Assessment at Brabourne
Knowing where children are at, where they need to go and how they will get there.
Assessment at Brabourne CEP School is integral to pupils’ progress in learning because it informs teachers’ planning and their implementation of the curriculum. Assessment and curriculum are therefore inextricably linked. Assessment helps us to evaluate whether our curriculum is fit for purpose and whether our implementation and teaching of the curriculum has been effective.
Useful assessment helps us to identify children who may need additional support or those who require a more appropriate level of challenge. Assessment helps us to identify gaps in learning for individuals or groups of children or dips or acceleration in children’s usual levels of progress. It enables teachers to inform parents and carers about their children’s attainment and progress.
Tracking of pupil attainment and progress, informed by rigorous but meaningful assessment, enables us to ensure that all children can be targeted to achieve their best; it helps us to ensure that pupils with SEND and those who are disadvantaged are given the best opportunities to succeed; it helps us to monitor whole-school performance.
There is an expectation at our school that the teachers and senior leaders have a superior knowledge about the children in their care. This includes information about pupils’ learning behaviour and any barriers to learning, as well as their attainment, progress and outcomes. We believe that this superior knowledge about our pupils enables us to enhance their attainment and progress.
The main aims for assessment are therefore that it is: informative, diagnostic, evaluative, accurate and purposeful. It should not cause stress to pupils or staff, be onerous or time wasting.
Teachers at Brabourne assess children’s learning and how they progress, through a clearly planned sequence of learning, detailing component and compositive knowledge and skills for all curriculum subjects.
We use three broad types of assessment across the school
- In-school formative assessment
- In-school summative assessment
- National standardised assessment
In-school formative assessment
This is the on-going daily process whereby the staff at Brabourne accumulate knowledge about pupils’ progress and attainment.
This may be informed by:
- children’s conversations with each other and with the teacher;
- class discussions;
- children’s responses to direct questions;
- pupils’ work in its wide variety of forms – e.g. a piece of artwork; a hot-seating activity; a piece of written work; a poetry performance; answers in maths.
- evidence gathered through marking;
- pupils’ self-assessment;
- pupils’ responses to feedback (either written or verbal).
Formative assessment strategies may be used by teachers, teaching assistants, senior leaders including the SENDco, as well as by the class teacher, subject specialist teacher, and through parental feedback.
Formative assessment helps teachers to understand whether a child has grasped a concept or understood the knowledge taught. Whether a child has retained prior knowledge can also be assessed through formative assessment.
Effective formative assessment enables our pupils to measure their knowledge and understanding against learning objectives and helps them to identify where and how they can improve their learning. Regular teacher feedback and self-review helps children to develop their own evaluative skills, to accept and respond to constructive feedback and to know that we learn from our mistakes.
In-school summative assessment
Formative assessment helps teachers to understand whether a child has grasped a concept or understood the knowledge taught in a lesson or series of lessons. Summative assessments can help us to establish whether a child has retained that knowledge over time or can remember how to apply taught skills; summative assessments can help us understand how much a child can do independently.
These include: regular phonics assessments in Early Years and Key Stage 1; end of term reviews in the foundation subjects, through quizzes/mind-maps and pupil conferencing; termly assessment papers for Reading, Maths, English, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (EGPS) and termly written assessment pieces. These types of assessment are carried out independently by the child.
Teachers are expected to evaluate the learning at the end of a unit of work or term to assess the impact of their own teaching as well as to measure the outcomes for the child.
Outcomes of In-school summative assessments are reported three times a year to school leaders/the governing body so that they can monitor the performance of different cohorts. Teachers provide reports as to whether children are:
– Working towards the expected level of attainment
– Working at the expected level of attainment
– Working at greater depth within the expected level of attainment
Where test data is used for end of term summative assessments, teachers may make their own informed judgement if they deem that a child’s test data is vastly different to their teacher assessment.
Vulnerable pupils, such as SEND, LAC or Pupil Premium Pupils are tracked 6 times a year, through individual pupil cases studies. Where a pupil is working below expectations, attendance, behaviour, attainment and progress are tracked and smaller steps for learning are tracked against the Kent Tracking Statements.
The school participates in all statutory assessments including the Early Years Baseline Assessment; the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check, the end of Key Stage 1 assessments; the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check and the Year 6 Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs).
National statutory assessments are used by school leaders, including governors, to:
- monitor the performance of school cohorts and identify where interventions may be needed;
- identify any areas for development or strengths in school performance;
- identify how disadvantaged pupils at Wells are performing against national standards as well as compared with their peers;
- identify how different groups of pupils are performing against national data;
- compare overall school standards with national standards.
The SLT/governing body analyse school performance data and use it to inform their school development priorities. The head teacher presents governors with a full set of data and an analysis of outcomes 3 times a year.
Outcomes of national assessments are reported to parents and carers with national comparisons where available so that they are able to understand how their child is performing in comparison to pupils nationally.
Core & Foundation Subjects
Alongside English and Maths, the broader curriculum subjects are assessed in order to snap-shot learning 3 times a year. This includes moderation of work (internally and externally) against the school’s subject progression grids and a range of assessment methods, such as mind-maps, learning journeys and quizzes. These inform teacher assessment of each subject; data is then collated by subjects leaders and analysed by the SLT and governing body. Pupils’ working below expectations for English, Maths, RE and the Foundation Subjects are closely tracked and targeted through pupil progress reviews, provision mapping and data-drops 3 times a year.
The principles of assessment apply to all pupils, including those with special educational needs. We have high expectations for all children and want all pupils to achieve and make good progress relative to their starting points.
The type of assessment and how it is implemented may be adjusted where appropriate to meet the needs of children with SEND. Children may be given extra time for example, or their assessments may be broken down into shorter chunks; their answers may be scribed or they may use a laptop to record their answers; they may demonstrate their learning in a way that is more suitable for their attainment level or they may only complete part of an assessment. The SENDco assists teachers in planning assessment for pupils with SEND. The focus is on what pupils can do and what they have achieved rather than on what they have yet to accomplish.
Where children are working below the standard of the national curriculum assessments and not engaged in subject specific study at Key stage 1 and 2, teachers use The Engagement Model to assess pupils’ learning. The Engagement Model has five areas of engagement: exploration; realisation; anticipation; persistence and initiation.
Early identification of pupils’ special educational needs is essential to provide appropriate support and intervention. Referral to the local authority’s SEND team may be necessary to access diagnostic assessments for individual pupils. Parental consent is necessary before referrals can be made.
Reporting to parents
We report to parents formally four times a year: Parent/carer consultations take place in the Autumn and Spring terms, an interim report at the beginning of Term 3 and a full annual report in July. In addition, we also run on an ‘open door’ policy, which means you are welcome to make additional appointments should you need to.
If you have any questions about your child’s progress, or simply wish to chat along the way, please do let us know – we will be happy to help you support your child’s learning journey in any way we can
Your child’s progress is measured throughout the year as to whether they are on track for the end of year expectations:
- Consolidating (your child has begun to achieve some of the subject expectations for their age).
- Secure (your child has reached the subject expectations for their age and continues to acquire more).
- Advanced (your child has securely reached expectations for their age and is applying their skills and knowledge across the curriculum).
Each September, children begin a new programme of study for the year. They will begin as emerging and work through each phase. We expect children to reach secure by the end of the summer term and some who have a deeper understanding to reach advanced.
As a guide, we would expect children to be at developing at the end of the autumn term and consolidating at the end of the spring term. But remember that children do not all progress at a uniform rate.
Children will be taught their age appropriate programme of study and work will be differentiated for individual ability and needs.
If a child moves into the next year group but still has gaps in their understanding of the previous year’s programme of study (ie less than secure), there will need to be “back-filling” at the beginning of the autumn term to close as many of the gaps as possible.
If the gaps are too many, it may be decided to teach the child the programme of study of the previous year group. Similarly, if a child is significantly ahead of their age appropriate year group, it may be decided to teach them the programme of study of the older year group. Both cases would only be in exceptional circumstances.
The school will assess children at regular times throughout the year to see if they are on track to make expected progress. The assessments may be formal testing or on-going marking of work in lessons.
Impact of effective assessment
- All children achieve well from their relative starting points;
- Children with additional needs receive timely support;
- Children develop positive learning behaviours, including: a desire to excel; an independent attitude; a willingness to learn from mistakes; the ability to respond to feedback; the ability to evaluate their own work and the ability to provide constructive feedback to their peers; the patience to edit and improve their work;
- Staff develop a thorough knowledge of their pupils’ learning behaviour and attainment and know how best to help them;
- Lessons are pitched accurately and adjusted to take into account any misconceptions, areas for further development or accelerated learning;
- Parents and carers have a consistently accurate understanding of their child’s learning and progress;
- School leaders have a clear understanding of the school’s strengths and areas for development.
Feedback and marking
Pupils are informed of their own progress through verbal and written feedback. For further details of our feedback policy, please see: