At Rolleston Primary School, we believe that the key aim of assessment is to support pupil achievement and progress.
We aim for high quality teaching and learning, and at the heart of this, is effective assessment, underpinned by our belief that all children can succeed.
Regular feedback given to children regarding their learning, helps them to understand how to be successful, what they have achieved and what they need to do to improve further. Good assessment practice ensures that lesson planning is relevant and based on a sound knowledge of the children’s attainment and their next steps in learning.
Detailed analysis of assessment information plays a crucial role in school self-evaluation by identifying areas of strength and weaknesses at an individual, group, class, year group and whole school level. This information then guides strategic planning at these levels. This analysis is also essential in enabling the governors to have a clear understanding of the performance of the school.
Through our assessment and reporting practice, we aim to:
Enable children to understand what they have to do to reach end of lesson, unit, topic, academic year and key stage expectations so that they can demonstrate what they know, understand and can do in their learning.
For children to demonstrate how well they are doing and what they need to do next to improve their work.
Give children effective feedback so they know what they have done well and what they need to improve.
Allow teachers to determine what a child can/cannot do and to help them plan future support to fill any gaps in knowledge and understanding.
Help set targets and involve children in their own learning.
Provide information that can be used to evaluate teaching and learning practice.
Enable all children, including children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), to make good progress.
To provide the teachers, phase leaders and senior leadership team with information which allows them to evaluate and continually improve on the quality of provision for all children.
To provide the governors with information on the school’s performance to aid their monitoring procedures.
Give parents a clear idea of what their child can do and what they need to do to progress.
To provide regular information for parents to enable them to support their child’s learning.
There are three main types of assessment used at Rolleston:
This is used by our teachers to evaluate children’ knowledge and understanding on a day-to-day basis and to tailor teaching accordingly.
This is used to evaluate how much a pupil has learned at the end of a teaching period (end of a Unit/Topic, term or academic year).
Nationally Standardised Summative Assessment
This is used by the Government to hold schools to account and to provide information on how children are performing in comparison to children nationally.
Procedures – Formative Assessment
Day-to-Day Formative Assessments
This type of assessment is embedded across all lessons – in all subjects (foundation as well as core). Teachers assess children’ understanding of individual learning challenges and identify where there are gaps. This tells the teacher what to focus on in future lessons and prompts them to adapt their teaching approach to improve children’ understanding.
Strategies used will vary according to the subject and learning challenge taught – these include:
Our children being able to articulate what they are learning rather than being content driven.
Use of rich question and answer sessions throughout the lesson to evaluate pupil understanding and identify gaps or misconceptions.
Use of whiteboards, flip charts and number fans to get instant feedback of understanding.
Mini-plenaries to determine understanding at regular intervals.
Short re-cap quizzes or recall of facts.
Scanning work for pupil attainment and progress.
Self (or peer) assessment at the end of every lesson based on individual learning objectives and Success Criteria.
1:1 or group discussions with children.
Next step marking and feedback
Feeding back to children on an ongoing basis, both verbally and in writing, matched to the age and the individual needs of the child.
Greater depth – mastery learning
‘Mastery learning is a specific approach in which learning is broken down into discrete units and presented in logical order. Children are required to demonstrate mastery of the learning from each unit before being allowed to move onto the next, with the assumption that all children will achieve this level of mastery if they are appropriately supported. Some may take longer and need more help, but all will get there in the end’ (Commission on Assessment Without Levels, 2015).
What we do know for certain is that mastery is not:
• Mastery and greater depth – not working on content from the next year group.
• Mastery and greater depth in mathematics – not practising the same concept with bigger numbers.
• Mastery and greater depth in reading – not necessarily reading a more challenging text.
The Characteristics of mastery and greater depth in the national curriculum could therefore be summarised as:
Procedures – Summative Assessment
Assertive mentoring - What is Assertive Mentoring?
It is a collection of cohesive, whole school systems which work together to raise achievement for all children and fits in well with what we already do at Rolleston Primary School. We believe that it will support us in our aim to raise standards by strengthening good practice and refining our existing systems.
The Key Components of Assertive Mentoring are:
Robust target setting based on the school’s data analysis of your child’s prior attainment or baseline testing. This sets challenging targets which are based on skills your child needs to work on.
A robust and rigorous assessment system which assist teachers to make highly accurate assessments of your child’s learning needs. This enables teachers to focus their teaching on the gaps in learning to accelerate progress.
Pupil tracking which involves the child, as well as the target staff, in identifying if a child is not achieving their target, is nearly there, is on target or is exceeding their target.
Intervention and support systems which include the assertive mentoring conversation. This is a collaborative dialogue based on the child’s present and future learning. The child is supported by a 1:1 conversation with their class teacher at least once a term.
Monitoring and checking that things are happening when they are supposed to happen.
Assertive Mentoring provides the vehicle for ensuring that target setting, pupil tracking, intervention support systems and monitoring are brought together and wrapped around the child. The child remains central to the whole process throughout.
Key principles of Assertive Mentoring
1. Every child should achieve the key concepts and skills for their year group. During the year, it is rarely appropriate to tick off concepts and skills as fully attained as they should be revisited and mastered throughout the year.
2. These concepts and skills should be taught in greater depth.
3. We do not move to the next year’s concepts and skills (only a few rare exceptions).
4. Any children below the age expectations should have a clear plan for how to bring them in line.
5. Children should have a deep understanding of concepts rather than “getting the answer right”.
6. Every child is capable of anything depending on their effort and how it has been presented to them.
7. The evidence of children gaining the key concepts and skills is wide ranging and only partially based on tests.
End of Half Term Summative Tests (Years 1 to 6) – Maths, Reading and GPS
At the end of every half term, we hold an assessment week using the Assertive Mentoring and Rising Stars Optional Tests in Maths, Reading and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) to help to support our on-going teacher judgements. This overall judgement give a good indication of whether children are working below, towards, meeting or exceeding end of year government expectations.
Summative assessments are entered into our OTrack assessment tracker four times a year. The children are assessed against overall age related expectations for each subject area. Teachers use their on-going formative assessments to inform their judgements.
Autumn 1 – 6 weeks into term, children are demonstrating that they are accessing their age appropriate curriculum
Autumn 2 & Spring 2 – Children are developing within their appropriate year group.
Summer 2 – Children have demonstrated independence in using and applying knowledge and understanding across a range of contexts.
In each year group we teach the national curriculum for that year – therefore all children are learning the objectives for that year.
The teacher judgements will be classified as:
‘Below’ if they are working significantly below the year group expectations
‘Towards’ if they are working towards those objectives but are requiring lots of support, interventions and differentiation.
‘Expected’ if they are able to achieve the year groups objected.
‘Greater depth’ if they are able to translate their learning, apply it confidently in different situations and explain their understanding to others.
This assessment is followed by a Pupil Progress Meeting whereby the year group teachers, the Senior Leadership Team and SENCo meet to analyse the results and to plan appropriate targets and support. Assessment information is used to plan teaching and learning strategies, including the identification of children who are working below their target stage, falling behind in their learning or who need additional support, enabling children to make good progress and achieve well. When tracking assessment information, the SLT and subject coordinators carefully track the percentage attaining at ARE of different groups within the school. This information is then used to help plan to raise standards in any group identified as not make adequate progress.
Moderation and Standardisation
Moderation is important to ensure a consistent approach to assessment across the school. When teacher assessments are carried out, it is important that there is evidence recorded to justify judgments made.
It is important that judgements are consistent across the school. To ensure this, the following process is in place:
During each term on-going teacher assessment against NC expectations (moderated by professional judgement) looks across a range of opportunities that demonstrate achievement e.g. through questioning, observing, from marked work etc.
At the end of term STEP BACK; look at the assessments, review knowledge of pupil and make a ‘best fit’ judgement. Have they achieved a typical profile that you might expect for a pupil at this age and time of year?
At the end of the year, repeat best fit judgement but remember the highlighted key indicators needed.
At Rolleston, the following takes place:
Termly Moderation of Reading, Writing and Mathematics assessments made on OTrack (at whole staff meetings)
Development Group: Moderation of Reading, Writing and Mathematics assessments
Early Years staff meet regularly with our Foundation Stage Manager to moderate work for the EYFS profiles
When selected, Local Authority moderation also takes place
Assessment across our subject led curriculum
Children's progress and attainment is also assessed across all national curriculum subjects using 'Focus Education' attainment statements. These allow teachers to summatively and formatively evaluate where children in their classess are attaining in any subject, in line with Age Related Expectations of the National Curriculum. Children are only assessed in these subjects once a year and this information is used to guide CPD for teachers, planning and curriculum refinements as well as guide teaching and learning at a formative level.
Procedures - Nationally Standardised Summative Assessment
Nationally standardised summative assessment provides information on how children are performing in comparison to children nationally:
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
This check demonstrates how well a child can use the phonics skills they’ve learned up to the end of Year 1 and identifies children who need extra phonics help. It consists of 40 words and non-words that a student reads 1:1 with a teacher. Each child is scored against a national standard – children who do not meet the expected level in Year 1 are given extra phonics support and then repeat the test near the end of Year 2.
End of Key Stage 1 tests
All children sit the following tests at the end of Year 2:
Writing (teacher assessment)
End of Key Stage 2 tests
All children will take the following tests at the end of Year 6:
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS)
Writing (teacher assessment)
At the end of KS1 and KS2 children will be given a scaled score and a ‘performance descriptor’ against the expected standard.
We use these results to benchmark our school’s performance against other schools locally and nationally. The Senior Leadership Team makes judgements about the school’s effectiveness and analysis of data is used to inform the School Improvement Plan.
How do we inform parents?
Formally, the school has three parent evenings per year, where attainment and progress information is shared. Every parent receives an end of year report which contains attainment, progress and effort grades.
Teachers are available to discuss attainment and progress at any other point throughout the year to answer any questions from parents and carers.