Assessing your child

Assessment practice at Whybridge Junior School

Why assess?

Children’s progress is closely monitored at Whybridge in order that we can provide the best possible opportunities and highest levels of support for all children.  All assessment activities aim to ensure that the children are able to make excellent progress in their learning whilst taking into account the needs of individual children.

The aims and objectives of assessment in our school are:

  • to enable our children to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do in their work;
  • to allow teaching teams to plan work that accurately reflects the needs of each child;
  • to help our children understand what they need to do next to improve their work;
  • to provide regular information for parents that enables them to support their child’s learning;
  • to contribute towards accountability data.

Aims of the new National Curriculum

Following the announcement, by the Department for Education, of the removal of levels for the attainment and progress of children (2013) and the relaxation of restrictions on centrally led reporting requirements (Department for Education and Gibb, 2015 and Ofsted, 2015), schools have now been given the opportunity to conduct more ‘assessment of the right kind’, to offer task specific, personalised feedback and to become ‘Assessment Professionals’ by creating an assessment system that supports the learning of the individual children in their school. (Tim Oates, Chair of the expert panel for NC review).

 Ofsted has stated the following:

  • Ofsted recognises that marking and feedback to pupils, both written and oral, are important aspects of assessment. However, Ofsted does not expect to see any specific frequency, type or volume of marking and feedback; these are for the school to decide through its assessment policy. Marking and feedback should be consistent with that policy, which may cater for different subjects and different age groups of pupils in different ways, in order to be effective and efficient in promoting learning.
  • Ofsted does not expect performance- and pupil-tracking data to be presented in a particular format. Such data should be provided to inspectors in the format that the school would ordinarily use to track and monitor the progress of pupils in that school.

(Ofsted inspections – clarification for schools, March 2015, No. 140169)

 Assessment at Whybridge

Staff at Whybridge have worked together to develop an assessment system that takes into account the criteria of the new National Curriculum, whilst providing a greater focus on mastery. Assessment takes into account children’s strengths as well as areas where they need support. It consists of mainly formative strategies and a range recording methods, as detailed below.

 SATS

Children in Year 6 are assessed during May. The results of these assessments are reported annually to the parents by the governing body. To meet the progress standard, pupils will need to meet the threshold in all of reading, writing and maths. This means that if a school has not met the progress standard in reading, writing or maths, it has not met the progress standard. The precise level of sufficient progress will not be set until after the first KS2 tests in 2016.

To meet the attainment standard, school will need 65% of pupils to have met the expected standard in all of reading, writing and maths.

Marking and assessment

We aim to provide feedback to children through marking so that they have specific advice about improvements to their work. Children are given time to read and review their work following marking. Children are encouraged to draw a smiley / sad face when they have finished their work to show their level of understanding and to add a comment if possible. They are also encouraged to use a green pen to edit their work and to respond to teachers’ comments. See separate Feedback and Marking Policy for more information. Children are encouraged to self-assess their work and to identify next steps in their learning. This is done with the support of the class teacher.

 Assessment in Years 3 to 6 is recorded on Continuous Assessment Tracking sheets (CAT-sheets).  Children are assessed against the age related objectives as set out in the new National Curriculum. CAT-sheets form part of formative assessment at Whybridge Junior School and will be used to inform progress when data will be entered onto SIMS (summative assessment tool). National Curriculum objectives should be taught on several occasions during the school year. This will enable teachers to evidence progress. Assessment information will be used to inform planning and to identify children who may need extra support. Children will be assessed as E - Emerging, D - Developing, S - Secure and M-Master.

 Most assessment information will be collected through observations, information in books, pupil self-assessment and half termly tests in the three core subjects (English, Maths and Science). A summative cohort document will be produced each term for English reading, English writing, SPAG, Maths and Science. Judgements will be made based on information from the assessment documents/tests, assessment feedback from the children and teachers, observations and work contained in books. The cohort document will contribute to Pupil Progress meeting discussions and toward accountability data.

 

The assessment strategy to assess Foundation subjects is currently under construction and school aims to roll it out in Spring 2.

Parent Evenings

Family consultation evenings take place in the autumn and spring terms for children in Upper and Lower school.

Pupil Progress Meetings

Pupil Progress Meetings for children in Years 3 to 5 are held every term.  This is an opportunity for teachers and management to discuss the progress being made and it is used to infer further action plans to ensure vigorous learning. In Year 6 a Pupil Progress Meeting will be held after each Mock-SATS week to infer steps that need to be taken to close gaps.

Reports to parents

At the end of each year, families will receive a full report detailing progress and achievements across the curriculum. The report will be based on self-assessment by the child and summative observations by teachers. The format of these reports is mainly qualitative. Parents / Carers are encouraged to provide feedback to the school.

Inclusion

Whybridge is an inclusive school and we work hard to meet the needs of all our children.  Class teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all pupils in their class.  High quality teaching is available to all children, including those with additional needs.  We work hard as a school to ensure that all additional support in the classroom is deployed effectively.  Where a child is not making the expected progress the class teacher will work alongside the Inclusions Manager, parents and external agencies (where appropriate) to plan tailored support.  We follow the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle to ensure all children are monitored closely and make progress.  We use individual Learning Plans, where appropriate, which are reviewed with the child and parents termly. All children are encouraged to achieve their best and become confident individuals living fulfilling lives.  See separate SEND policy for more information.

 This policy should be read in conjunction with:

  • Feedback Marking Policy
  • Teaching and Learning Policy
  • SEND policy

 If you would like any additional information with regards to Assessment practice at Whybridge Junior School feel free to contact Mrs Charmaine Uys (Assessment Leader and Deputy Headteacher).

 




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