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Assessment

The information set out below provides information about how assessments are carried out at Darrington CE Primary School and how these are reported.

For further information about assessment, please view our Assessment Policy.

 Principles of Assessment

At Darrington CE Primary School we believe that:

  • Assessment is an integral part of the teaching and learning process.
  • Assessment is a teaching tool for enhancing teaching and learning.
  • Assessment takes account of personal, social, physical and intellectual development.
  • Effective assessment is ongoing, and forms part of the teacher’s planning, preparation, delivery and evaluation of lessons, units of work and topics.
  • Assessment leads to excellence, enjoyment, motivation, independence and self-esteem in all areas of learning.

In carrying out assessment we must ensure that all children have the opportunity to demonstrate their achievements in a variety of ways, and that decisions made about children’s performance are accurate, fair and consistent.

The expectations of staff and pupils are that assessment will enable pupils to know what they are supposed to be learning, what they have achieved, and how they can improve.

Our challenge is to ensure that assessment is:

  • Accurate – based on age-related expectations; rooted in secure knowledge of the National Curriculum expectations for each year group; moderated to ensure accurate judgements of pupils’ work.
  • Fair - based on valid methods of assessment with moderated judgements.
  • Reliable - ensuring consistent judgements, based on a range of evidence.
  • Useful - identifying gaps in learning to inform next steps and identifying barriers to learning.
  • Focused – identifying where children might benefit from 1-to-1, small-group support or targeted next-steps.
  • Continuous – enabling transfer between years and schools.

We believe assessment should:

  • Be part of effective planning.
  • Focus on how children learn.
  • Be central to classroom practice.
  • Develop self- and peer-assessment.
  • Recognise all educational achievements.
  • Help learners know how to improve.
  • Promote understanding of goals and criteria.
  • Be sensitive, constructive and foster motivation.

The importance of assessment

Secure and effective use of formative assessment is integral to good quality teaching and learning. Summative assessments also provide a tool for monitoring the attainment and progress of indviduals and groups of pupils within and across each year group and key stage. Summative assessment data is also used by leaders at all levels to monitor progress and attainment and to hold teachers, middle- and senior-leaders to account in relation to pupil progress and learning outcomes:

  • Attainment at the beginning of EYFS (the Reception Baseline) provides a starting measure for progress throughout EYFS.
  • Attainment at the end of EYFS provides a starting measure for progress throughout KS1.
  • Attainment at the end of KS1 (Year 2) provides a starting measure for progress throughout KS2.

 

 Formative Assessment

Formative assessment (also referred to as 'Assessment for Learning' (AfL)) is intended to be used to inform and develop learning through 6 processes:

  1. Getting information from students about what they have learnt.
  2. Using that information to inform teaching.
  3. Giving feedback which shows students what they have done well.
  4. Giving feedback which explains to students how they can improve.
  5. Helping students understand what their learning is being judged against.
  6. Encouraging students to think about and use assessment criteria.

Assessment-for-learning practices are ongoing throughout all lessons and sequences of lessons:

  • Success criteria are shared with, or developed by, pupils.
  • Teachers and teaching assistants assess pupils’ knowledge and understanding using a range of techniques, including:

carefully designed tasks where pupils can demonstrate their understanding;

strategic use of questioning;

plenary/assessment sessions;

and teacher-, self- and peer-assessment.

  • Teachers and teaching assistants provide feedback/feed-forward to pupils, noting their strengths and areas for development.
  • Teachers and teaching assistants use knowledge of pupils’ learning to address misconceptions or gaps in learning and to develop subsequent lesson plans and interventions. This might be evident in a range of ways, including:

a lesson being changed ‘on the hoof’;

the pace of the lesson being sped up/slowed down;

prioritised working with certain students;

use of same-day interventions.

 

In guided group or 1-to-1 activities and interventions, teachers and teaching assistants make observations which contribute to assessment judgements:

  • Reading is assessed using judgements made during Guided Reading sessions and reading/comprehension activities during English lessons. During Guided Reading, teachers/teaching assistants record comments about children’s attainment in relation to age-related expectations or National Curriculum objectives/assessment focuses.
  • Writing is typically marked using active marking within the session: pupils are given oral feedback as they work, giving specific feedback about what pupils have done well and what next steps they can implement to improve further. In Key Stage 2, extended writing is marked in more depth at least once a fortnight: a WALT (objective) and success criteria are used to identify pupils’ strengths and next steps using the colours ‘yippee yellow’ and ‘green for growth’ in line with the school’s Marking and Feedback Policy.
  • Work in maths, science and the foundation subjects is assessed during lessons when teachers/teaching assistants record children’s success against the lesson objective(s). These are collected by the teacher and used to inform subsequent planning.

For both writing and maths, teachers/teaching assistants highlight a code on the task or WALT to indicate the level of support received by pupils in a lesson/task:

  • I = independent
  • P = paired/peer-support
  • TS = teacher support
  • TAS = teacher assistant support
  • GC/GW = group composition/group work

This is used to inform assessments by supporting the class teacher in understanding the degree of independence and confidence a pupil has in a given subject area and helps to inform summative assessments.

 

 Summative Assessment

Summative assessments are made at the end of each term for the core subjects and annually for the foundation subjects, based on information from teacher assessments of class work as well as from more formal testing, to provide judgements of individual pupils’ attainment against age-related expectations in line with the National Curriculum:

 

Teacher assessments:

Reading

  • Reading is assessed termly, using judgements made during Guided Reading sessions and from other reading or comprehension-based tasks completed during English lessons.
  • For all year groups, reading evidence is assessed against National Curriculum objectives to judge whether attainment meets ‘the expected standard’ for the year group, except at the end of Year 2 and Year 6, when assessments are made against the Teacher Assessment Frameworks for reading.
  • Pupil outcomes in standardised Rising Stars, 'PiRA’ tests are also taken into consideration when making teacher assessments (see below).

    Writing

  • Writing is assessed termly using evidence from work completed during extended writing sessions and writing across the curriculum throughout the term.
  • For all year groups, work is assessed against National Curriculum objectives to judge whether attainment meets ‘the expected standard’ for the year group, except at the end of Year 2 and Year 6, when assessments are made against the Teacher Assessment Frameworks for writing.

    Maths

  • Maths is assessed termly using a base of evidence from work completed during lessons.
  • For all year groups, work is assessed against National Curriculum objectives, except at the end of Year 2 and Year 6, when assessments are made against the Teacher Assessment Frameworks for maths.
  • Within maths, teachers consider the type and quantity of work completed by pupils linked with the White Rose Maths planning. It is expected that for a pupil to be assessed as ‘meeting the expected standard’, there must be evidence that they regularly access ‘reasoning and problem-solving’ tasks in addition to ‘fluency’ tasks in daily maths lessons; to be assessed as ‘exceeding the expected standard’, there must be evidence that pupils frequently complete ‘reasoning and problem-solving’ tasks in daily maths lessons.
  • Pupil outcomes in standardised Rising Stars, 'PuMA’ tests are also taken into consideration when making teacher assessments (see below).

Science

  • Science is assessed termly using evidence from observations of pupils' practical science work as well as from completed recorded work.
  • For all year groups, work is assessed against National Curriculum objectives, except at the end of Year 2 and Year 6, when assessments are made against the Teacher Assessment Frameworks for science.

Foundation Subjects

  • The Foundation Subjects are assessed annually using evidence from lessons and completed work to state whether pupils are working at the expected standard for their year group, with reference to National Curriculum objectives.

 

Test-based assessments to support teacher assessments and provide ‘scaled scores’ that are tracked alongside teacher assessments:

Reading

  • Rising Stars’ ‘Progress in Reading Assessment’ (PiRA) tests are used to measure pupils’ attainment in reading using a standardised scale score in terms of 100.
  • PiRA tests provide information about pupils’ attainment in relation to the main reading assessment focuses, which feeds into teachers’ subsequent planning.
  • Pupil outcomes in standardised ‘PiRA’ tests are taken into consideration when making teacher assessments:
  • pupils working below scaled score 94 would typically be considered to be ‘working towards the expected standard’;
  • pupils working within scaled scores 94-114 would typically be considered to be ‘working at the expected standard’;
  • pupils working above scaled score 114 would typically be considered to be ‘working at greater depth within the expected standard’.

    Maths

  • Rising Stars’ ‘Progress in Understanding Mathematics Assessment’ (PUMA) tests are used to measure pupils’ attainment in mathematics using a standardised scale score in terms of 100.
  • PuMA tests provide information about pupils’ attainment in relation to the main attainment targets, which feeds into teachers’ subsequent planning.
  • Pupil outcomes in standardised ‘PuMA’ tests are taken into consideration when making teacher assessments:
  • pupils working below scaled score 94 would typically be considered to be ‘working towards the expected standard’;
  • pupils working within scaled scores 94-114 would typically be considered to be ‘working at the expected standard’;
  • pupils working above scaled score 114 would typically be considered to be ‘working at greater depth within the expected standard’.

 

Information from end of EYFS and end of KS1 assessments is used to inform pupil targets for the following Key Stage and summative assessments at the end of each term are then tracked to monitor progress of individual pupils towards their personal targets both within and across year groups.

 

 Moderation of Assessments

At Darrington CE Primary School, we aim to ensure that assessment is accurate, fair and reliable. To support this, we ensure that assessment judgements for the core subjects are moderated internally and externally so that evidence for assessment is considered and the reliability and consistency of judgements within and across classes is validated.

Moderation activities for each of the core subjects take place within school each term, usually led by subject leaders and/or the senior leadership team (SLT). Assessment evidence including samples of work, images or written notes from observations, for pupils of different attainment groups in each year group are shared and teacher judgements reviewed against National Curriculum objectives following professional discussion. 

At least twice each academic year, similar moderation meetings take place between teachers of each year group within the pyramid of four Pontefract Church schools, ensuring consistency of judgements between schools.

Teachers of EYFS, Year 2 and Year 6 also take part in Local Authority moderation activities each term and the school is subject to the Local Authority arrangements for external statutory moderation.