Why do we assess?
Assessment provides valuable information to help children, teachers, parents and school leaders to acknowledge, analyse and review achievements and progress in learning against age related expected standards. Assessments are then used to inform planning in order to support our children to maximise their potential.
When do we assess?
Schools are required to continuously assess children formally (by testing) and informally (by using ongoing teacher judgement) as they progress through the curriculum within the academic year. Children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals at the end of Reception, tested in Phonics at the end of Y1 and Statutory national curriculum tests (SATs) are carried out at the end of Key Stages 1 and 2 (Years 2 and 6).
We use three broad overarching forms of assessment: day-to-day in-school formative assessment, in-school summative assessment and nationally standardised summative assessment.
In-school formative assessment
Formative assessment takes place on a day-to-day basis during teaching and learning, allowing teachers and pupils to assess attainment and progress more frequently. Formative assessments may be questions, tasks, quizzes or more formal assessments such as a times table test or a longer piece of writing.
In-school summative assessment
Summative assessment sums up what a pupil has achieved at the end of a period of time, relative to the learning aims and the relevant national standards. The period of time may vary, depending on what the teacher wants to find out. There may be an assessment at the end of a topic, at the end of a term or half-term, at the end of a year or, as in the case of the national curriculum tests, at the end of a key stage.
A summative assessment may be a written test, an observation, a conversation or a task. It may be recorded through writing, through photographs or other visual media, or through an audio recording.
Nationally standardised summative assessment
Nationally standardised assessments will be used to provide information on how our children are performing in comparison to children nationally.
We use Target Tracker to support our assessment model where children continue to be assessed against governmentally determined age-related expectations. On Target Tracker this translates into ‘Bands and Steps’ with each Band referring to the year group that the pupil is working at and the step pinpointing exactly where within the band the pupil is. For example, by the end of the Autumn term, a Year 3 pupil will be expected to be working at a Band 3, a Year 4 pupil Band 4 and so on.
Beginning/Beginning plus: Pupil is showing evidence of meeting some of the expectations within the stage
Working at /Working plus: Pupil meets a higher proportion of expectations but is not yet secure in several areas
Secure: Pupil is secure in the majority of end of year expectations
Secure Plus: Pupil is secure in almost all of the end of year expectations and is able to use and apply their knowledge and skills confidently.
Children who are assessed as Secure Plus/(S+) at their current year group age band will not move on to the programmes of study for the next band but will be encouraged to add more depth and breadth to their knowledge. They will have opportunities to develop their 'using and applying' skills. On the other hand, children who struggle to meet age-related expectations may work towards the expectations from the stage below.
It is important to note that what constitutes as working below, at or above age related expected standards changes throughout the year as more of the curriculum is taught.
*Children who finish the year as ‘Secure’ (S) within their age band are deemed as working at Age Related Expected Standards