Policy Statement for Assessment.

The Aim of Assessment

Buttercup Primary School values the success and achievement of every pupil and we strive to ensure that each child realises their full potential. Assessment allows us to track an individual’s progress on their learning journey. The focus of assessment is on teachers and pupils gaining clear knowledge and understanding of what pupils have learned as distinct from what teachers have taught in the lesson. We recognise that the teacher’s assessment and the pupil’s own assessment, are both central functions in the learning process.

The school recognises that different forms of assessment are used for different purposes. Formative assessment describes processes of teaching and learning, whereas summative assessment takes place after the teaching and learning. The following analogy helps to explain the definition and purpose of the two types of assessment:

If we think of our children as plants…summative assessment of the plants is the process of simply measuring them. The measurements might be interesting to compare and analyse, but, in themselves, they do not affect the growth of the plants. Formative assessment, on the other hand, is the garden equivalent of feeding and watering the plants – directly affecting their growth (Page 4, Unlocking Formative Assessment, 2001).

Information gained from different forms of assessment serve many purposes. Assessment can be used to inform pupils, parents and outside agencies of an individual pupil’s attainment and progress. Effective assessment procedures provide the means for identifying strengths and weaknesses in pupils learning and narrowing the learning gap thereby creating a positive impact on pupils’ attitudes and motivation. Assessments can also assist the school in setting appropriately challenging targets and can serve as an aid in evaluating the school’s overall effectiveness. The intention is to lead to an improvement in the provision the school makes for its pupils and the standard they achieve.

Assessment of Learning (Summative Assessment)

The definition and purpose of assessment of learning, Assessment of learning is often referred to as summative assessment. It is assessment that takes place at the end of a unit of work, year or key stage to:

  •  Provide information on the pupils’ level of academic performance
  •  Evaluate the pupil’s present knowledge, skill and /or understanding within a subject
  •  Evaluate the pupil’s progress against a national criteria, their previous work, and where   appropriate, the cohort
  •  Indicate future placement in class groupings
  •  Fulfill statutory requirements at the end of a key stage
  •  Inform the school’s target setting procedure
  •  Inform and report on the pupil’s progress and attainment to parents
  •  Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the school’s provision with regard to cohorts and individual pupils, including: pupils of different genders, ethnicity, abilities and age; pupils with English as an additional language; looked after pupils, refugees and travellers. Assessment of learning may be in the form of a test or an assessed piece of work demonstrating attainment or through teacher assessment of pupil’s level of attainment using a range of pieces of work and responses. For the current assessment of learning programme see Appendix 1.

Assessment for Learning (Formative Assessment)

The definition and purpose of assessment for learning.

Assessment for learning is often referred to as formative assessment. This aspect of assessment is an essential element of effective teaching and provides one of the main foci the school has for improving the standards pupils achieve. Assessment for learning provides the teacher and pupils with a clear understanding of the goal they are to achieve, the necessary information to identify where the pupils are in relation to that goal and the next steps they should take to achieve the goal.

Assessment carried out by the teacher provides information on a pupil’s strengths and weaknesses within specific tasks, activities and skills. The teacher and pupils then build on these strengths and address the weaknesses both inside and outside lessons. The essential element of assessment for learning is that the teacher uses the information gained from the assessment to modify the teaching and learning in order to close the gap between the pupil’s performance and the goal. Consequently the school seeks to ensure that the communication between pupils and teacher about the pupil’s performance is of the highest quality. The school recognises that a key element in raising standards is the use made of good quality feedback from the assessment to inform the teaching and learning process.

Planning for Assessment

The school’s starting points for using assessment as a tool for learning are the National Curriculum Programmes of Study, the Agreed Syllabus for Religious Education and the level descriptions for each subject, and the Early Learning Goals and Stepping Stones for the areas of learning within the Foundation Stage. Assessment in the schemes of work In each subject the scheme of work provides the teachers with a programme, which, if followed, has the aim of enabling pupils to move towards the ultimate goal in terms of the knowledge, skills, concepts they are to gain. The appropriate stepping stones, early learning goals and National Curriculum level descriptions define the goal for each area of learning and subject and the reference standard against which pupils’ performance will be assessed at the end of the key stage. The scheme of work for each subject contains:

 

  • Learning objectives or units being studied arising from the skills, knowledge and concepts from the appropriate levels of the Areas of Learning and Programmes of Study. These form the goals towards which pupils are aiming and against which their performance and progress will be assessed.
  • An indication of the opportunities presented to pupils to enable them to learn.
  •  An indication of the opportunities for pupils to demonstrate in order to assess whether they have learned.

Using Assessment in the Classroom

Assessment during the lesson is a key element in enabling pupils to learn and should focus on pointing the way forward in learning. Both during and at the end of the lesson, the teacher:

  •  Assesses pupils’ performance against the learning objectives through questions, discussion looking at written work and watching performance
  • Provides oral and, where appropriate, written feedback to the pupil, with an indication as to how well they are performing and information on how they can improve their performance
  • Records, where appropriate, the individual pupils, groups or the percentage of pupils not achieving the learning objectives and those exceeding expectations. The teacher uses the assessment information gained in the lesson to make changes to the lesson and learning objectives.

Using Assessment in Marking Pupils’ Work

Marking is the assessment of a task. This can be done with the pupil present as they complete the task or after a task has been completed. It is an essential aspect of both the assessment for and of the learning processes. The school sees the overriding purposes of marking as to:

  • Provide pupils with information on where they have performed well and on how they can improve their performance.
  • Provide teachers with information on where the pupils have performed well and what areas of weaknesses they have and what the teacher now needs to do to improve their performance and move them on in their learning
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the teaching, including methods and resources
  • Provide part of the record keeping for individual pupils It is essential that the teacher:
  • Ensures that pupils know and understand the purpose of the work and the criteria against which their work will be assessed.
  •  Marks using those criteria
  •  Provides either oral or written feedback to the pupils on their performance concentrating on how they could improve their performance. Teachers mark in accordance with the policy for marking children’s work.

Target Setting

Statutory and non-statutory targets. The school makes full use of all assessment information in setting both statutory and non – statutory targets. Assessment information provides the head teacher and governors with the information necessary to ensure that the targets set are challenging yet realistic, taking into account the previous attainment of the pupils. Individual pupil targets

Target setting in our school involves the identification and creation of achievable, challenging and measurable targets, based on previous achievement, aiming to raise self-esteem and fulfil learning potential. Pupils are set individual targets in terms of knowledge, skills and concepts in English and Mathematics. Occasionally a child may be set targets regarding behaviour in an effort to improve their readiness to learn. Pupils are involved in setting these targets which provide a motivation for improving their work. The targets are set in early October and are recorded onto pupil target cards. They are reviewed and updated each half term. Targets are shared with parents at formal meetings in October and March. Recording Pupil progress is tracked closely and recorded on the Pupil Achievement and Record Tracker (see Appendix One which lists when information is collected). This data, along with Benchmarking meetings and Pupil Progress meetings, serve as a means of providing information and as a basis for taking action. In particular this information is used:

  •  To track individual pupil’s and cohort attainment and progress over time
  • To project future information
  •  To gain information about the effectiveness of the school’s provision
  • To base changes within the school
  • As a basis for reporting to parents and outside agencies

Reporting to Parents

The school values and nurtures the partnership it has with parents in helping to make good progress, achieve highly and develop fully as people. Written and oral reports to parents on pupils’ progress, development and behaviour are an important means of assisting parents to be fully involved in this partnership. The reports are an important way of helping pupils to make progress. Highlighting their strengths and recognising and valuing their achievements in different areas of school life will motivate pupils. Identifying areas for development and giving suggestions on how to improve provides pupils with a clear picture for future development. Written reports are provided at the end of the academic year. The school seeks to ensure that reports are personal to the pupil and provide parents with information they will find helpful. Reports are written for parents in a straightforward way so that they will know:

  •  How their child is performing in relation to their potential and to national standards
  •  Their child’s strengths and any particular achievements
  •  Areas for development and improvement as well as how parents can help
  •  Whether their child is happy, settled and well-behaved. Oral reports. The school will seek to ensure that all parents feel welcome and able to discuss their child’s progress and difficulties. The school encourages parents to ask questions and gain insight into their child’s performance and attitudes. The school seeks to be both honest and constructive in the picture that is given of each child. Where appropriate, specific advice is given as to how parents can help their child.

The Management of Assessment

The school’s Assessment Co-ordinator has overall responsibility for the procedures and practices of assessment and record keeping within the school.

The Monitoring and Evaluation of Assessment Practice and Procedures

In conjunction with the Senior Management Team, the Assessment Co-ordinator is responsible for devising and implementing a programme for monitoring the implementation of assessment procedures and evaluation their effectiveness across the school.

Review of the Assessment Policy

The co-coordinator will review this policy annually and make amendments where necessary.

Habiba Begum

Assessment Coordinator

September 2014

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Calendar for Assessment and Record Keeping 2014 – 2015

 Autumn Term:

 September

  • Parallel spelling test for children in year 2 to year 6. Weekly spellings of 5 words for Year 1 and 10 for Year 2 will be given by the class teacher. Years
  • Reading Test for children in year 2 to year 6
  • portfolios – foundation stage set up with names and front sheets.

 October

 Test Week (years 1 to 6)

  • Reading Test in years 1 to 6
  • Maths tests for years 1 to 6
  • English (Writing, reading and spelling)
  •  Pupil Progress Meetings with Inclusion Manager
  •  Foundation Stage Profile baseline assessment
  •  Individual Pupil Targets set in English and Maths and entered onto Target Cards
  • End of unit Science test (year 1 to year 6)
  •  Teachers submit profile grids for Reading, Writing and Maths to Head Teacher, Assessment Coordinator and Inclusion Manager in preparation for benchmarking
  • Parents Conference

The first of two formal meetings this term with parents discussing how well children have settled and general behaviour towards learning.

 November 

  • The first of two benchmarking meetings, to discuss children who fall below, at or above national benchmarks as well as strategies/intervention which need to be put in place
  • Phonics Assessment week Monday 17th -21st November 2014
  •  Practice SATs tests in years 2 and 6
  • 99 names of ALLAH Competition
  • Hifz Assessment Whole school
  • Arabic Letter recognition Early Years November 17th 2015

December

  •  End of unit Science test (year 1 to year 6).
  •  Target Cards reviewed – new targets given, if appropriate
  •  Reception teachers to update Foundation Stage Profiles
  • Parents Conference to discuss their child’s progress and share targets

By the end of term

  • Portfolio – One Science investigation and one example of Computer Science evidence through a core subject entered into pupil portfolios (Year 1 to 6 only)

Spring Term

January

  • Parallel spelling test for children in year 1 to 6
  • Reading Test for children in year 1 to 6
  • Maths tests for years 1 to 6
  • English (Writing, reading and spelling)
  • Whole school 99 names of Allah assessment January 23rd 2015

February

  •  Pupil Progress Meetings with Inclusion Manager
  •  End of unit Science test (year 1 to year 6).
  •  Target Cards reviewed and new targets given, if appropriate
  •  Reception teachers to update Foundation Stage Profiles

March

  • Teachers submit profile grids for Reading, Writing and Maths to HeadTeacher and Assessment Coordinator in preparation for benchmarking meeting
  • The second of two benchmarking meetings to review pupil progress and determine if strategies/interventions in place have had the desired impact
  •  Individual Pupil Targets reviewed and new targets set
  •  The second of two formal meetings with parents to review their child’s progress and share new targets

April (beginning)

  •  End of unit Science test (year 1 to year 6)
  • Target Cards reviewed and new targets given, if appropriate
  • Reception teachers to update Foundation Stage Profiles

By the end of term

  •  Portfolios – One Maths investigation and one example of Computer Science through a foundation subject entered into individual pupil portfolios (Year 1 to 6 only)

Summer Term

April (end)

  • Parallel spelling test for children in year 1 to 6

May

  • Reading Test for children in year 1 to 6
  • Maths tests for years 1 to 6
  •  English (Writing, reading and spelling)
  •  Pupil Progress Meetings with Inclusion Manager Ms Habiba
  •  Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 SATs ( dates to be confirmed )
  •  End of unit Science test (year 1 to year 6)
  •  Target Cards reviewed and new targets given, if appropriate
  •  Reception teachers to update Foundation Stage Profiles

June

  •  End of year teacher assessments for English, Maths and Science for years 1 and 6

July

  • End of unit Science test (year 1 to year 6)
  • Foundation Stage Profile Data
  • Each year group team to place all children on a profile grid for maths, reading and writing. This is then placed in the CR (central register) so each teacher can access for their new class list.
  • Annual reports are sent to parents, along with SATs results and teacher assessments for year 2 and 6
  • Reception Portfolios completed (this includes one piece of writing, one piece of art work, one photograph, one piece of work to demonstrate ICT through another subject in the curriculum)

By the end of term

  • Portfolios – One piece of writing and one photograph of a piece of Art/DT work entered into individual pupil portfolios (year 1 to 6 only)
  • Year 6 leavers Graduation