At Carlton we believe that effective assessment provides information to improve the quality of teaching and impact each pupil’s learning. Learners are given regular feedback so that they understand what it is that they need to do to improve their work and move on in their learning. This in turn allows teachers to adjust the lesson sequence based on a detailed knowledge of each pupil. Assessment also includes parents and carers who are given regular verbal and twice yearly written reports on their child’s progress so that teachers, children and parents are all working together to raise standards for all our pupils.
We believe that effective and accurate assessment practice will:
- raise standards of attainment and behaviour, and improve pupil attitudes and their response to the curriculum
- enable the active involvement of pupils in their own learning by providing effective feedback which closes the gap between present performance and future standards required
- promote pupil self-esteem through a shared understanding of the learning processes and the routes to improvement
- build on secure teacher knowledge of the diverse linguistic and cultural background of pupils
- enable the teacher to adjust their teaching to take account of assessment information and to focus on how pupils learn and draw upon as wide a range of evidence as possible using a variety of assessment activities
- track pupil performance and in particular identify those pupils at risk of underachievement
- provide information which can be used by teachers and managers as they plan for individual pupils and cohorts
- provide information which can be used by parents or carers to understand their pupils’ strengths, weaknesses and progress
- provide information which can be used by other interested parties
- provide information which can be used to evaluate a school’s performance against its own previous attainment over time and against national standards.
At Carlton assessment is not viewed as a singular activity and is not only about testing; it is about the measurement of performance at a given point in time and a way of gaining information to promote future learning. Our first point of principle is that all assessments should be meaningful and tell us something that will help move children on in their learning. Secondly, we acknowledge that there are two distinct types of assessment used by the school. These include:
- Assessment for learning: helps to identify the next steps needed to make progress. It takes into account of pupils’ strengths as well as weaknesses.
- Assessment of learning: is more associated with judgements based on grades, ranks and with public accountability.
Types of Assessment
Day to Day Assessment (Close up) – Assessment for learning
For the pupils the benefits are:
- they receive immediate feedback in specific aspects of their work
- they are given relevant next steps for learning and how they improve their work
- they have the opportunity to reflect on learning as it happens (self-assessment and peer assessment)
For the teachers the benefits are:
- the opportunity for detailed interaction with learners about their learning
- the information is acquired to make changes in short-term planning and move learning on
Periodic Assessment (Assessment of learning)
This is a broader view of progress for the teacher and learner. It measures against the national standards within the classroom and can lead to improvements in curriculum planning.
So named (rather than end of key stage) because it doesn’t have an end – it takes place at the point of transition but is part of a continuous learning journey. It is a formal recognition of achievement. The outcomes are reported to the parent/carer and next teacher/school. At times tests/tasks from national sources may be used.
What are the areas that each school is statutorily required to assess?
1 At the end of EYFS – there is an assessment on how pupils meet the components of Prime and Core areas of the Early Years Foundation Stage. If a child meets the required standard, they are deemed to have reached a good level of development.
2 During the summer term in Year 1 – the phonic skills of the pupils are assessed.
3 At the end of Key Stage 1: the pupils are assessed in reading, writing, maths, speaking and listening and science. A level of each child is arrived at through a mixture of tests (reading, writing and maths) and teacher assessment of what the child can do. There are national standards that each child is measured against.
4 During the summer term in Year 4, the children complete a times table assessment.
5 At the end of Key Stage 2: the pupils are assessed through tests in reading, maths and spelling punctuation and grammar (SPAG) and teacher assessment in writing. As with key stage 1, they are measured against national expected levels.
The implications for teaching are;
The teacher will:
- Provide continuous oral and written feedback which identifies strengths and the next step for improvement
- Promote pupil involvement in self-assessment
- Act on insights gained to inform personal targets
- Plan against what children know/can do/understand
- Provide opportunities for all pupils to demonstrate their achievements in their first language
- Make standards and objectives explicit to pupils
- Promote inclusion by attending to all pupils’ learning needs, particularly for pupils who are at risk of underachievement
- Engage pupils in rich questioning with ‘wait’ time
- Build in time for focused observation of teacher-directed and child-initiated activity
The pupil will:
- Know what to do to improve his/her work
- Know what standards are required and how to get here
- Know what has been achieved against known success criteria and what to do next
- Gain confidence, motivation and self-esteem as a learner
- Improve own self-evaluation skills
- Make progress
What will effective practice look like at Carlton?
1 Sharing learning intentions with pupils
Learning intentions will be shared with the children at the beginning of the lesson and referred to during the lesson where necessary. These intentions will be used as the basis for questioning and feedback during the lesson and used to shape or change the subsequent lessons.
2 Helping pupils to know and recognise the standards they are aiming for
Success criteria will be shared with the children and they will have the opportunity to assess their work against these criteria. The children will also be shown high quality models so they know what they are striving for.
3 Clear, shared expectations about the presentation of work
Each teacher will be clear with the children what the Carlton expectation of work is. Support will be provided where children have not met this standard and they will see what the correct standard looks like.
4 Involving pupils in peer- and self-assessment
Pupils will be given clear opportunities to talk about what they have learned, and what they have found difficult, using the learning intentions as a focus. Through our promotion of Building Learning Power principles we encourage children to draw on their strategies/capacities that helps them achieve. Oracy is also promoted and children are encouraged to explain the steps in their thinking. Pupils will be given time to reflect on their learning.
5 Identify with pupils the next steps in learning
Through our marking and feedback policy and procedures, feedback will be provided to the children which will help them to recognise their next steps in their leaning and how to take them
6 Promoting confidence that every pupil can improve and model effective learning behaviour that promotes success
At Carlton we identify small steps to enable pupils to see their progress, building confidence and self-esteem. We encourage pupils to explain their thinking and reasoning within a secure classroom ethos.
7 Involving both teacher and pupil in reviewing and reflecting on assessment information
We take the time to reflect with pupils on their work. We choose appropriate tasks to provide quality assessment information (emphasis on process, not just the correct answer).We provide time for pupils to reflect on what they have learned and understood, and to identify where they still have difficulties.
Mistakes are seen as valuable learning opportunities that must be celebrated.
8 We adjust planning; evaluate effectiveness of task, resources, etc. as a result of assessment
Monitoring our system to ensure that it is rigorous
At Carlton the following systems are in place to ensure that the assessments carried out give us the correct information:
Monitoring of children’s books
Time is provided for all middle leaders to review progress, coverage and marking and feedback in books. Senior leaders quality assuring the strengths and weaknesses identified by middle leaders scrutiny. During learning walks/lesson observations senior leaders review books and interview pupils about their learning and steps to improve.
Moderation across year groups and phases of learning
There is designated time to phases/cross year groups to moderate children‘s work and share their expertise to less experienced staff. It also ensures a common understanding of what the expected levels should be.
We use a range of commercially produced materials (Optional SATs) to undertake a snap shot view of pupil attainment. This snap shot should confirm judgements made by the gathering of evidence through teacher assessment.
Pupil progress meetings
Each term there are designated meetings run by senior leaders to meet teachers to discuss the attainment and progress of their class. The information gathered will inform classroom practice for the coming term, any additional inclusion support, types of interventions run and any meetings with families that need to happen.
The school provides opportunities for parents and carers to meet each teacher to talk about their child and how they can be supported. Written reports are given twice yearly. The mid-year reports summarises where the pupil is in regard to his/her learning and what they need to do to reach their end of year target. The end of year report summarises the overall attainment of the pupil. Pupils write their own comments on their learning and what they need to focus on in the coming year Parents/cares are invited to respond.