Assessment comes in two basic forms. Formative assessment is ongoing. We use it all the time to assess where children are in the curriculum. We use it to help us and children decide what their next steps in learning are, so we can teach to these. Summative assessment is about gaining a snapshot of children's current skills and knowledge. It is generally used to judge the effectiveness of teaching and learning at schools.
At St John’s, we use a formative assessment system called, Target Tracker. It enables us to track pupils' progress against the National Curriculum, identify gaps in their skills and knowledge, and teach to these. We use it to build a portfolio of each child over time. It feeds directly into the teaching and extra-support we offer children. The focus is on ensuring that every child masters the full curriculum each year, as deeply as possible. Below you can download a series of Target Tracker Assessment sheets. These are essentially a rephrasing of the curriculum for each year group. During the year, we assess children against all these statements and determine whether their knowledge and understanding in each area is secure. We identify the gaps in pupils' understanding and teach to these. We also identify strengths and deepen pupils' understanding in these areas.
Towards the end of every term, we give tests to children in Years 1-6, in reading, writing and maths. We use these as a benchmark, to ensure that the judgements we are making about children's abilities in Target Tracker are accurate. Our teachers meet with their phase Leader and look at the tests and work in books to help us ensure this accuracy. We also moderate our judgements on a regular basis with other schools, in a process organised by the local consortium.
After testing children, we run 'Pupil Progress Meetings', in which senior school managers, teachers and teaching assistants discuss the progress and learning needs of every pupil, and agree actions we need to take to ensure all our children thrive as learners. We also hold parents' evenings each term, so we can share our assessment judgements with parents and carers.
Summative assessment takes place in Year 1, 2 and 6, when children sit nationally set tests, commonly known as SATS. In year 1, pupils take a phonics test. In year 2 and Year 6, they are tested in reading, maths and grammar, punctuation and spelling. Writing is also assessed, by looking at a range of pupil's written work. We report the outcomes of these tests to parents.
SATS tests are changing significantly in 2016, to align with the fact that levels are no longer being used. Children will get a score for their test. There will be a national standard score of 100. Children achieving this will be judged to have mastered the curriculum and be fully ready for the next stage of their education. To watch a DfE video about these tests, click here.
The school will have regard to the SEN Code of Practice when considering each child’s needs. Parents are informed, consulted and involved at all times. Children for whom there is a concern are supported initially by the Class Teacher who will provide differentiated work and monitor progress. If there is no evidence of progress the class teacher will discuss the matter with the SEN Co-ordinator and if necessary the child will have an Individual Education Plan. Wherever possible children will receive extra help from the school support staff. If needs persist permission may be sought to involve other professionals eg. School Nurse, Speech and Language Therapist and Educational Psychologist.
Assessment without levels
Click here to download our Assessment without levels presentation