Assessment Policy

Date: Feb 2017                    

Introduction

This Policy outlines the purpose, nature and management of assessment at Neston Primary School. Assessment complements and assists teaching and learning; it plays an integral part in each teacher’s planning and enables the evaluation of current practice as well as pupil achievement. High quality formative assessment is an essential part of teaching and learning. It ensures a whole school approach to the provision of an excellent education for all children at Neston and enables teachers to deliver education that best suits the needs of their pupils.

Aims

The aim of the policy is to give a clear outline of all assessment techniques at Neston Primary School, to ensure that assessment is used as a tool to inform planning, to track pupil progress and to raise standards.

Roles and Responsibilities

The overall responsibility for assessment belongs to the Head teacher. However, this responsibility has been delegated to the Deputy Head teacher, who is the Assessment leader.  Class teachers are responsible for assessment of the children in their care and curriculum subject leaders are responsible for monitoring assessment within their subject area.

Entitlement

It is the entitlement of every child at Neston to be given an education that builds on their strengths, addresses their individual needs and ensures progression. Assessment is an essential tool in the delivery of this entitlement.

Implementation

Assessment is a daily part of the life of the school.  Assessments, through monitoring of children’s work are used, and marking and feedback is used by teachers to inform their teaching and ensure that children know their next step and what they need to do to improve. More formal methods of assessment provide feedback on pupil progress and ensure a rigorous approach to curriculum delivery.

The purposes of assessment are:

  • to be formative, providing information for the teacher to plan the next steps in the children’s learning and support children identifying their own next steps;

  • to be diagnostic, providing more detailed information about individual children’s strengths and weaknesses;

  • to be summative, providing a snapshot of each child’s achievement – these can be reported to parents;

  • to be evaluative, allowing the school and individual teachers to evaluate how effective their teaching is;

  • to inform the children to enable them to develop their learning.

Specific learning intentions (WAGBA – We Are Getting Better At) and assessment opportunities are identified in our medium term plans. All assessment outcomes, including standardised test results, are used to evaluate current practice and to inform future planning.

Forms of Assessment

Day-to-day In-School Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is carried out by teachers every day in every lesson. It allows teachers to understand pupil performance on a continuing basis. This type of assessment is used to assess knowledge, skills and understanding, and is used to identify gaps and misconceptions. It enables teachers to identify when pupils are struggling, when they have consolidated learning and when they are ready to progress. It also enables teachers to identify if children are working at greater depth.  Teachers are then able to provide appropriate support or extension as necessary. The methods of formative assessment we use include; the use of pertinent questioning, marking of pupils’ work using our marking guidelines (see marking policy) and observational assessment. Formative assessment enables teachers to evaluate teaching of particular objectives of the curriculum and plan future lessons accordingly. For pupils, formative assessment helps them to measure their knowledge and understanding against the lesson objective and success criteria. They can then identify how they can improve.

Local In-School Summative Assessment

Local Summative assessment enables teachers to evaluate both pupil learning and the impact of their own teaching at the end of a period of time. It provides evidence of achievement against the objectives of the curriculum. It is useful in informing teaching and learning in subsequent lessons. This type of assessment is shared with parents at parent/teacher consultations and enables them to support their child’s learning. In Writing, teachers plan for a ‘Big Write’ at appropriate times in the term. In Maths, teachers use Abacus assessment resources alongside other bespoke assessment material to provide evidence of achievement against the curriculum objectives. In Reading, teachers use guided and shared reading sessions to record progress and achievements against the national curriculum objectives.  The progress of pupils with SEN and disabilities is reviewed and summative assessment adapted as necessary. Children who have not made expected progress or whom have fallen behind are targeted for interventions and rapid response work.

Nationally Standardised Summative Assessment

Year 1 Phonics Screening Test

This test is administered internally. These results are then reported to the local authority and to parents.

National Key Stage One Assessments.

At the end of year 2, pupils will be given teacher assessment standards in reading, writing, mathematics and science. Pupils will be assessed against criteria under the following heads:

  • Reading – working below the expected standard, working at the expected standard and working at greater depth within the expected level.
  • Writing – working below the expected standard, working at the expected standard and working at greater depth within the expected level.
  • Mathematics – working below the expected standard, working at the expected standard and working at greater depth within the expected level.
  • Science – working at the expected standard

The pupils will also sit tests which will consist of:

  • English reading Paper 1 – combined reading prompt and answer booklet
  • English reading Paper 2 – reading booklet and reading answer booklet
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 1 - spelling
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 2 - questions
  • Mathematics Paper 1 – arithmetic
  • Mathematics Paper 2 – reasoning 

These will be carried out in the classroom over the month of May and the children will receive a standardised score where 100 is the expected attainment.

National Key Stage Two Assessments

Teacher Assessments

At the end of year 6, pupils will be given teacher assessment standards in reading, writing, mathematics and science. Pupils will be assessed against criteria under the following headings:

  •  Reading- working at the expected standard, has not met the standard and working at Greater Depth
  • Writing- working below the expected standard, working at the expected standard and working at greater depth within the expected level.
  • Mathematics - working at the expected standard, has not met the standard and working at Greater Depth
  • Science- working at the expected standard, has not met the standard and working at Greater Depth

 The pupils will also sit tests which will consist of:

  • English reading Paper 1 – reading booklet and associated answer booklet
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 1 – short answer questions
  • English grammar, punctuation and spelling Paper 2 - spelling
  • Mathematics Paper 1 – arithmetic
  • Mathematics Paper 2 – reasoning
  • Mathematics Paper 3 – reasoning

Marking

Whilst marking work, teachers are assessing children’s achievements and noting areas of difficulty in order to inform planning of future lessons. Our Marking Policy ensures a consistent approach to marking throughout the school, including opportunities for children to self assess and peer mark their learning. (See school Marking Policy)

Assessment for Learning

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 for learning is a key part of our approach to teaching and learning at Neston Primary School.  Staff use success criteria, peer marking and peer and self assessment to involve pupils in their learning and to inform them of their next steps.  Assessment for Learning opportunities are identified in planning. Marking should be against the learning objective and should identify successes and areas for improvement.  Effective questioning is also used to inform assessments.  Our Response To Marking System and pink and green system ensures that children know what they need to do to improve and what they have done well.

National Curriculum assessments (SATs)

End of key stage NC assessments (SATs) are used to monitor children’s progress and to identify strengths and weaknesses in curriculum delivery. The Senior Leadership Team (SLT), in conjunction with core subject leaders, analyse the SATs results and consider the implications for the content and delivery of the curriculum in each key stage. This information is shared with the staff. Children in Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 will be assessed using the National Curriculum Objectives which feature on our data package, School Pupil Tracker Online which plots their progress in learning.  This is completed 3 times per academic year. Staff are expected to analyse the results in preparation for Pupil Progress Meetings (PPM) which take place with a representative from the SLT after each batch of assessments have taken place.

Other standardised tests

All children and those with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities will sit a Reading Recovery Test to assess their ability to decode in reading. Pupils who participate in interventions for mathematics use Salford maths assessment to ascertain a maths age.

All data is stored on the school server and School Pupil Tracker Online for staff to access.

End of key stage assessments

Year 2 and Year 6 teachers set a range of work to enable them to assess the children’s achievement against the requirements of the new national curriculum.  Some of this work is carried out under test conditions so that the staff can assess the effect this has on the pupils and the children become accustomed to the process. Teachers use the results from this work and the information stored in Big Yellow writing books to assess progress and whether children are working at, below or above the expected standard for the end of the key stage. The year group teachers concerned make these judgements, with advice from the core subject leaders, the Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher. Teacher assessments at KS1 & 2 are sometimes moderated by the local authority. Internal moderation is used to validate teacher assessment across the school and takes place at Professional Development Meetings (PDMs) on a regular basis.  

Accuracy and consistency of Judgements

Moderation is necessary to ensure accuracy and consistency of teachers’ judgements about standards. It is important to agree judgements if our decisions are to be given credence. Teachers will often share opinions informally with subject leaders and other colleagues to clarify ‘best fit’ judgements or for statutory teacher assessments. Professional Development Meetings and Teacher Development days are arranged for teachers to compare judgements and agree standards.  Neston also works with colleagues in our cluster to ensure that our judgements are accurate and consistent.

Staff training is arranged when there are changes to assessment processes to ensure all staff have a good understanding of assessment. Staff members attend training and cluster meetings for their subject to ensure they stay abreast of good practice. Feedback from this training is shared with staff so that we continue to develop and improve our practice.

Target Setting

At the beginning and end of the academic year percentages of pupils expected to meet or exceed the national standards in English and Maths are set for children in Years 1 – 6. Short term (next steps) targets in writing, reading and maths are set in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Years 1 – 6. They are reviewed regularly. 

Foundation Stage Assessments

The Foundation Stage Profile is an ongoing assessment, which is completed throughout the reception year. Written information and record sheets are passed from the nurseries to the EYFS2 class teacher and from EYFS2 to Year one. The EYFS teacher meets with the Headteacher to discuss the children’s progress at termly PPM meetings.

The Foundation Stage Profile begins in nursery, added to each term, and completed by the end of the EYFS year. On entry to EYFS at Neston Primary School, the seven areas of learning are assessed using Development Matters statements to develop an initial overview of children’s abilities.  These seven areas of learning are then regularly assessed through both teacher and child initiated activities in the form of observations and evaluations.  These assessments are then inputted into the Foundation Stage E Profile each term and progress tracked over the year. 

These assessments are sometimes moderated by the local authority.

Records

Records of end of unit assessments, formative assessments, SATs results and teacher assessments (TAs) are stored on SPTO.

School Pupil Tracker Online assessment documents are used as an aid to effective planning. The progress of children receiving extra support is monitored by the member of staff delivering the support.  Teaching assistants report on assessment outcomes to the class teacher, who then reports to the SENCO.

The above records enable the class teacher to assess the progress made by each child and are an important part of the formative assessment needed for future planning. The pupil end-of-year report is filed on the server and is available for reference.

(See appendix B: Assessment timetable)

Curriculum Links

Assessment is an integral part of curriculum delivery at Neston Primary School . Tracking of individual and class progress informs planning and enables systematic progression to be maintained. Assessment methods vary from formal testing to informal observation depending on the curriculum area. For example, in maths regular testing of subject knowledge is appropriate, whereas in art teachers will use their observations of children’s work to inform their judgements.

Monitoring

The SLT monitor class on-line assessment data (School Pupil Tracker Online) during the year. Monitoring of assessment and classroom practice will be carried out through lesson observations, book and planning scrutiny and pupil conferences. This includes monitoring of agreed assessment arrangements defined in this policy. Feedback, with necessary actions, is then provided to staff to ensure consistency across the school.

If required, staff meetings are held to discuss and review the procedures in the assessment policy.

Equal Opportunities

As outlined above, assessment plays an integral part in identifying the individual needs of all children. It enables children with special educational needs and disabilities, children who excel and children for whom English is an additional language to be given a differentiated curriculum which meets their needs. In addition, the assessment policy at Neston ensures that identification of these children is systematic and effective.

Special Educational Needs

When assessment indicates a child may have Special Educational Needs or Disability, the SNCO is informed and the child‘s progress is carefully monitored.  Further assessment then takes place, as outlined in the SEND policy. For all children at the “My Support Plan” stage of the Code of Practice or above, an individual Education Plan will be implemented. When teachers assess a child with SEND they will draw upon any on-going formative and summative assessment. Where necessary, they will gain views from parents, the pupil and any external specialists.

Reporting to parents

Parents receive a written report during each academic year. In KS1 and KS2 this comments on the child’s academic progress in the core and foundation subjects and on their skills and abilities in all areas of the curriculum. SATs results for children in Years 2 and 6 and teacher assessment in Years 1, 3, 4 & 5 are reported to parents at the end of the academic year. Also, pupils in Year 1 receive a notification to say whether or not they have passed the Year 1 Phonic Screening Check, as do those in Year 2 who did not pass at the end of Year 1. Parents of children in the EYFS class receive a report based on the Early Learning Goals. The reports include a comment slip for parents. In addition, parents are offered the opportunity to discuss their child’s report with the class teacher.

Parent/teacher consultation evenings take place twice a year, in the Autumn and Summer terms. During these meetings teachers share the pupils’ age related attainment against national expectations, next step targets and the progress pupils have made to date. An Open Door policy is offered for any parents who would like to come in and have an informal discussion about their child if there are concerns.

Staff are prepared to make themselves available at the beginning or end of the school day to discuss parents’ concerns. If it is not possible to speak to a parent immediately a prompt appointment will be made. If a member of staff has concerns over a child they will contact the parents. Parents of children with IEPs may be given an additional opportunity to meet with staff.

 

Appendix A

Assessment Model

Curriculum Coverage:

Long term overview - Schemes of Work in RE, core and foundation subjects

Medium term planning - Identifies learning objectives and assessment of key skills

Short term planning - Outlines planned work

- Identifies specific assessment opportunities

- Builds upon prior assessment

Recording of assessment:

All SATs, teacher assessments (core subjects) and end of year attainment judgements are recorded on the on-line school database (School Pupil Tracker Online) and will be monitored by the SLT and core subject leaders.

Individual records:

  • Progress towards key skills in foundation subjects will be noted in end of year reports to parents.

  • Pupil reports are shared at parents’ consultation evenings, record progress towards English, Mathematics and Science.

  • 3 x termly teacher assessments in core subjects to be updated on the on-line class tracking system. Key objectives are monitored and progress and level of success in achieving them is identified.

  • FS2 – 6 x termly teacher assessments in the seven areas of learning are updated on the E Profile.  This produces a variety of graphs illustrating progress and areas of weaknesses for both the cohort and individuals. In the Autumn Term a Baseline assessment is conducted to ascertain a pupil’s starting point in foundation stage.

Class / Group records:

  • Class tracking records include identification of progress made since end of previous academic year in core subjects

  • PPM minutes to accompany class tracking sheets in core subject assessment folders

  • School Pupil Tracker Online assessments are ongoing for Reading, Mathematics and Science

Assessment outcomes:

  • The SLT and core subject leaders analyse SATs results and discuss with staff to inform teaching and learning.

  • The foundation subject leaders analyse achievement in their subject and feedback to staff to inform teaching and learning

  • All assessment outcomes are used to inform future planning and measure progress towards performance management targets

  • Inform provision mapping

Appendix B

Assessment Timetable

Autumn Terms 1 and 2:

  • Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Reading judgements made using Cracking Comprehension outcomes and objectives achieved to be recorded on School Pupil Tracker Online.
  • Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Mathematics judgements made using Abacus end of unit test  outcomes and objectives achieved to be recorded on School Pupil Tracker Online
  • Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Writing judgements made using School Pupil Tracker Online criteria
  • EYFS2 - On Entry assessment for all seven areas of learning using Development Matters statements.
  • EYFS2 – Foundation Stage E Profile assessed for all seven areas of learning.
  • EYFS2 – Foundation Stage Baseline assessment
  • PPM meetings with SLT - Identify under-achieving children and those making good progress. Plan appropriate course of action to ensure all children are making good progress through timely interventions
  • Set end of FS2 targets for FS2 children
  • Set end of KS1 targets for Year 2 children (using FFT Aspire top 20%)
  • Set end of KS2 targets for Year 4, 5 and 6 children (using FFT Aspire top 20%)

Spring Terms 1 and 2:

  • Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Reading judgements made using Cracking Comprehension outcomes to be recorded on School Pupil Tracker Online.
  • Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Mathematics judgements made using end of unit test outcomes to be recorded on School Pupil Tracker Online.
  • Years 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 Writing judgements made using School Pupil Tracker Online criteria
  • EYFS2 – Foundation Stage E Profile assessed for all seven areas of learning.
  • PPM meetings with SLT - Identify under-achieving children and those making good progress. Plan appropriate course of action to ensure all children are making good progress

 Summer Terms 1 and 2:

  • Years 2 & 6 SATs
  • Years 1, 3, 4 and 5 Reading judgements made using comprehension outcomes to be recorded on School Pupil Tracker Online.
  • Years 1,3, 4 and 5 Mathematics judgements made using end of unit test outcomes to be recorded on School Pupil Tracker Online.
  • Years 1,3, 4 and 5 Writing judgements made using School Pupil Tracker Online criteria
  • EYFS2 – Foundation Stage E Profile assessed for all seven areas of learning.
  • PPM meetings with SLT - Identify under-achieving children and those making good progress. Plan appropriate course of action to ensure all children are making good progress
  • Share targets with parents in end of year data report and with class teacher for the following year at handover meeting
  • SLT and maths and English subject leaders analyse attainment and provide feedback

Assessment Folders

  • Class assessments are passed on to the next class teacher at PPMs and via SPTO.

  • Formal test results kept on School Pupil Tracker Online.

  • English and mathematics targets are completed at the end of the year and are passed on via SPTO

  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities plans and folders are passed on.

  • Lists of under-achieving children and gifted and talented children are passed on via SPTO.