The school has based it’s assessment and reporting systems on what is required from the National Curriculum. We provide a holistic approach that is clear for parents and pupils to understand. Our systems track a child’s journey throughout their time at school so that progress can be clearly monitored and, where necessary, support is put into place to help struggling learners. We also use our assessment systems to highlight where children our excelling so that those pupils can be targeted within lessons with more challenge.
The principles that underpin our assessment system are:
- Every child can achieve: teachers at Veritas have the mind-set, ‘What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?’
- The National Curriculum Objectives will be used as the expectations for all children.
- Children will make age appropriate progress – 12 months in 12 months.
- Teachers are experts at assessment – assessment will be effectively used to ensure the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.
Forms of assessment and their purpose
Veritas uses three broad forms of assessment, each with its own purpose.
1. Day-to-day in-school formative assessment, for example:
- Question and answer during class
- Quality next step marking of pupils’ work
- Observational assessment
- Regular short re-cap quizzes
- Scanning work for pupil attainment and development
- Peer review, marking & feedback
- Ascertaining how much pupils know and remember about the taught wider curriculum
Day to day in-school/remote learning formative assessment has different purposes for different stakeholders:
- For pupils: helps them to measure their knowledge and understanding against learning objectives and wider outcomes and to identify where they need to target their efforts to improve.
- For parents: provides them with a broad picture of where their children’s strengths and weaknesses lie and what they need to do to improve.
- For teachers: is an integral part of teaching and learning. It allows teachers to understand pupil performance on a continuing basis. It enables teachers to identify when pupils are struggling, when they have consolidated learning and when they are ready to progress. In this way, it supports teachers to provide appropriate support or extension as necessary. It also enables teachers to evaluate their own teaching of particular topics or concepts and to plan future lessons accordingly.
- For school leaders: formative assessment provides a level of assurance for school leaders. If school leaders are confident their staff are carrying out effective formative assessment, they can be assured that problems will be identified at the individual level and that every child will be appropriately supported to make progress and meet expectations.
2. In-school summative assessment, for example:
- End of year assessments
- Short end of topic or unit tests
- Reviews for pupils with SEN and disabilities
- Spelling tests
In-school summative assessment has different purposes for different stakeholders:
- For pupils: provides them with information about how well they have learned and understood a topic or course of work taught over a period of time. It should be used to provide feedback on how they can continue to improve.
- For parents: can be reported to them to explain the achievement, progress and wider outcomes of their children across a period, often a term, half-year or year.
- For teachers: enables them to evaluate both pupil learning at the end of an instructional unit or period and the impact of their own teaching. Both these purposes help teachers to plan for subsequent teaching and learning.
- For school leaders: enables them to monitor the performance of pupil cohorts, to identify where interventions may be required and to work with teachers to ensure pupils are supported to achieve sufficient progress and expected attainment.
3. Nationally standardised summative assessment, for example:
- National Curriculum tests at the end of Key Stage 2
- National Curriculum teacher assessments at the end of Key Stage 1
- Phonics Screening Test in Year 1 & Year 2
- Multiplication tables Checks in Year 4
Nationally standardised summative assessment has different purposes for different stakeholders:
- For pupils and parents: to provide information on how pupils are performing in comparison to pupils nationally.
- For parents: to provide them with information on how the school is performing in comparison to schools nationally. This enables parents to hold schools to account and can inform parents’ choice of schools for their children.
- For teachers: to help them understand national expectations and assess their own performance in the broader national context.
- For school leaders and school governors: to enable them to benchmark their school’s performance against other schools locally and nationally, and make judgements about the school’s effectiveness.
Assessment in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
On entry to school (whether Nursery or Reception), children are assessed in order to ascertain how they compare to age related expectations, in line with the stages of development outlined within Early Years Foundation Stage. This runs alongside the teachers’ daily informal observations to build up a complete picture of each child on entry. The assessments are used to inform planning, set targets and aid early identification of special needs.
Over the course of the year, all staff in the EYFS contribute to the ongoing assessment process, using a variety of formal and informal methods. The children are observed working independently on child-initiated tasks as well as teacher led focus tasks with a specific learning objective, both indoors and outdoors. Evidence is gathered in a wide range of ways such as children’s direct quotes and observation notes, annotated photographs, videos, children’s work in their Literacy or Numeracy book, phonics assessments, and daily reading records and recorded in an electronic or paper learning journal which captures each child’s learning and progress.
During the year, teachers use the assessment data as a valuable source of information about levels of development across the year group. The EYFS phase leader monitors the picture for individual pupils and classes with particular attention to certain groups such as summer born children and disadvantaged children and boys/girls, with the aim to close the gap in attainment (where it exists) for these groups of learners. This information helps staff to plan activities which will help all children to move forward in their learning and development.
At the end of the year, the EYFS Profile (EYFSP) is completed and the judgements are reported to parents, the Trust and the Local Authority. This profile is based on the cumulative ongoing observations and assessments in the following areas:
- The Prime Areas of Learning: Communication and Language, Physical Development and Personal, Social and Emotional Development, and,
- The Specific Areas of Learning: Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding of the World and Expressive Arts and Design.
- Characteristics of Effective Learning: Playing and Exploring, Active Learning and Creating and Thinking Critically. Each child’s developments and achievements are recorded in the EYFSP.
There are 17 Early Learning Goal (ELG) descriptors, together with a short narrative describing the child’s three Characteristics of Effective Learning. For each ELG, a judgement is made as to whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of Reception year.
To ensure that all judgements are accurate, valid and consistent, the judgements are moderated internally within the school, with other REAch2 schools and also as part of Local Authority moderation either as a local cluster or individual school.
The Language we will use
In order to be ‘Secondary ready’ children need to meet the required end of Key Stage 2 expectations.
This is broken down into key outcomes for each curriculum year.
We use the National Curriculum objectives to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year – for example:
- At the end of Year 3 a child has achieved all the objectives set out for Year 3 Writing (and no further) would be said to have MET the end of Year 3 expectations for writing.
- At the end of Year 5 a child who has made good progress but has not yet met some of the mathematics objectives for Year 5 would be “Working Towards year 5” expectations for Maths.
Some pupils will for various reasons be working below the level expected for their year group, teachers will address their needs using outcomes from the appropriate year and pupils will be supported to make accelerated progress.
Some pupils will have MET their year group end of year objectives well before their peers. Teachers will identify these pupils and set targets that widen and deepen their understanding and ability to apply their skills in a variety of situations. These children will be assessed as “Greater Depth” meaning that they are Deeping their understanding and knowledge of that subject.
Assessment and Reporting
- Ongoing assessment by the class teacher throughout each lesson, through questioning, observation and dialogue.
- Children knowing what they are being asked to learn and much more importantly, how they know that they will have achieved it.
- Success Criteria in the form of “I am Learning to” statements, are discussed with the children at the start of each lesson and then their work from the lesson is then assessed against these success criteria.
- Three way feedback; pupil, peer and teacher, with clearly identified next steps. This can be written or verbal feedback.
The following judgements are used:
- Working Towards – Children are judged as ‘working towards’ when they are accessing the curriculum below the expectations of their chronological age. They do not currently have the skills, knowledge and understanding required to access, achieve or demonstrate significant engagement with the assessment criteria.
- Expected – Children are judged as ‘Expected’ when they are comprehensively On-Track to attain the skills, knowledge and understanding of the assessment criteria by the end of the year.
- Greater Depth – Children are judged as “Greater Depth” when they have shown that they have mastered the skills and knowledge in a particular area and then are able to look at the same area in more detail and apply those skills in a variety of different contexts to help deepen their skills and knowledge in this area.