Assessment Information for Parents

 

Assessment information for parents

At Lincewood Primary School we use a range of different forms of assessment.  These are briefly outlined below but if you require any further information please see our assessment policy, speak to your child’s class teacher or contact the assessment leader – Mrs Braithwaite.

Assessment Methods:

-          Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is the daily assessment carried out by the class teachers to assess children’s progress and attainment.  It does not include formal testing but instead looks at how well the children understand their learning.  Teachers find out this information through a variety of different ways, for example, teachers will ask a range of questions in a lesson and judging by the children’s responses the teacher will assess if they require more support in understanding the learning, need to be further challenged or they are at the right point in their learning.  Using this continual information, teachers will be able to re-direct their lessons immediately to meet the needs of the learners in their class.  Teachers and other pupils provide children with constructive feedback that aims to move on and deepen the children’s learning.  This is an essential part of the learning process and, as such, it should happen immediately or as close to completing the learning as possible.  Feedback is given in a number of ways including written, verbal, self and peer feedback.  Children are required to respond to the feedback and make amendments to their work through consideration of the comments.

-          Testing

Children in each year group will participate in half term or termly tests in reading, mathematics and GPS (Grammar, punctuation and spelling).  The utmost care is taken to ensure that the children are provided with any necessary access arrangements so that they are able to demonstrate their existing understanding in the tests.  The test information is closely analysed and discussed so that the results can be used by teachers to plan the next phase of the children’s learning. 

-          Ongoing assessments

All of our other subjects are continually assessed throughout the year.  For each subject, we have outlines of the end of year expectations and they are used to gauge how well children are progressing. 

-          Tracking

Test information, together with updated information about the children’s attainment and progress, is ‘tracked’ closely by the class teachers and the Leadership Team to ensure that every child is achieving the best that they possibly can.  Once individual pupils have been tracked and discussed interventions may be put in place to support those that need extra help or to provide challenge for those that have been successful.

As levels were removed by the Government from September 2014 for Years 1, 3, 4, and 5 and September 2015 for Years 2 and 6, we now track pupil progress in all year groups using the following criteria. 

Attainment is assessed against the National Curriculum end of year expectation statements for each year group.  Each band is divided into six steps so that we are able to measure progress throughout the year with the expectation being that most children will achieve a secure step in their year band.

 The steps and bands for each year group are as follows:

Year 1                    1b           1b+        1w          1w+       1s            1s+

Year 2                    2b           2b+        2w          2w+       2s            2s+         mastery

Year 3                    3b           3b+        3w          3w+       3s            3s+

Year 4                    4b           4b+        4w          4w+       4s            4s+

Year 5                    5b           5b+        5w          5w+       5s            5s+

Year 6                    6b           6b+        6w          6w+       6s            6s+         mastery

 

(b = beginning to work within the band;  w = working within the band;  s = secure within the band)

There is an additional ‘band’ of mastery for Years 2 and 6 which allows the highest achievers to still show accelerated progress where this is appropriate.

-          What do we mean by mastery?

The essential idea behind mastery is that all children need a deep understanding of the curriculum that they are learning so that:

• future learning is built on solid foundations which do not need to be re-taught;

• there is no need for separate catch-up programmes due to some children falling behind;

• children who, under other teaching approaches, can often fall a long way behind, are better able to keep up with their peers, so that gaps in attainment are narrowed whilst the attainment of all is raised.

There are generally four ways in which the term mastery is being used in raising standards:

1. A mastery approach: a set of principles and beliefs. This includes a belief that all pupils are capable of understanding and learning, given sufficient time. Pupils are neither  born with a particular skill in a subject or are more able to learn a subject.  With good teaching, appropriate resources, effort and a ‘can do’ attitude all children can achieve in and enjoy in all subjects.

2. A mastery curriculum: one set of concepts and big ideas for all. All pupils need access to these concepts and ideas and to the rich connections between them. There is no such thing as ‘special needs curriculum’ or ‘gifted and talented curriculum’. The entire curriculum is made up of  key ideas and building blocks which are important for everyone.

3. Teaching for mastery: a set of pedagogic practices that keep the class working together on the same topic, whilst at the same time addressing the need for all pupils to master the curriculum and for some to gain greater depth of proficiency and understanding. Challenge is provided by going deeper rather than accelerating into new content. Teaching is focused, rigorous and thorough, to ensure that learning is sufficiently embedded and sustainable over time. Long term gaps in learning are prevented through speedy teacher intervention. More time is spent on teaching topics to allow for the development of depth and sufficient practice to embed learning. Carefully crafted lesson design provides a scaffolded, conceptual journey through the learning, engaging pupils in reasoning and the development of logical thinking.   

4. Achieving mastery of particular topics and areas. Mastery is not just being able to memorise key facts and procedures and answer test questions accurately and quickly. It involves knowing ‘why’ as well as knowing ‘that’ and knowing ‘how’. It means being able to use one’s knowledge appropriately, flexibly and creatively and to apply it in new and unfamiliar situations.

 Statutory assessments:

-          Foundation Stage – baseline

All children, on entry to the school, will be assessed on their skills and knowledge using a baseline test.  At Lincewood Primary School we use the Early Excellence Baseline (EExBA) which allows teachers to build their knowledge of each child through their observations, interactions and every day activities. They use this professional knowledge to make a series of judgements about each child based on a clear set of assessment criteria.

-           Foundation Stage – end of year assessments

At the end of their time in the Foundation Stage, all children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals.  The children’s attainment at this time is reported to parents and is used to inform the work that they are assigned at the beginning of Year 1. 

In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) a profile is kept on every child’s progress.  This is a report of the ongoing development and achievement of each child.

The EYFS is broken down into seven specific areas of learning:

•             Communication and language

•             Physical development

•             Personal, social and emotional development (PSE)

•             Literacy

•             Mathematics

•             Understanding the world

•             Expressive arts and design

Assessment is ongoing throughout the EYFS but the official profile is completed in the final term of Reception.  The assessment takes place through teacher observation of children’s learning and development as they take part in everyday activities and planned observations where teachers spend time on a specific task with an individual child or small group.  We actively welcome parents to contribute to their child’s profile and regularly request information on the children’s progress within the home setting.

-           Development Matters levels

There are three separate achievement levels within each Development Matters age band (a document which outlines expected progress for different age ranges in Early Years:

•             Expected:  working at the level expected for his or her age

•             Emerging:  working below the expected level for his or her age

•             Exceeding:  working above the expected level for his or her age

 -          Year 1 Phonics Screening

Towards the end of Year 1, all children complete a simple test with a member of staff who is known to them to determine if they have met a set threshold in their phonetic knowledge.  The children are required to read 40 phonetic words which consist of real and made up words.  The children’s pass marks will be reported to you and you will be informed whether or not they have met the pass mark.  Those children who do not pass in Year 1 will repeat the test in Year 2. 

-          End of Key Stage 1 National Curriculum Tests

Towards the end of Year 2 all children will sit a writing, reading and mathematics test (commonly referred to as KS1 SATs).  These tests are marked by the class teachers and are used to support their existing knowledge of the child’s learning.  An overall attainment level is reported to parents as a ‘Teacher Assessment’.

-          End of Key Stage 2 National Curriculum Tests

In May of each year, Year 6 will sit reading, writing, GPS and mathematics tests (commonly referred to as KS2 SATs).  These tests are both set and marked externally.  An attainment level is reported for both the outcomes of the tests and as a ‘Teacher Assessment’.

Please note :  The statutory tests at both KS1 and KS2 will be changing this year to incorporate the requirements of the new curriculum. 

 Involving Pupils and Parents

Pupils are continually involved in their learning through formative assessment strategies, self and peer assessment, sharing of targets and individual’s knowledge of what they need to do to improve their learning.

We hold two formal consultation evenings a year (Autumn and Spring terms) where parents are invited to meet with the teachers to discuss their child’s attainment and progress.  Pupils are encouraged to attend these evenings to take part in any discussions.

End of year reports are provided in the Summer term where comments are provided on progress, attainment and attitude to school as well as results from any statutory assessments.

We also hold a more informal ‘open evening’ is held in the Summer term where children are invited to show parents their work and teachers again are available for discussions.

In addition, we operate an ‘open door’ policy and parents are more than welcome to have an informal chat with teachers when they see them or to make an appointment at the office to agree a mutually convenient time.

Lincewood Primary School
Berry Lane, Langdon Hills,
Essex. SS16 6AZ

 

T: 01268 412888 - Jane Dyer or Adrienne Lewis

office@lincewood.essex.sch.uk

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