form of assessment tool kits which assess the content that has been taught each half term. The results of these assessments are fed into Classroom Monitor, our online assessment suite, to track progress and inform planning. Annual tests take place in May to gain a broader picture and help to prepare the children for the end of key stage tests.
We try to minimise testing as much as possible, and work to a pupil review cycle that aims to identify any barriers to learning that may need additional focus and more specific interventions in order to move a child’s learning forward.
Mathematics is broken down into individual strands that are taught and assessed in blocks to allow a greater depth of understanding, each year groups over view can be accessed below.