Following the introduction of the National Curriculum framework September 2014, the government has removed level descriptors. The Department for Education has said that levels are not very good with respect to helping parents to understand how far their child is improving. In their place, from September 2014, “it will be for schools to decide how they assess pupils’ progress”.
With levels removed and the focus now on raising the achievement of every pupil, Town Farm have chosen a clear and comprehensive way to measure pupil attainment and progress.
Our assessment system
We welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum and saw it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach that makes sense to parents. We were very clear that whatever assessment tool we used, it needed to be robust and track pupils’progress across the school and not just at the end of a Key Stage.
The principles that underpin our assessment system are:
- Every child can achieve: teachers at Town Farm 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 on average through their school life – 12 months in 12 months.
- Teachers are experts in assessment - assessment will be effectively used to ensure the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.
Our assessment and reporting system includes:
- Ongoing assessment by the class teacher throughout each lesson, through questioning, observation and dialogue.
- Children knowing what they are being asked to learn and more importantly, why.
- Success Criteria are discussed and agreed with or formulated by the children during each lesson, work is then assessed against the success criteria.
- Three way feedback, pupil, peer, teacher with clearly identified next steps – this can be written or verbal feedback.
All of the above will feed into 'Data snap-shots', these will take place at class, phase and subject level three times a year, towards the end of each term.
At the end of a pupil’s time in Primary School they need to be ‘Secondary ready’ 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:
- A child that has achieved all objectives set out for Year 3 would be said to be working at the secure stage of Year 3.
- A child achieving half or so of the objectives for Year 3 would be classed as working within the developing stage of Year 3.
- A child achieving only a few objectives for Year 3 would be classed as working within the emerging stage of Year 3.
Tracking Progress over time:
We use a data management system (Arbor) to track pupils' progress over time, against age-related expectations in reading, writing and maths. Broadly speaking an average pupil will progress through the emerging, developing and secure elements each term as set out below. So a child at a 3.1 or 3.2 in Autumn should be a 3.5 or 3.6 in the Summer.
More able pupils:
Rather than moving straight onto the next year’s curriculum these children will work on ‘mastering’ their knowledge through the application of skills in different contexts – they will be deepening their learning . The depth and application of a child’s learning is an important marker of their achievement and progress.
Science and the Foundation Subjects
At the end of each unit of learning, pupils are assessed against the National Curriculum Objectives to ascertain whether they are working towards the expected standard, working at the expected standard or working at greater depth within the expected standard.
Early Years - Nursery & Reception
Children in Nursery and Reception will continue to be assessed against the Prime and Specific areas of Learning in the EYFS profile.
Assessments will be based on observation of daily activities and events. At the end of Reception for each Early Learning Goal, teachers will judge whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of the Reception year:
•Emerging, not yet reached the expected level of development for their age.
•Expected, working at the expected level of development for their age.
Reporting to Parents
Through parents meetings and written reports we will continue to report the key areas of:
Behaviour for learning
This will be in the form of the child’s attainment in relation to the age related expectation and if they are: below, emerging, developing, secure or exceeding. Eg. 3.1 emerging
(EYFS – Reception and Nursery will continue to report emerging, expected, exceeding)
This will simply be:
slow, expected, good or outstanding
this will be a % figure related to the school target of 96%:
low, expected, good or outstanding
This will simply be:
poor, improving, acceptable, good or outstanding