Menu
Home Page

Serving the whole community

Safety, Learning and Respect - our three values. Welcome to Thornhill Primary School at the heart of our community

Assessment

Why do we assess?

The school has a statutory duty to assess pupils at particular stages of their school careers. This data allows the school to self-evaluate its performance and benchmark itself against local and national figures. Moreover this data is used by the external agencies to determine how well a school is performing. These are the current statutory assessments:

  • Reception Baseline and end of year results
  • Year 1 phonics check( externally set, internally marked)
  • Year 2 reading comprehension ( externally set, internally marked)
  • Year 2 mathematics ( externally set, internally marked)
  • Year 2 writing ( externally set, internally marked)
  • Year 4 times table check ( externally set)
  • Year 6 reading comprehension ( externally set and marked)
  • Year 6 mathematics (externally set and marked)
  • Year 6 writing ( teacher assessment)
  • Year 6 spelling, punctuation and grammar (externally set and marked)
  • Year 6 science Test ( externally set and marked, not every year)

 

The school also uses an array of methods to make assessments through-out the school year and in all year groups. These allow for ‘Assessment for Learning’: staff can use these assessments to plan the next steps in learning for pupils. Moreover, the results of more formal data collection are used to track individuals and groups through school and to help with decisions on resourcing and intervention. The Senior Leadership and Governors use this information as part of the self-assessment process and to inform school improvement planning.

 

What do we assess?

As part of a normal school day, staff are constantly making assessments of pupils in their interaction with them. They make note of academic successes and struggles but also emotional, physical and behavioural changes are recorded. This is part of building relationships with pupils which is central to delivering a curriculum and supporting children and their families in the most effective way.

Assessments might therefore include:

  • Decoding words and interpretations of text
  • Verbal communication
  • Listening skills and concentration
  • Mathematical understanding and application
  • Spelling
  • Use of punctuation and correct grammar
  • Ability to compose longer texts
  • Understanding of editing and ability to re-draft
  • Factual knowledge
  • Computer skills
  • Practical skills
  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Memory
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Artistic ability, creativity and imagination
  • Working with others and ability to build relationships
  • Understanding of rules and risk taking

 

How these assessments are recorded will depend on their nature and the child.

 

How are pupils assessed through the school year?

 

 

Internal monitoring is carried out by teachers and may take a variety of forms:

  • Assessment of how well pupils have understood the learning objective of a lesson gained through questioning and marking work.
  • Regular and weekly testing which allows pupils to see the gaps in their knowledge and skills and supports staff to plan next steps for individuals and write targets.
  • Longer tests or exams which support planning and provide information for senior leaders.
  • Observations of teaching learning by the Head teacher or other member of staff.
  • Moderation of work books by school staff or as part of cross- school collaborative working.
  • Analysis of work using the Skills and Knowledge Curriculum file or similar checklist.

 

The SENCO has a role in monitoring the pupils with Special Educational Needs, disability  and those with behavioural concerns. She monitors these pupils, in line with their IEPS and often as part of a ‘Team around the Child’. Information about academic results is shared alongside other relevant information.

 

How is data analysed and interpreted?

 

Teachers will assess their own pupils’ performance regularly and this will form their teacher assessment of how well pupils are doing. For example they might use a spreadsheet to track the way pupils achieve in weekly spelling tests.

 

The Headteacher collects data on performance in English and Maths, three times a year which is shared with Governors and Co-ordinators. This data shows progress over time in reading, writing, maths and spelling, grammar and punctuation. Pupils will usually start the year as ‘emerging’ but should make steady progress through ‘developing’ to ‘secure’ as the academic year progresses. This data will be used to ensure individuals, groups and year groups are making ‘good’ progress and to isolate where interventions are needed.

 

The Headteacher and co-ordinators have a role in quality assuring the nature/ accuracy of this data and for supporting staff in their assessments of how well pupils are doing. A variety of methods are used to aid this, these include:

  • Use of formal testing
  • In-house moderation
  • Moderation with other school
  • CPD
  • Book scrutiny
  • Observations of lessons, displays and planning
  • Conversations with staff and pupils
  • Pupil progress meetings using evidence from teacher’s files/ children’s work
  • Use of skills and knowledge folder as a planning and assessment tool

 

 

How does Scholarpack help with tracking?

Scholarpack allows pupils to be tracked according to the expected position for students to be at during the school year. At each data capture point (Checkpoint) pupil assessments can be inputted and measured against the expected place for pupils making progress. Using this method, it is clear to see progress through the year group objectives and towards being secure.

 

Status

Curriculum Coverage

Scholarpack Step

Description

Working below

Working below Baseline

Appropriate step linked to age

I am an Emerging learner I need lots of support Equipment/ writing frames really help me

Emerging

Secure at 80%+ of previous year’s objectives and secure at about 20% current objectives

Previous year’s steps (eg: 3:5, 4:6)

Developing

20-75% secure

1 (eg: 3:1, 4:1)

I am a Developing learner I still need support at times Hints and tips help me remember I draw pictures and diagrams to help me

2

3

4

End of year expected

75-100% secure

5

I am a Secure learner I rarely need support I can work mentally I work with confidence and remember things well

Exceeding

Unconscious competency

6

I am a Mastery learner I work independently and creatively

 

 

Data is collected at the following times:

  • September- Baseline
  • February- Mid-year collection
  • End of June/ July- End of Year collection 

 

How are end of year results processed?

 

The results of formal testing in Years 2 and 6 are analysed by the Head teacher, Governing Body and external bodies. These results are benchmarked against local and national figures as well as schools which are similar to ours. The information gained from this analysis feeds into the School Improvement Plan and Self Evaluation.

 

Pupil results at the end of the year will be placed on a chart using Scholarpack, showing their primary life from Reception until Year Six. For this, we can isolate pupil progress over a longer period of time.

 

How are parents and stakeholders given assessment information?

 

The Governing Body receives regular on attainment and progress in English and Maths and anonymised copies of all data. These are discussed and shared at full Governing Body meetings.

 

Parents are given termly updates regarding how well their child is performing at school which are sent home at the beginning of the new term. There are two formal opportunities to meet with staff during the academic year but staff are also available to speak with parents and carers if they make an appointment through the school office. Parents receive an end of year report which gives information about their child’s learning in all subjects.

 

The Governors may also receive reports about other assessemnsts which have taken place if linked to the School Improvement plan.

 

 

How are specific subjects assessed?

 

Phonics

We use Read, Write Inc as a scheme to teach phonics from Nursery onwards. Daily assessment is based on work completed in class.

At the end of Year 1, pupils sit a phonics check which allows the school to see how much phonics knowledge has been embedded.

Pupils are required to decode 40 real and ‘alien’ words correctly according to the letter sounds within them. Scores over 32 are a pass.

 

For more information about Read, Write Inc follow the link below:

https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/programmes/phonics/

 

 

Reading

The National Curriculum provides information on expectations for reading by the end of Year 1, Year 2, Year 4 and Year 6. The two strands of reading which are assessed are decoding and comprehension.

 

Teachers assess reading by hearing individuals read and tracking their progress through the Accelerated Reading scheme or Read, Write Inc.

 

Staff often use comprehension tests to ascertain areas for development with regard to comprehension. We do not use a particular scheme for this.

 

We have created our own tracking tool to allow for reading to be effectively assessed across both primary schools.

 

Writing

The National Curriculum provides information on expectations for writing by the end of Year 1, Year 2, Year 4 and Year 6. Writing is assessed in terms of transcription and composition.

 

The correct use of spelling, punctuation and grammar forms part of the writing assessment, as application of knowledge but is also assessed separately in test form.

 

All long written tasks are assessed in Year 2 and 6  using end of Key Stage documents from the Government which are moderated for validity.

 

We have created our own assessment criteria which helps inform teacher judgements for the other year groups.

 

Spelling, punctuation and grammar

Phonics is taught from the Nursery years using a structured programme called ‘Read, Write Inc’. Pupils continue to work through the phonics programme until they are working at a good standard and have covered all the units to stage 5. Some pupils continue to work on phonics tasks in Key Stage Two.

 

We have created our own assessment criteria which helps inform teacher judgements in Spelling, punctiuation and grammar.

 

Maths

The school follows ‘White Rose’ mixed aged planning schemes and uses this to help assess pupils in mathematics.

Students often complete short tests/ online quizzes to practice timestables for example.

Longer tests might be used to provide additional information to support teacher judgements and to give students the chance to practice exam methods.

 

Science

Teachers will assess two areas of science through the year: scientific knowledge and working scientifically. This information will only be given to Governors on a yearly basis at the current time.

Staff will assess scientific knowledge using checklists of the learning which is to be covered during a particular topic. They will be encouraged to evidence learning using brainstorms or by writing definitions of key words, rather than formal tests.

There are three key strands to working scientifically and each will be tested through the year using a practical task. The three strands are:

  • Exploration leading to fair testing and pattern seeking
  • Observation over time
  • Classification and identification

Staff only need to record those pupils who have failed to understand the learning, rather than those who have understood. This is passed to the next teacher, so that it can be revisited in the future.

 

Computing

At present assessment of computing is carried out by staff at the end of every computer topic, usually by the application of learning on a given task. Staff only need to record those pupils who have failed to understand the learning, rather than those who have understood. This is passed to the next teacher, so that it can be revisited in the future.

 

Physical Education

Skills and knowledge of PE is recorded by class teachers on a regular basis or at the very least at the end of every topic of work.  The information is used to support conversations regardiong sports funding as well as individual reports.

 

Other subjects

There is no formal data collection in place for the other subjects taught in school: Personal Social, Health and Economic education, Geography, History, Religious Education, Art and Design, Design and Technology, Languages and Music. However, it is expected that  staff will use the skills and knowedge overviews to record those pupils who have failed to understand the learning, rather than those who have understood. This is passed to the next teacher, so that it can be revisited in the future.

 

Final thoughts on Assessment

Assessment is only worth doing is it provides results which are useful, reliable and valid. All school staff are mindful of the negative effects of over-testing and constant failure. It is the responsibility of everyone in school to take this into account when considering the form and nature of assessments they do.

 

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………

Top