A parents' guide to assessments
Fundamental Principles of Assessment and Reporting
Assessment and reporting should:
- be meaningful, manageable and motivating.
- be strategic and predictive in nature, allowing for the school to project outcomes at either the end of the year or key stage.
- provide the school with information to evaluate progress, both in the short term and long term.
- be accurate and robust whilst offering all pupils an opportunity to show what they know and understand.
- provide teachers with operational data to identify gaps in pupils’ learning to inform pupil targets and next steps in teaching and learning, especially in terms of what they need to do in order to deepen their understanding and mastery of the primary curriculum
- allow for the continuity of results and processes across year groups.
For further information, please see the Assessment policy
Assessing within the National Curriculum
The programmes of study within the National Curriculum set out expectations at the end of each key stage, and all maintained schools in England are free to develop a curriculum relevant to their pupils that teaches this content. The Department for Education (DfE) states that the curriculum must include an assessment system which enables schools to check what pupils have learned and whether they are on track to meet expectations at the end of the key stage, and to report regularly to parents.Statutory Testing in Years 1-6
- Reception pupils are assessed during their first 6 weeks at school through the Reception Baseline Assessment. It is a short and simple check of a child’s early literacy, communication, language and maths skills when they begin school. The assessment will form the start of a new measure of how schools are helping their pupils to progress between Reception and Year 6.
- Year 1 pupils are assessed in their synthetic phonic knowledge at the end of the year through the Phonics Screening Check in June.
- Year 4 pupils are assessed in in their knowledge of the multiplication facts up to 12x12 through the Multiplication Tables Check in June. This is a computer-based test in which children must be able to recall a fact within 6 seconds.
- Pupils in Years 2 and 6 are required to take statutory assessments known as the SATs. These take place throughout May for Year 2 and in during a set week of May for Year 6. The tests are administered by the school, with children assessed in reading, GPS and mathematics, alongside an assessment of writing. All schools have external moderation from the Local Authority for Years 2 and 6 to verify final judgements. At Claremont, teachers meet regularly to moderate assessments and agree judgements, sharing their understanding both internally, and externally with teachers within the Tunbridge Wells Collaboration Trust to quality assure our judgements.
The current Year 2 cohort missed the Phonics Screener in June 2020 due to the Covid-19 Lockdown. As a result, these pupils are required to undertake the Phonics Screener before the end of Year 2. A baseline was carried out in September and areas for improvement and support identified and The Phonics Screener will take place before the end of Term 2. Any pupil who does not meet the threshold at that point will be supported through interventions and will undertake a second Phonics Screener at the end of Year 2.Internal Assessment at Claremont
Department for Education guidance allows for schools to use their own robust and rigorous assessment system. At Claremont, we continually monitor pupils’ progress throughout their time here. These internal assessments are vital for teachers to ensure the progress of pupils and identify individuals’ strengths and weaknesses. It also enables us to provide parents with clear information about their child's achievement and progress. At various points in the year, teachers will assess all children, and make a judgement as to how they are learning and progressing in relation to the Age Related Expectations, and what they are ‘on track’ to achieve at the end of the year. In Terms 2, 4 and 6, teachers will use a triangulation of assessment strategies to review pupil achievement against the age-related objectives for the school year. This will help them to reach an overall judgement for each individual pupil, based on independent learning and tasks they have evidenced. This process allows teachers to identify personalised targets to support each child’s needs and secure progression; this then provides the basis for reporting to parents. It should be noted that these assessments are kept very low-key to minimise pressure and stress.
Upon returning to school in September 2020, the children were baselined in a variety of ways using tests, quizzes and in-class assessments. The purpose of this was to identify the gaps in pupil knowledge (in order for teachers to plan an
effective recovery curriculum for the core subjects) and to ascertain which pupils require additional support. We recognise that each pupil had a different experience during Lockdown and the purpose of these light-touch assessments was to ensure that all pupils were on track with their learning and achieving their full potential as soon as possible. Consultations were brought forward to late September in order for these to be discussed alongside how the pupils had settled and their overall wellbeing.
A parents' guide to reportsReporting to Parents in Terms 2 and 4
Parents will receive an Interim Report in Term 2 and again in Term 4, just before they are invited to a consultation evening to discuss the contents. The Interim reports and consultations for Years 2 and 6 take place at the beginning of Terms 2 and 4, whereas they are at the end of those terms for all other year group.
The report highlights how your child is progressing, outlines any concerns and provides an opportunity to discuss ways forward. They will then receive a Final Report in Term 6, which expands upon the information provided in the Interim Reports and reflects upon each child’s attainment and progress over the whole year. Reception
The progress of children in the EYFS is individually tracked using the Development Matters age bands of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. By the end of their Reception year in school, it is expected that they achieve the ‘Early Learning Goals’ (ELG), which the EYFS Curriculum defines. At the beginning of the year, a ‘baseline’ assessment is made of everything the children in reception can do, so teachers know what they need to learn next. Children are then tracked in all seventeen areas of learning through careful observation of what they can do; how they interact with others; how they explain what they know; and what they write down. A learning journey document is kept of their development through the year and this record is part of the ongoing assessment. (The learning journey is given to parents at the end of the year.) The report will indicate whether the individual children are:
- Not On Track to achieve the ELGs at the end of the year
- On Track to achieve the ELGs at the end of the year
- On Track to exceed the ELGs at the end of the year
in the areas of reading, writing and number.Key Stages 1 and 2
The Interim Reports will inform parents of their child’s ‘Attainment’ and ‘Attitude towards Learning’. We use the Attainment Indicators ‘On Track for…’ to indicate what the teacher thinks will be the likely standard of attainment at the end of the year, if the child continues with the same effort and engagement with learning.
The report will indicate the teacher’s judgement as to whether a child is currently
- Not On Track for Age Related Expectations at the end of the year
- On Track for Age Related Expectations at the end of the year
- On Track for Above Age Related Expectations at the end of the year
in the areas of Writing, Reading, GPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling) and Maths. In Year 1, teachers will share information about phonics instead of GPS. We also report whether a child is On Track for ARE in Science in the Spring Interim report (please note, the government does not require schools to report Above RE in Science in Years 2 and 6 and we follow this for all year groups). Reporting to Parents in Term 6
In Term 6 parents receive a Final Report, which outlines their child’s strengths and ways forward, as well as clearly explaining the progress made since the previous summer, and the standard reached relative to the ARE for that year. (in the areas of Writing, Reading, GPS, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Art, Design and Technology and PE).
All statutory assessment information (for Years 1, 2 and 6) is reported to parents at the same time but separately from the internal assessments. At the end of the Reception year, the EYFS Profile for each child is completed, as is statutorily required. This details everything that your child has learned and is able to do in all seventeen areas of learning in the Early Years. It is reported to parents in July, and states where each child is in relation to Age Related Expectations, as defined in the ELGs. Jargon Buster for the Reports
Below is an explanation of the terminology used in the Final Reports at the end of the school year.
Attainment Indicator Below ARE / ELG
This means your child shows signs of working towards the expected standard for their year group, but does not have the full understanding or knowledge in this subject.At ARE / ELG
This means your child is working at the level expected for his/her age, and has a good, secure understanding of the knowledge and skills required for the subject in the year group.Above ARE / ELG
This means your child is secure in all of the objectives for the year, has a deep and thorough understanding of the subject and can apply his/her skills in a range of different contexts.
A parents' guide to marking and feedbackPrinciples behind Marking and Feedback
There are three underlying principles for all marking and feedback.
- Marking should be: meaningful to pupils; manageable for both pupils and teachers; and motivating for pupils.
- Marking is based on a pupil’s progress towards the achieving the Learning Objective (WALT) and Success Criteria (WILF).
- Marking follows the Shirley Clarke method of ‘Tickled Pink’ and ‘Green for Growth’, with Pupil Response in purple.
- Children are given the opportunity to review and modify their work to improve it on a regular basis, both before and after marking, both individually and with their peers (where deemed appropriate).
- The majority of marking is undertaken by the class teacher, to ensure it is formative; work marked by a supply teacher or other adults should be initialled; cover supervisors provide feedback to children during the lesson they are covering; it may be oral or written (written if appropriate during lesson time, e.g. if working 1:1 or with a group). Stamps, to acknowledge overall achievement against WALT and WILF criteria, may be used within cover supervisor working hours in order to effectively support succession planning.
- Comments on marked work are positive, supportive and constructive and in the correct colour.
For further information, please see the Marking and Feedback
Age Related ExpectationsAssessment:
A judgement made about a child's understandingAttainment:
The final assessment made of a child's learning up to that pointELG:
Early Learning Goal, assessed at the end of ReceptionEYFS:
Early Years Foundation Stage, which is the pre-school to Reception curriculumGPS:
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling and we often refer to it as SPaG.Progress:
The difference from the previous assessment to the current assessmentSATs:
Formal tests issued by the Government at set points in the National Curriculum (Standard Assessment Tests)Year group expectations:
The key objectives a child should have securely acquired by the end of the year