Since the change to the Primary National Curriculum in 2014, all schools within England have been required to adopt new assessment systems which move away from the previous system of ‘levels’ to ‘Age Related Expectations’ (or AREs for short). These AREs are compiled lists of the skills and knowledge which children should have learnt by the end of each academic year in Reading, Writing and Maths. These systems have resulted in changes to the way in which pupils are assessed and their progress is reported to you, as well as impacting on the way in which pupils are tested at the end of Year 6.
WHAT IS ASSESSMENT WITHOUT LEVELS?
We use the term ‘attainment’ when referring to pupil’s levels of achievement (eg. end of year test scores). We use the term achievement when we talk about the progress children have made. Schools are required to have an assessment system that monitors each pupil’s progress (achievements and attainments).
The tracking, monitoring and evaluation of a pupil’s attainment and progress takes place daily in lessons through: questioning, marking and talking to pupils about their learning. It takes place weekly, termly and annually through end of unit assessments and tests.
The tracking, monitoring and evaluation of a pupil’s progress and attainment informs curriculum planning enabling areas for development to be swiftly addressed.
THE PRINCIPLES THAT UNDERPIN OUR ASSESSMENT SYSTEMS ARE:
We believe that every pupil can achieve to the best of their ability. It is our job to support and challenge pupils at all levels of ability. Teachers in our school have the mindset, ‘What do I need to do to help each pupil achieve?’
The target is for each pupil to make a year’s progress in each school year; set against the National Curriculum objectives. Our target is also that the vast majority of pupils will have a deep level of understanding of learning in each subject.
We expect nearly all pupils to be working towards achieving their end of year expectations throughout the year. We will not teach pupils the next year’s objectives until we have exhausted every possible way of exploring their current year’s objectives in a richer and deeper manner.
Our expectation of all teachers is that they will use assessment effectively and accurately, every day, to ensure that the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure that all children achieve at an appropriate level, and to an appropriate depth.
NO MORE LEVELS
Stages of learning in every class in Years 1–6 use the same terminology. The stages in learning are:
|Terminology||What does it mean?|
|Has shown an emergent grasp of the year group objectives and may be 1, 2 or 3 years behind the Age Related Expectation (ARE).|
|Towards||Secure in approximately half of the objectives.|
|At||Has achieved almost all of the end of year expectations and can use and apply skills confidently.|
|Deepening||Has achieved virtually all of the end of year expectations and has a deep understanding of many of the end of year expectations.|
What does this mean for my child?
The focus is now on the breadth and depth of a pupil’s learning. This means that we approach concepts from various angles in order to deepen a pupil’s understanding and application of their learning. During each term, the pupil will be assessed as to how well they have achieved various objectives.
TRACKING PUPIL PROGRESS
We track and record each pupil’s progress against each key objective from within their year group’s part of the National Curriculum. The school tracks both progress and predicted outcomes and the new pupil profiles support this process and clearly shows the interventions in place and their impact.
At our school, we track and monitor pupil progress on a daily basis, through:
* Questioning, observation and dialogue;
* Pupils knowing what they are being asked to learn, and more importantly, why;
* Pupils discussing, formulating and agreeing the success criteria during lessons. Work is then assessed against the success criteria by the pupil, the teacher, or both;
* Three-way feedback – pupil – peer – teacher – which clearly identifies next steps – This can be verbal or written feedback;
* Regular pupil work scrutiny by the senior leadership team, subject leaders or whole staff.
* End of unit and end of term assessments, which help us to assess progress over time.
* Each pupil’s attainment of objectives, which are recorded on a tracking system. Patterns can then be analysed and support targeted accordingly;
* Pupils’ work in books to demonstrate progress. We frequently monitor books to make sure teachers are providing the best possible learning opportunities and feedback for pupils.
* Astute differentiation, which ensures that tasks are matched to pupils’ abilities and that they provide high challenges for all.