Assessment

Assessment is an integral part of teaching and lies at the heart of promoting pupils’ education. It should provide information which is clear and reliable. Children’s progress is closely monitored at Skellingthorpe Saint Lawrence CE Primary School in order that we can provide the best possible opportunities and highest levels of support for all children. All assessment activities aim to ensure that the children are able to make excellent progress in their learning whilst taking into account the needs of individual children.

‘Mastery learning’ is a specific approach in which learning is broken down into discrete units and presented in logical order. Assessment is built into this process. Following high-quality instruction, pupils undertake formative assessment that shows what they have learned well and what they still need to work on, and identifies specific ‘corrective’ activities to help them do this. We follow this kind of understanding of mastery, as something which every child can aspire to and every teacher should promote. It is about deep, secure learning for all, with extension of able students (deeper thinking on the same topic) rather than acceleration (rapidly moving on to new content).

To use each form of assessment to best effect, it is important that we understand their various purposes. In our settings, there are three main forms of assessment:

  • In-school formative assessment, which is used by teachers to evaluate pupils’ knowledge and understanding on a day-to-day basis and to tailor teaching accordingly;
  • In-school summative assessment, which enables schools to evaluate how much a pupil has learned at the end of a teaching period;
  • Nationally standardised summative assessment, which is used by the Government to hold schools to account.

In-School Summative Assessment of pupils’ attainment and progress are directly linked to the curriculum followed at that point in the year. It provides pupils with information about how well they have learned and understood a topic or course of work taught over a period of time. It is used to provide feedback on how they can continue to improve. It can be reported to parents to inform them about the achievement, progress and wider outcomes of their children across a period, often a term, half-year or year. It enables teachers to evaluate both pupil learning at the end of a unit of learning and the impact of their own teaching. Both these purposes help teachers to plan for subsequent teaching and learning. In-school summative assessment enables school leaders to monitor the performance of pupil cohorts, to identify where interventions may be required and to work with teachers to ensure pupils are supported to achieve sufficient progress and expected attainment.

In our setting, there are three summative assessment points, when data is collected for all children: December; March; June. There are six expected steps over the course of the year (two at each assessment point). Pupil Progress Meetings are held after each of these points to review the progress of the whole class, vulnerable groups and any individuals who may be causing concern. Throughout the year, we aim to share the child’s learning steps with parents so they can clearly see what their child has achieved and what the next steps are. At each point, a child’s attainment in any area of learning may be described as:

  • Working at the expected standard
  • Working at a greater depth within the expected standard
  • Working towards the expected standard

Their progress, as well as effort and attainment, may also be described as:

  • Good
  • Excellent
  • Needs to improve

Inclusion
Skellingthorpe Saint Lawrence CE Primary School is an inclusive school and we work hard to meet the needs of all our children. Class teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all pupils in their class. High quality teaching is available to all children, including those with additional needs. We work hard as a school to ensure that all additional support in the classroom is deployed effectively. Where a child is not making the expected progress, the class teacher will work alongside the Inclusion Leader, parents and external agencies (where appropriate) to plan tailored support. We follow the Assess, Plan, Do, Review cycle to ensure all children are monitored closely and make progress. We use Support Plans, where appropriate, which are reviewed with the child and parents termly. We do not label any child by so called ‘ability’. All children are encouraged to achieve their best and become confident individuals living fulfilling lives. Rather than a belief in a fixed ability, we believe in the opportunity for all pupils to succeed if taught and assessed effectively.