Lakenham Primary School Assessment Policy
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”
Principles and Values:
At Lakenham Primary School we believe that knowing our children well is crucial to ensuring that we can engage them in learning which stimulates them, enables them to develop and deepen their understanding and use and apply what they know in different contexts. Good teaching cannot happen without good assessment. Children need to learn more than they need to be tested and assessment needs to improve teaching and learning. Assessment needs to be fit for purpose.
During 2014-2015, the school began the implementation and development of a new curriculum, in line with the National Curriculum 2014. These changes came about alongside the development of Assessment without Levels. In 2014-2015 the school rightly focussed on developing a broad and balanced curriculum whilst reviewing school assessment processes and ensuring accountability to governors for pupil premium spend and progress and attainment of pupils. This policy reflects our learning, and is informed by our new curriculum and the needs of our pupils.
Aims and Objectives:
The primary purpose of assessment at Lakenham is to enable our children to understand what they need to do next to improve their work and make progress and achieve the best outcomes and to improve and develop our curriculum. Therefore this policy has to be read in conjunction with our school marking and feedback policy, as this is fundamental and the basis of any effective assessment system.
At Lakenham Primary School we use a range of formative assessment processes to determine:
Where the learner is right now Where the learner needs to be How to get there
The new national curriculum gives us a clear understanding of where the learner needs to be at key milestones throughout their primary education. We have mapped and developed our school curriculum to meet the needs of our children. However we also know that our students do not learn what we teach and the purpose of our assessment processes are to assess what they do know and understand and learn, how to enable them to take their learning further and the appropriate strategies and tools to use to help them get there.
Summative assessments are used to evaluate student learning, skill acquisition, and academic achievement at the conclusion of stages in a child’s educational career. E.g.Key- Stage 2 SATs. The outcomes from summative assessments are used to evaluate the impact of school improvement strategies and to compare outcomes for Lakenham pupils with those of similar pupils nationally.
Assessment at Lakenham:
At Lakenham our focus is on quality rather than quantity.
Children need to know what good work looks like they need to have a clear understanding of what they are aiming for and the standards expected. Our assessment processes are an integral part of teaching and learning at Lakenham. We achieve this by:
Eliciting children’s understanding of new areas of learning through effective questioning, and learning tasks to find out what children already know. E.g. brainstorming, knowledge harvests,
Sharing learning goals with pupils;
All lessons at Lakenham make explicit the WILMA: What I am Learning More About, and the WILFs: What I am Looking For. WILFs are differentiated and informed by previous assessments. Children are encouraged to identify the level of challenge they want to undertake based on their prior knowledge and understanding. Children are encouraged to choose from a mild, medium, hot and seriously hot challenge.
Modelling and demonstrating the quality expected and enabling children to aim high.
Involving children in self-assessment and encouraging them from an early age to identify What Went Well, and Even Better If with regard to their own learning and to be able to support the learning of their peers.
Providing on-going feedback and opportunities for children to respond to and act upon feedback to improve their work and encouraging children to provide feedback on learning opportunities and the impact on their learning to enable us to improve the quality of teaching.
Alongside the formative assessment strategies described above, we use a range of recording methods at Lakenham Primary School;
At Lakenham Primary School we use an electronic learning journal (Tapestry) to monitor development and record through pictures, photographs, observations and on-going assessment children’s learning journeys from Nursery to the end of Reception (see separate policy). Three times a year staff in the EYFS make a summative assessment as to whether a child is emerging, developing or securing against age appropriate bands. Parents and carers are actively encouraged to contribute to their child’s development record.
Year 1 Phonics Check:
All children at the end of Year 1 participate in the Year 1 Phonics check. Outcomes are
reported to parents in a child’s end of year report.
Children in Year 2 and Year 6, participate in the Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs) in May. In 2015-2016, new SATs will be implemented which vary significantly from previous assessments:
Specific information about the changes to the SATs can be found here: Changes to KS1
The results of the tests will be as scaled scores, with children who reach the threshold score
for the “expected standard” being given a scaled score of 100.
Samples of the test papers are available here.
Alongside these new SATs, teachers will be required to report Teacher Assessments using an interim assessment framework:
The outcomes of these assessments will be reported to parents and carers in a child’s end
of Key-Stage Report.
At Lakenham Primary School we have developed the Assertive Mentoring system to meet out needs and to moderate teacher assessments and ensure consistency in judgements across the school.
Three times a year teachers will use a combination of on-going assessments and termly tests to make an assessment of a child’s progress and attainment in English, Math and Science. Children will be identified as emerging, developing, securing, and next stage ready linked to 6 stages which roughly correlate with Year Groups e.g. Stage 1 = Year 1, However we also understand that children have different starting points and develop at different rates. The purpose of these assessments are:
To enable staff to identify gaps in class knowledge and understanding to plan sequences of work that address those gaps and
To identify specific individual misconceptions and gaps in knowledge and understanding and provide specific individualised support
To identify high achieving pupils and plan opportunities for them to further develop and extend their understanding and use and application of concepts and skills
To monitor the quality and impact of teaching and learning and school improvement priorities and identify strengths and weaknesses in our curriculum.
Once every half term, children are encouraged to take examples of their work across the curriculum home to share with their parents and carers. Together, parents and carers are asked to complete a review of their learning this includes; Attitudes to Learning, English; Reading and Writing; Maths and Other Curriculum areas. Children then meet individually with their teacher to discuss their learning and ideas and to agree targets to work on for the next half term. Opportunities are regularly provided for children to evaluate progress against these targets and identify examples of work that demonstrate when these targets have been achieved. These conferences take place every half term.
In order to ensure consistency in teacher assessments, every half term teachers moderate outcomes and judgements as part of a phase and across the school. Overtime we will develop exemplars, which can be used and shared with pupils to demonstrate what they are working towards achieving,
Data is collected on a termly basis. It identifies whether children are emerging, developing securing or next stage ready across all the stages, linked to the new national curriculum.
The outcomes from this data is reported to governors, used to identify pupils not making progress, target support and measure the impact of intervention and school improvement strategies. We are currently developing our MIS system so that it works in the way that we want it to.
The Importance of On-going Assessment and Feedback:
In the latest pupil questionnaire 100% of pupils said that adults explained to them how to improve their work. At Lakenham, we place a high priority on the importance of on-going assessment, feedback and marking as part of the quality teaching and learning
opportunities we expect all our children to experience. Children are given opportunities to respond to and act upon feedback and encouraged to become reflective and self critical.
A high priority is spent on ensuring consistency in the application of our marking and feedback policy, which has had a significant impact on the progress evident in children’s books. Books are frequently monitored to ensure that expectations are consistent and pupils are making progress.
Roles and Responsibilities:
Teachers are responsible for ensuring:
The consistent application of school policies
That children are given frequent opportunities to respond to feedback
That assessments are completed and information relating to the outcomes of assessment are reported on time.
For using outcomes from assessments to ensure gaps in children’s knowledge and
understanding are addressed
Phase leaders are responsible for ensuring that:
School policies relating to marking and feedback, presentation and assessment are implemented effectively across their phase.
For using the outcomes from assessments to identify issues impacting on the progress of pupils in their phase.
Ensuring consistency in the use and application of school assessment data across their phase.
Leading by example in the use and application of polices relating to assessment, marking and feedback.
The headteacher is responsible for ensuring consistency across the school and ensuring that the outcomes from assessments are used to inform school improvement and target support and use of resources effectively.
Governors are responsible for ensuring the continued progress and attainment of pupils and ensuring that the outcomes from assessment data are used to inform the strategic development of the school.
Due to changes in assessment expectations and the interim processes in place this policy will be reviewed annually.
Date of implementation: September 2015
Review date: September 2016