Assessment

Since September 2015, the school has been following the new National Curriculum. This interim assessment statement will provide an overview of key systems and procedures for this academic year.  It is expected that this will be a transitional year for schools as assessment and reporting systems continue to evolve in line with emerging guidance from both the DfE and the local authority. To ensure that our systems are robust, matched to our needs and rigorous we will continue with our range of partnership work across the local authority (including the Poplar Partnership), maintain external CPD and follow updates from our data management provider -  Target Tracker.  We have remained with Target Tracker as our data management system provider in our ‘life after levels’ assessment data tracking.  Target Tracker is now working with 1 in 4 primary schools in England.  Their system is regularly updated in light of DfE guidance.  Target Tracker also provides a tool to compare our attainment against other users.  

 

Statutory assessment

We will continue to be judged formally on our children’s achievement at different stages of their time with us: 

  • EYFS – start of reception benchmarking assessment, statutory from 2016 (Wellington used the Early Excellence Baseline) and end of year attainment against the Early Learning Goals. These assessments will help us to focus on progress against children’s starting points and whether or not they have achieved a ‘Good Level of Development’
  • Y1 phonics screening check (Y2 re-takes for children who did not meet the expected standard in Y1 or have not already taken the test)
  • Year 2 teacher assessments – Reading and Maths teacher assessments will be informed by tests marked in-house using a scaled-score tool. A new EGPaS (spelling, punctuation and grammar) test will be used to inform teacher assessment of writing.  Guidance currently suggests that schools will report to parents whether children are working towards the national standard, working at the national standard or working at greater depth within the national standard
  • Year 6 SATs tests and teacher assessments – Reading, Maths and EGPaS tests will be externally marked. The mental maths test has been replaced with an arithmetic paper.  Teachers will receive scaled scores and confirmation of whether children have met the national standard or not.  For writing, guidance currently suggests that schools will report to parents whether children are working towards the national standard, meeting the national standard or working at greater depth within the national standard.

 

These statutory assessments will enable us to compare our attainment and progress against other children locally and nationally. 

 

Wellington’s in-house assessment procedures

We have introduced the Target Tracker year group ‘bandings’ which specify the expected curriculum for each year group from Y1 to Y6.  Each band specifies key learning in Reading, Writing (including EGPaS) and Maths for children during that academic year.  Each class has benchmarked their children’s initial assessment data by converting them over from levels to the matching ‘steps’ within a band (beginning, working within or secure).  This initial conversion was developed using guidance from Tower Hamlets and Target Tracker, as well as professional judgement.

Moving forward for this academic year we will be tracking children’s attainment against their expected year group’s learning.  This will allow us to see where we need to close the gaps in children’s learning in order to help them meet the expected national standard.  This information will be used to support teacher’s planning and children’s learning. Therefore, assessment information will become more accurate as the year progresses.

To be meeting the expected standard, children should be securely meeting the majority of the expected learning statements for their year group:

 

We will identify children as being at different points within their year group’s band according to the following criteria

  • Beginning – Pupil learning is chiefly focussed on the criteria for the band. Children may still need to gain complete confidence in some minimal elements of the previous band.
  • Working Within – Pupil learning is fully focussed on the criteria for the band. This is a teacher best fit decision but could be informed by statement assessments between around 40% and 70% achieved.
  • Secure – Confidence in all of the criteria for the band. There may be pupil learning still focused on gaining thorough confidence in some minimal elements but the broad expectations, including all KPIs, for the band will have been met.

For each year group, there are some Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) which are identified as being in bold – these are objectives which are seen as being crucial in being achieved in order to meet the expected standard at the end of the year.  These KPI’s have been formulated by the National Association of Headteachers and have been used by the vast majority of commercial and school-based assessment systems.

Those children with SEN who are not yet able to access their year group’s curriculum will be tracked against the most appropriate year group’s curriculum with their learning personalised to meet their needs.  This process will be done in consultation with the AHT for inclusion.  Higher-achieving children will be expected to be working at greater depth (secure+) within their year group’s expectations. 

Where our most able children have demonstrated their capacity to do this, we will move them onto the learning of new concepts within the next year group, if appropriate. 

This assessment information will continue to be formally gathered and shared in termly Pupil Progress meetings attended by the class teacher and senior leaders, including the AHT - Inclusion.  These termly data snapshots will enable us to:

  • Gather information about the performance of our individual children, groups and cohorts to monitor attainment and progress
  • Provide information to inform our strategic planning, including planning interventions and deployment of staff
  • Inform the Governing Body of the school’s standards and achievement
  • Systematically record the overall achievements of the child
  • Meet our legal requirements for record keeping, assessing and reporting

It is important that our parents understand how well their children are performing.  This year our reporting to parents will inform them if their child is:

  • Working towards the expected standard for their year group
  • Meeting the expected standard for their year group
  • Working at greater depth within their year group’s standards

As a school, we are data informed and not data driven.  We believe that the most effective assessment is formative and supports us on a day-to-day basis.  We follow Dylan Wiliam’s philosophy that a good teacher:

  • Establishes where the students are in their learning
  • Identifies the learning destination
  • Carefully plans a route
  • Begins the learning journey
  • Makes regular checks on progress on the way
  • Makes adjustments to the learning as conditions dictate

This will be where we focus the majority of our time.  Teachers will be trained and supported in using a number of strategies to help us do this, including sharing our learning intentions (LI’s) with pupils and discussing success criteria. We will continue to develop best practice in questioning and with our ‘marking and feedback’ procedures.  Differentiation will be key in helping us pitch the learning at appropriate levels for children within our classes – providing them with the support/challenge needed to move their learning on. Peer and self-assessment is encouraged throughout the school and we will work with our children to skill them up on how best to do this.

Progress will be measured through:

  • Observation of learning (both formal and informal observations)
  • Regular book monitoring by subject leaders, phase AHTs, other members of SLT
  • Discussions with children about their learning
  • Feedback gathered from parents and other agencies working with the child

Where children are not working in line with the expected standard or showing evidence of making rapid progress, we will work to identify what the barriers to learning are and what needs to be done to overcome these barriers and accelerate learning.

This is a period of great change in assessment procedures and expectations, however, in principle nothing has changed. Assessment is a continuous process, which is integral to teaching and learning allowing children to achieve their true potential. Assessment is seen as:

 

“the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there” 

 

Assessment for Learning: Assessment Reform Group 2002

 

Collecting assessment information - the teacher assessment toolkit

Teachers will collect assessment information in a variety of ways:

  • pupil self and peer evaluation
  • marking and feedback in books
  • ongoing guided reading records
  • PM benchmarking
  • practise tests
  • teacher assessment against Target Tracker statements
  • sample and practise tests
  • NFER tests