How do we assess pupils' learning?
The school welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum in 2014 and saw it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach that makes sense to parents. We were very clear that whatever assessment tool we used, it needed to be robust and track pupils’ progress across the school and not just at the end of a Key Stage.
The principles that underpin our assessment system are:
- Every child can achieve: teachers at St Paul's CofE VC Junior School have the mindset, ‘What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?’
- The National Curriculum objectives will be used as the expectations for all children.
- Pupils will make age appropriate progress from their different starting points – 12 months in 12 months, more for those who need to 'close the gap' to reach age related expectations.
- Teachers are experts at assessment - assessment will be effectively used to ensure the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.
Our assessment and reporting system includes:
- Ongoing assessment against the National Curriculum objectives by the class teacher throughout each lesson, through questioning, observation and dialogue.
- Children knowing what they are being asked to learn and more importantly, why.
- Success Criteria are discussed and agreed with or formulated by the children during each lesson, work is then assessed against the success criteria.
- Three way feedback, pupil, peer, teacher with clearly identified next steps – this can be written or verbal feedback.
- Regular pupils’ work scrutiny.
- Progress tests for English and maths
All of the above feed into 'Data snap-shots', these will take place at class, phase and subject level three times a year, towards the end of each term.
Statutory Assessments (End of Key Stage)
In addition to the above assessments, pupils also complete the following statutory assessments:
Years 6 - end of Key Stage assessments
Alongside the introduction of the new National Curriculum, levels were removed for all Year Groups instead at the end of KS1 and KS2 pupils will be given a scaled score and a ‘performance descriptor’ against the expected standard.
In order to be ‘secondary ready’ children need to meet the required end of Key Stage 2 expectations; this is broken down into key outcomes for each curriculum year. We use the National Curriculum objectives to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year – for example:
- A child that has achieved all the objectives set out for Year 3 for reading (and no further) would be said to be working at the end of Year 3 expectation for reading.
- A child achieving half or so of the mathematics objectives for Year 5 would be classed as working at the mid-Year 5 expectation for maths.
- A child achieving only a few reading objectives for Year 1 would be classed as working at the beginning of Year 1 expectation.
We use the following 'Golden Codes' to assess pupils knowledge of the curriculum, against age-related expectations, in each core subject area:
* Emerging * Developing *Secure, reflecting that age-related objectives have been achieved
In addition to assessing curriculum knowledge we also assess the way pupils apply their skills and knowledge. This is known as the 'Depth of Learning' rating (sometimes known as Mastery). There are four Depth of Learning ratings:
#1 Shallow learner
#2 Expected depth for age
#3 Deeper learner
#4 Deepest learner
The depth and application of a child’s learning is an important marker of their achievement and progress.
Pupils' assessments are made up of two components, their Golden Code and their Depth of Learning rating, for example:
A pupil who has been assessed as Y3S #3 has achieved the expected outcomes for Year 3 and has achieved above the standard expected for their depth and understanding of learning, they have a good application of the knowledge they have learnt.
Tracking progress over-time, Yr 3- 6
To track progress overtime our Golden Codes and Depth of Learning rating are linked to Tracking Points, these are used to examine progress and attainment numerically (as an average). Depth of Learning rating modify tracking points (see image above).
Reporting to Parents
From May 2017 we will produce a 'Data-Snapshot' report via School Pupil Tracker Online (SPTO). Parents will soon have on-line access to pupil assessment records at all times, apart from when the ‘Data Snap-Shots’ are taking place.
Discussions at parent and teacher, consultation meetings in the Autumn, Spring and Summer terms are based on the assessment system in place for each age group.
Parents also receive annual progress test reports, outcomes of statutory assessments and an annual report.