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Assessment

Assessment Principles

Assessment underpins the teaching and learning at Bitterne Manor Primary School to ensure everyone is

‘Learning to be the best we can’.

We as a school aim for:

  • Every child knowing how they are doing, and understanding what they need to do to improve and how to get there. They get the support they need to be motivated, independent learners.
  • Every teacher is equipped to make well-founded judgements about pupils’ attainment, understanding the concepts and principles of progression, and know how to use their assessment judgements to forward plan, particularly for pupils who are not fulfilling their potential.
  • Our school has in place structured and systematic assessment systems for making regular, useful, manageable and accurate assessments of pupils, and for tracking their progress.
  • Every parent and carer knows how their child is doing, what they need to do to improve, and how they can support their child and their teachers.

We do this through:

  • High quality teaching and learning which is based on the children’s needs
  • Using a range of AfL strategies which feed into planning
  • Marking and response to marking
  • Children engaging with targets and next steps
  • Regular pupil progress meetings to discuss pupils progress and attainment
  • Analysis of end of year data which is compared locally and nationally
  • Moderation and standardisation within school and between schools
  • Part of PTSA Assessment group
  • Regular feedback to parents via reports, parents evenings, ‘book looks’ and curriculum evenings 

As a school, assessment is constantly an area which we are developing.  Some of our key actions for this year include:

Where do we want to be? Improvement Target

How will we do this?

Actions to complete target

Implement new Assessment (Life beyond levels)

·       Develop understanding of the new expectations for Yr1,3,4,5

·       Continue to develop schools’ understanding of ‘progress’ through using planning as a working document, AfL during lessons and book scrutiny

·       Develop ‘Pupil Progress Meetings’ to hold everyone accountable to pupil progress

·       Introduce ‘Subject Progress Meetings’

·       Review marking and targets – how does it impact on pupil progress?

·       INSET – what does/will assessment look like?

·       How to share this with parents?

Embed Learning Values

(Personal/Social development)

  • INSET and launch of learning values across the school (TLC)
  • Policy card developed and review next steps -

- Learning day in Spring 1 – am about learning… pm launch ‘challenge’

- Learning Values board in class

- Motivation – Autumn term (transfer day)- planning; goal day

- Summer term – practical

  • Handbook – parent feedback
  • Learning Leaders – action research on leading learning

Assessing Progress

The 2014/15 academic year meant a New Curriculum for pupils which has also meant a new method of assessing their progress. Pupils in Year 2 and 6  will also still be sitting the standardised tests (SATs).

 

The New Curriculum requires that schools no longer use the ‘Level’ system. Previously, if you have had a child in school, teachers will have given you a level to represent your child’s attainment, for example a ‘3C’. The number gave the level and the letter denoted steps within that level. So a 3C would be a child just entering level 3, and 3A a child who was secure in the level and ready to move on to level 4. Because of the way the old curriculum worked the numbers did not automatically represent the year group a child would be in.

 

The new National Curriculum has been written to give age related expectations for the end of each year. As children travel from Year 1 to Year 6 in our school, they will be tracked against these ‘Age Related Expectations’. At Bitterne Manor, these are numbered bands which indicate the level of attainment. So Year 1 is band 1 and Year 6 is band 6. As all children are individual and develop at different rates and have differing needs, they will work in the band which is appropriate to them to make sure that learning makes sense. Extra help or challenge is given to make sure they are learning at the right level.

 

As children develop through each Band, we track their progress very carefully. Each Band is broken into 3 steps which roughly represents a term’s progress. Over the year the steps are called: ’beginning,’ (B), ‘within’ (W) and ‘secure’ (S). For example:

 

Year

Autumn

Spring

Summer

1

1 B

1 W

1 S

2

2 B

2 W

2 S

3

3 B

3 W

3 S

4

4 B

4 W

4 S

5

5 B

5 W

5 S

6

6 B

6 W

6 S

 

Using this system, teachers can ensure pupils are constantly moving forwards and building on their previous learning. Where ever children begin their learning in September we expect them to make at least 3 steps progress. So if they start at 2W in Year 3, we generally will expect them to be at least 3W at the end of Year 3.  Over time, accelerated progress of more than 3 steps will close gaps.

 

The process of placing pupils within the new bands has only just begun and there is still a lot of work for us to do as a school. We hope that we can begin to share this information with you as parents so that you are fully informed about the progress your child is making. Please remember that each child’s learning is different and that it is important to discuss this with your child’s teacher particularly if you have any concerns.

 

Tracking Progress in the EYFS

Children in the EYFS continue to be tracked on the Development Matters bands of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. By the end of their Foundation Year in school it is expected that they reach the ‘Early Learning Goals’. At the beginning of the year a ‘baseline’ assessment is made of everything they can do so teachers know what they need to learn next. This is shared at the first parents’ evening of the year.

Children are tracked through their reading, writing and maths development by what they write down, through careful observation of what they can do, how they interact with others and how they explain what they know.

A learning Journey is kept of their development which we will share with you throughout the year. Parents can contribute to this to include what children can do and are interested in at home.

At the end of the EYFS year the EYFS Profile completes the picture of everything they have learnt, and are able to do.  This is reported to parents in July, so parents know if their child is at the age related expectation, is emerging into this or exceeding above. Most importantly it shows how much progress has been made from the baseline, and so teachers in Year 1 are ready to teach them their next steps in the National Curriculum.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why is the system changing?

It is part of the new revised National Curriculum. The Government wants a simpler system for parents to understand and for each school to develop their own. The new system enables teachers, pupils and parents to concentrate on learning to make progress, rather than just focusing on levels.


Will children still have SATs?

Yes, SATs this year will be the same as previous years. This year the Year 2 curriculum stays the same because children will be assessed on this. So Year 2 children are also being tracked in the old level this year. Next Year the SATs will alter. This is the same for Yr6 pupils.

 

What can I do to help my child?

There is so much parents can help with, reading is very important along with time tables, spellings and practicing number bonds. Also completing homework as well talking about what they are learning at school. Our website has links to supporting website and the BBC website where there are lots of fun games to support primary learning. Your class teacher will also give you some specific pointers to help your child at home.

 

What do teachers use to gauge children’s progress?

Children’s independent work is the biggest indicator of what they can do and how they do it.  Teachers use this on a daily basis to know and check pupil understanding and progress. Special pieces of work to inform assessment is set up throughout the year.

 

How is the progress between each step worked out?

At Bitterne Manor we use the National Curriculum to benchmark progress, and align this to the Essex Target Tracker system for the ‘B’ Beginning, ‘W’ Working within and ‘S’ secure for progress within each band.

 

 How do all schools know that their judgements about progress and attainment match up with each other? 

At Bitterne Manor, we work across the school and with other local schools to agree and ’moderate’ attainment levels. All school also have external moderation from the Local Authority. Target Tracker also enables us to moderate against samples of work nationally.

 

What happens when my child goes to Secondary School?

Secondary schools too will have their own systems and will work with the primaries to ensure that the systems work together, so there is continuity for children’s progress.

 

Do the teachers use any other forms of assessment?

Throughout all lessons teachers continuously monitor and assess learning, ensuring that any misconceptions pupils have in learning are quickly addressed, so that they can continue to make progress within that session.

As well as reviewing pupils recorded work, the school will make use of tests to review how well pupils have retained their learning over a period of time.

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