What is Assessment?
Assessment is a judgement made on a child's performance, knowledge and understanding at a point in time. It does not tell us everything about a child is but gives us information on what they have achieved at particular point in time. This information enables teachers to plan appropriate next steps for children and so better help them learn and progress.
We use our assessments to plan challenge and support each child so that they can enjoy learning and achieve their bes.t
In school, there are two main types of assessment. Assessment for learning (or formative assessment) and assessment of learning (summative assessment).
Assessment for Learning (Formative)
Teachers use a range of evidence from their questioning, observations of children, marking and evaluation of pupils' work to make a judgement of what children know, can do and understand. Using this information, the teacher can plan achievable and challenging next steps for learning. These informal assessments, take place throughout the school day, in every lesson and every subject. It is these assessments, not scores in a test, that make the most difference to children's learning and achievement.
Assessment of Learning (Summative)
At points throughout the year we undertake summative assessment; tests or activities at the end of each term to check what pupils have learned and retained from teaching. These activities help teachers know where learning is secure and teaching has been effective and also where children would benefit from some additional revision or teaching where there have been gaps in learning.
At the end of Reception, Year 2 and 6 children undergo statutory assessment for the end of the Key Stage.
From September 2021, Reception children will have a Baseline Assessment within the first six weeks of starting school. This allows teachers quality time getting to know each child, what they can do and what their next steps are. At the end of Reception, teachers complete an Early Years Profile, assessing each child against the areas of learning. This supports the children's transition into Year 1.
Children in Year 1 sit a Phonics Screening Check with a further check in Year 2 for any who have not met the required standard in the test. From 2022 children in Year 4 will sit a Multiplication Tables Check to assess fluency with all multiplication tables up to 12x12.
At the end of Key Stage 1, teachers' assessment's are reported using their own professional judgement from daily teaching, alongside Reading and Mathematics SATS tests. There is also an optional test in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Teachers use a range of evidence in addition to the test: pupils' work in their books, their oral contributions to lessons and practical work. Teachers' assessments are recorded as working towards the standard, expected standard or greater depth standard.
At the end of Key Stage 2 pupils in Year 6 children sit tests in Reading, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar, Arithmetic and Mathematics. For these tests it is the test result and not the teachers' assessment from pupils' class work that is reported. In Year 6 children's results are reported as a scaled score of between 80-120 with 100 being the 'expected standard' and 110 or more being 'the expected standard at greater depth.'
Writing and Science in Key Stage 1 and 2 are assessed by teachers against national criteria for age-related expectations. It is reported as working towards the standard, expected standard or expected standard at greater depth.
Teacher assessment of Science and Foundation subjects is undertaken at the end of a unit by teachers. This is a best fit as to where children have achieved against objectives in the unit of study, whether they have not yet met or met learning objectives planned for.
More than a Score
National tests certainly have their value and we expect children to do their best and work hard for them, as in all their learning. However it is important to remember that there is so much more to children and the many ways they can achieve.
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