Assessment & reporting
At St Mary’s we regularly assess the pupils using formative and summative assessments. Summative assessments are tests carried out in test conditions and formative assessments are ongoing assessments made by teachers from ongoing knowledge of the child, observations and marking. By tracking children’s progress it allows us to recognise their achievements and identify areas that need further focus and support.
We share the progress a child is making at the two Parent Consultation Evenings we have every year, followed by a formal written report in the summer term. These are also opportunities to also feedback on the other achievements of each child and how we have seen them develop as learners and as a young person. In response to the annual parental survey we now have book viewing on a Thursday after school. This provides parents the opportunity to view their child’s work if they wish. Parents may also make an appointment with the class teacher throughout the year to discuss any concerns that they may have.
Although we regularly review the progress of children within the classroom, there is also a statutory requirement for children to be assessed at different times in their school life.
In Year 1 all children are assessed using the National Phonics Screening Test which will identify attainment against national standards and where further support is needed. Those who do not meet the nationally-determined pass mark will retake the test in Year 2. In 2017 and 2018, 100% of pupils achieved the pass mark in the test.
In Years 2 and 6, all pupils sit tests in Reading, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar and Maths, in order to benchmark their progress against national standards. In Year 2 the tests are currently marked by the teachers, whereas in Year 6 these tests are marked externally. Writing is assessed by school staff but is also moderated with other local schools and with Local Authority Advisers. In 2018 our school was externally moderated for both KS2 and EYFS. We have been identified as a school demonstrating best practice in terms of the teaching and assessment of writing in KS2. Science is also assessed using a combination of ongoing teacher assessments and standardised assessments.
St Mary’s works very hard to ensure that the children are well prepared for the tests, as well as being provided with a broad and balanced curriculum. Children are well prepared for the next phase of learning.
Reasons for assessment
The Governors have approved the following principles for assessing the pupils in our school.
These principles underpin how our school will assess all children throughout their school career. Staff CPD training will be at the heart of this process.
- It provides clear evidence of children’s progress across year groups;
- It provides accurate information on children’s progress and determines whether our assessment system is fit for purpose.
We believe that:
- Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning: it provides evidence to guide teaching and learning; the opportunity for pupils to demonstrate and review their progress.
- Assessment is fair; inclusive of all abilities, purposeful and appropriate to the needs of the children, free from bias.
- Assessment and the outcomes are used in ways that minimise undesirable effects; outcomes are conveyed in an open, honest and transparent way to assist pupils with their learning and the judgements. These judgements are moderated by experienced professionals across the local authority in a shared approach to teaching and learning to ensure their accuracy.
- Assessment places achievement in context against nationally standardised criteria and expected standards criteria and expected standards for which schools and school leaders are accountable. It embodies, through objective criteria, a pathway of progress and development, which supports transition, for every child. It sets high expectations for all learners.
- Assessment processes should be clearly stated; conclusions regarding pupil achievement are valid (to age, task and to the desired feedback information); it should draw on a wide range of evidence to provide a complete picture of student achievement.; it should demand no more procedures or records than are practically required to allow pupils, their parents and teachers to plan future learning.
- Assessment is consistent; judgements formed according to common principles; results are readily understandable by third parties; results are capable of comparison with other schools, both locally and nationally.
- Assessment outcomes provide meaningful and understandable information for pupils in developing their learning; helps parents in supporting children with their learning; supports teachers in planning teaching and learning; enable school leaders and governors in planning and allocating resources; track pupil progress and government and agents of government.
- Assessment feedback should inspire greater effort and a belief that, through hard work and practice, more can be achieved.