Assessment

Assessment Policy and Procedures

Why Assess?

We assess to be sure that all children across the Blossom Federation can make as much progress in their learning as they possibly can. By assessing children’s achievements in their work, further progress in their learning can be planned for. Assessment enables teachers to inform their planning, adjusting it where necessary, to ensure that their teaching will have an effective, positive impact on children’s learning and achievements.

Assessment is a continuous process and is intrinsically linked with the weekly / termly / yearly cycle of planning, teaching, assessing then planning. By interpreting the evidence in a range of children’s work, teachers can see where the children are in their learning, where they need to go next and decide how to teach them to get there. These next steps are shared with the children who are encouraged to self-assess against these targets as they do their work. 

Regular, rigorous assessment, and the subsequent analyses of that assessment, is the most reliable way of monitoring children’s progress and attainment and closely monitoring that good progress is being made and can be compared to standards nationally.

There are two ways in which assessment is approached:

Formative Assessment - daily checking and understanding, questioning, observations, feedback, self assessment, marking etc.

Summative Assessment - formal assessments against national standards and following our assessment timeline.  This also includes statutory tests and assessments.

We aim for all children to take pride in their work and be proud of the achievements they make. We recognise their effort and achievements and celebrate this with the children in class, in key stage assemblies and in weekly whole school assemblies.

EYFS

Reception and Nursery Baseline Assessments happen within the first half term when the child joins the class. These assessments identify where children are in relation to the expectations for their chronological age in a number of areas.  The new EYFS baseline is statutory from September 2021.

Statutory end of EYFS Assessments show how well the children have achieved in the 17 areas that are assessed. Analysis of these results helps to identify children who have achieved ‘a good level of development’ and those who will, possibly, require further support. Children will be assessed as Emerging, Expected or Exceeding.

KS1

There is a statutory Phonics Screening Check in the summer term towards the end of Year 1. This assesses children’s skills in phonics, using a range of words, some of which are real words and some of which are nonsense words. There are 40 words altogether for children to decode and read aloud. Children who fail to reach the required standard in this test retake it in Year 2.

The end of Key Stage One statutory assessments are carried out in May each year. Teachers use SATs papers in Reading and Maths to help assess whether the children in their class are achieving the nationally expected standard in these subjects. Writing is both robustly moderated within schools, across the Federation, and on a cycle by the London Borough of Hackney to ensure results are accurate. These teacher assessed standards for all subjects are robustly moderated to ensure they are accurate and the results are reported to the DfE so they can be measured against children of the same age nationally.

KS2

In Year 4 there is a Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) that takes place over a three week  in June.

The end of Key Stage Two statutory assessments take place each May. The tests are administered following government guidelines and sent to be externally marked. The results of the tests in Reading, Spelling Grammar and Punctuation and Maths show whether the children have achieved the nationally expected standards for their age in these subjects.

Writing, although assessed by teachers using a range of work rather than being marked externally, is both robustly moderated within schools, across the Federation, and on a cycle by the London Borough of Hackney to ensure results are accurate.

Teacher assessments are also recorded nationally and are based on the teacher’s judgement of where each child is attaining, using a range of work as evidence. Teacher assessments in Reading, Writing, Maths and Science are submitted to the DfE at the end of June.

Peer Assessment

Peer assessment is done at the end of an activity when children are given the opportunity to assess each other’s work. Time is given for children to exchange books etc. and comment on someone else’s outcome. Classes use peer assessment, which insists on respect for another child’s learning. Having identified any areas for improvement in other children’s work enables children to look more critically at their own work in order to support the self-assessment process.

Self-assessment

Teachers plan in regular times towards the end of sessions for children to assess their own work. Children assess against the success criteria, which is given at the beginning of the activity and this is usually closely linked to the learning intention, but could sometimes include learning targets. This does not happen during every lesson, but teachers will provide regular opportunities for children to judge for themselves how they are progressing.

Self-assessment can be done against the success criteria, or can be in response to prompts by the teacher. The latter is usually done during marking reflection time (see marking policy).

Children can also choose what they consider to be their greatest achievement, in their opinion, and why. This comment is included in their yearly report to parents, which is written and sent home at the end of each academic year.

Procedure for Assessing and monitoring Assessment

In order to ensure that assessment is accurate and teachers, children, parents and professionals can be confident in the judgements given, we have worked hard to embed a rigorous system of assessments. Throughout the year, assessment for learning is ongoing and enables teachers to collect a range of evidence which will help to support the judgements they make.

At the beginning of the academic year, all year groups meet with SLT (Senior Leadership Team) for an Assessment Meeting to set targets and make predictions for children’s progress and attainment over the coming year.

Across the Blossom Federation, we assess all children once each term. An assessment timeline is followed each term.  Teachers use several pieces of work, plus their observations and knowledge of the children, alongside standardised assessments, to judge which standards the children have attained. Teachers then moderate together as a year group or phase prior to the final deadline for entering the data. Children are assessed as being either:

  • Working below the expected standard for their age, in which case they are not able to access their class year’s curriculum, but are working on the curriculum from a lower year group (below);
  • Working within the expected standard for their age, in which case they are exactly where they should be for their age (expected);
  • Working within the expected standard for their age at greater depth, in which case they are working above expectations for their age (above).

At the beginning of the year, data is analysed and presented to teachers in a data pack, specific to their class or year group. Attendance, vulnerable groups and national data are also included.

After assessments have been completed, teachers meet with SLT for Inclusion and Pupil Progress Meeting. At this meeting children needing additional support to overcome their barriers to learning, or those already receiving targeted interventions are discussed in depth and the appropriate support is chosen from a wide range available for interventions. The assessment data, along with teachers’ records and class tracker children’s books are then discussed fully.

Judgments are looked at alongside the evidence. Children’s progress is monitored, discussed and questioned to ensure all children are making the most progress they can. Children not making the expected progress due to the need for additional support will have already been discussed and the appropriate support decided. The progress of the children and the decisions made at the Pupil Progress Meeting are all reviewed termly.

English Assessment 

Each year group has an end of year expectation for reading and writing that will be used for planning.

Each term, objectives on the Reading and Writing Assessment Grid that have been taught will be highlighted: pink = autumn, blue = spring and purple = summer. Because many objectives will be revisited throughout the year, teachers can comment on this on their planning copy;  can also include notes that are written by the class teacher about that child’s abilities. For example, it may refer to specific pieces of writing used to moderate or assessment notes from guided reading. 

Maths Assessment

Each year group has an end of year expectation for maths that will be used for planning.

A tracking sheet is used to map out each term’s maths coverage. This is the suggested pace at which the curriculum is covered, including discrete problem solving lessons and some extra space to return to any areas if necessary.

There is a scheme of learning to match the pacer which breaks the maths curriculum down into small-step chunks that build on prior learning and follow the Mastery approach to teaching and learning.

Assessing Foundation Subjects

The assessment will allow children and teachers to identify what they already know and what they are unsure about. A similar self-assessment will be undertaken at the end of the topic, to identify what the children now know, showing the progress they have made. This progress will also be supported by evidence in the children’s work and in the skills they have developed following the progression maps for each subject.

Reporting to Parents

There are two planned opportunities for consultations with parents each year - Parents’ Days: one in the second half of the Autumn Term and another in the second half of the Spring Term. Progress, achievement and effort are discussed at depth in these meetings.

Annual reports to parents are sent out each July. They include comments from teachers in all core subjects, with a clear indication of where each individual child is achieving in relation to the nationally expected standards for their age in all subjects.  An indication of their effort/attitude to all subjects is also shown. All statutory assessment results are also included for EYFS, Year 1, Year 2, Year 4 and Year 6.

General Termly Assessment Cycle Format

Date Event Content
Start of Autumn Term Assessment Meeting with SLT per year group

End of previous year assessment

Draft Target Setting

Inclusion

Safeguarding

Attendance Updates

Before Half Term

Pre-Pupil Progress Meeting

Class teachers moderation (seeking support from phase lead if needed) and agree judgments before data is submitted to Assessment Lead.

Before Half Term

Pre-Pupil Progress Meeting Inclusion Surgeries

Class Teachers meet / Liaise with SENDCo to age judgements for SEND (EHCP) pupils prior to data drop

Friday after Half Term

Data Drop

Draft Data submitted to Assessment Lead

Second week after Half Term

Interventions schedule to be made

Based on data drop, teachers organise and run interventions across remainder of term

Review impact of these at pupil progress meetings

Second Half Term

Assessment Week

 

End Second Half Term Re-assess data drop Teachers re-assess and make judgements based on assessments and books; modify EOY predictions where necessary
End Second Half Term Pupil Progress Meetings All year group data finalised and actions planned