At William Austin Infant School assessing pupils’ progress is an integral part of teaching and learning. The key purpose of assessment is to move children on in their learning. Assessment is used to identify the next steps in learning and to monitor the progress children are making. This will have a direct impact on children’s progress and result in better outcomes. Assessment is about making accurate judgements, informed observations, ensuring the robust monitoring of work produced by children and effective questioning; all of which will enable staff to carefully capture and record what children can do and ascertain what they need to do next.
Children engage regularly in self-assessment at an age-appropriate level so that they can explain what they have done well and how they can improve their work even more, giving them clear ownership of their learning. Self-assessment will help children to become fully involved in their own learning, raising their own expectations, recognising their own achievements and as a direct result of this giving them higher motivation and confidence levels leading to sustained progress and attainment.
Marking, Feedback and Assessment lie at the heart of our process of promoting children’s learning. They provide a framework within which educational objectives may be set and children’s progress monitored. We believe the best way for achieving this is in partnership with children as much as we possibly can. Marking, Feedback and Assessment are systematically integrated into our teaching strategies in order to identify any misconceptions and to monitor progress. We strongly believe that effective Marking, Feedback and Assessment provides vital information to improve teaching and learning.
A variety of assessment procedures are followed including formative assessment, summative assessment and diagnostic testing. Ongoing daily/weekly assessment takes place as well as ‘Assessment Weeks’ at regular intervals during the year.
‘Live Marking’ is undertaken daily alongside the children in class so that the children are included with the marking process as much as possible. While in class staff will go through the children’s work with them praising them for the areas they are working well on and picking up on any misconceptions that may have arisen and therefore enabling the children to act upon them straight away and improve their learning. Acknowledging and marking children’s work, giving verbal feedback, valuing their efforts and achievements and celebrating progress are all fundamental to increased progress and improved outcomes.
Assessment and progress information is shared with parents at the consultation meetings in the Autumn and Spring term. In the Spring term parents are informed of their children’s targets/next steps in learning to support with their learning at home. In the Summer term parents are invited to discuss their child’s annual report. An annual report is sent to parents at the end of the academic year. The report includes information on children’s attainment, progress, achievements, behaviour and attendance. Parents are also given targets to work on to improve their children’s future learning.
Assessment of pupils without levels
In Year 1 and 2 we use the National Curriculum 2014 to plan from and we ensure children have covered all the objectives in their year group by the end of the year.
In Year 1 and 2 the children’s progress is tracked and assessed using steps within an age band. There are 6 steps within a band and the band is linked to what year group they are in. eg Year 1 = band 1. The 6 steps are:
b/b+ = beginning/beginning +
w/w+ = working within/working within +
s/s+ = secure/secure +
Teachers use the Teacher Assessment Framework at the end of Key Stage 1 to help make teacher assessment judgements for each child.
The assessment system has been set up using the guidelines as set out in the document ‘Final Report of the Commission on Assessment without Levels – September 2015’ and the guidelines set out by NAHT. (links for these documents are below)
End of Key Stage 1 tests
Children are assessed in line with National Statutory requirements
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
In the second half of the Summer Term all Year 1 children take part in the Phonics Screening Check, a National Statutory assessment.
The phonics check will show whether children have learnt phonic decoding to the expected threshold standard.
If children do not achieve the expected standard in Year 1 they retake the phonics check in Year 2.
The Foundation Stage
During the Foundation Stage in Year R, all children will be assessed using the Early Learning Goals and the Characteristics of Effective Learning. This is done through observation of the child’s work in the classroom.
The school and parents also need to know about the child’s level of development on entry to school so we carry out an informal assessment when children start school.