The introduction of a new National Curriculum in September 2014 removed the use of 'levels' to assess attainment and measure progress for pupils in primary schools. These changes have meant that schools are now required to develop and utilise their own assessment systems which will be evaluated by Ofsted. New end of Key Stage tests will be administered in May 2016 for Year 2 and Year 6 pupils.
Schools are required to state their core principles for assessment of the new curriculum. Coombe Road’s are detailed below.
Core Principles for Assessment at Coombe Road Primary School
Assessment is integral to high quality teaching and learning. It helps us to ensure that our teaching is appropriate and that learners are making at least expected progress whilst giving reliable information to parents about how their child and the school is performing. Furthermore, it should have a purpose at every level for everyone involved.
At Coombe Road Primary School we ensure that assessment:
- Is fair, inclusive and free from bias.
- Is open, honest and transparent.
- Secures high expectations for all.
- Is appropriate to age and task.
- Is accurate, consistent and transferable.
- Allows children to track their progress and know their next steps in learning.
- Ensures feedback to pupils contributes to improved learning and is focused on specific and tangible objectives.
- Produces recordable measures that can demonstrate comparison against expected local and national standards and reflects progress over time.
- Allows meaningful tracking of pupils towards end of key stage expectations.
- Provides meaningful and understandable information for pupils, parents and school staff.
Our approach to assessment
- All staff are regularly trained in our approach to assessment.
- The Deputy Head is responsible for assessment.
- Our assessments chart a route of progress and development for every child.
- Our assessments place achievement in context against nationally standardised criteria and expected standards.
- Our assessment procedures support;
- Pupils improving their learning;
- Teachers in planning teaching and learning;
- Parents in supporting their children with their learning;
- School leaders and governors in planning and allocating resources;
- Judgements are formed according to common principles; processes ensure consistency and draw on a range of evidence.
- Assessments are moderated by experienced professionals, both internal and external, to ensure accuracy, reliability and validity.
- Research, training and best practice and innovation from local, national and international sources is considered in order to improve our own assessment practice.
Our method of assessment
- Assessment serves many purposes, but its main purpose is to help teachers, pupils and parents plan their next steps in learning.
- We assess pupils against agreed assessment criteria based on National Curriculum objectives.
- Assessment criteria are arranged hierarchically setting out what pupils are normally expected to achieve by the end of each academic year.
- Formative (on-going) assessment is integral to lessons and planned for.
- Staff and pupils assess progress and attainment using the school’s own Assessment Criteria Sheets for writing - WAC sheets, (which includes grammar, punctuation & spelling) and mathematics - MAC sheets. Parents also contribute to reading assessment through the Home-School Reading Assessment Cards (RAC)
- Standardised assessment tasks and tests are used alongside teachers’ professional judgements to further ensure rigour and robust procedures.
- The achievement of each pupil is assessed against broader bands/stages of yearly objectives at appropriate times of the school year.
Beginning – Pupil learning is chiefly focused on the criteria for the band. There may be minimal elements of the previous band still to gain complete confidence in.
Working Within – Pupil learning is fully focused on the criteria for the stage. Up to 70% of the statements are confidently achieved.
Secure – Confidence in all of the criteria for the band. There may be pupil learning still focused on gaining thorough confidence in some minimal elements but the broad expectations for the band have been met.
Each band/stage is further broken down into six steps to enable more focused analysis of pupil progress: ‘beginning’, ‘beginning plus’, ‘working within’, ‘working within plus’, ‘secure’ or ‘secure plus’
- Where a pupil is assessed as below or above expectation their needs will be met through support or challenge. Where pupils are assessed as working ‘well below’ or ‘well above’ expectations additional provision will be considered.
- Assessments judgements are recorded and backed up by a body of evidence using observations, records of work and testing.
- Assessments are recorded using highly secure online systems: Tapestry in EYFS and Target Tracker throughout the school.
- Assessment judgements are moderated by colleagues in school and by colleagues in other schools to ensure our assessments are fair, reliable and valid.
Our use of Assessment
As a school we use the outcomes of assessments in a variety of ways and at a variety of levels, from the individual pupil to whole-school improvement. We use assessment outcomes to:
- Support planning and implementation of a curriculum designed to meet the needs of learners.
- Monitor the progress and attainment pupils make to ensure the school is helping pupils achieve their potential.
- Summarise and analyse attainment and progress for pupils and classes.
- Check, support and improve our teaching standards.
- Ensure that the pupils who need specified intervention are quickly identified, appropriately supported and monitored so that all can fully achieve their potential and no one is left to struggle behind.
- Give parents, on a termly basis, a clear and accurate sense of their child’s achievement and progress as well as areas where they can support development.
- Enable governors to use data to ensure the school is supporting pupils learning effectively.
- Compare performance with other schools, both locally and nationally.
- Provide data for inspection teams to show how children are performing.
- Celebrate all achievements across a broad and balanced curriculum, including sport, art & performance, behaviour and social and emotional development.