At Butterstile Primary School we believe that assessment should be an integral and essential part of the process of Teaching and Learning. It should encourage pupils to enquire, study and to learn as they strive for even higher standards. Assessment is a tool for teachers to help them plan further learning experiences, a resource for pupils to help them become more responsible for their own learning. It is also a means of providing information for parents to help them be more fully involved in their children’s learning and development as well as a means of producing essential data for the school to enable us to set targets for future development and improvement.
We believe that effective assessment provides information to improve learning and teaching. We give our children regular feedback on their learning so that they understand what it is they need to improve. This allows us to base our lesson plans on detailed knowledge of each pupil. We give parents regular reports on their child’s progress so that teachers, children and parents are all working in partnership to raise standards for all our pupils.
Assessment should be fair, consistent, intelligible, involving the learners themselves whenever possible. It should be used to improve the quality of education and to raise standards of attainment by ensuring consistency, reliability and accountability. The various aspects of assessment should contribute to shared understanding among teachers and others.
The outcomes of assessment should be used to identify the procedures and processes that contribute positively to the progress and the achievement of our pupils.
Assessment should be seen as a means of contributing to the successful outcome for all learners.
Planning for assessment
We use our school’s Curriculum map and the National Curriculum to guide our planning.
We plan our lessons with clear learning objectives. We base these upon the teachers’ detailed knowledge of each child. We strive to ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to each child’s level of ability. Our lesson plans make clear the expected outcomes for each lesson, it is these outcomes we assess against.
Lessons are planned with clear learning objectives. We recognize various methods of assessing a child’s learning. The type of assessment that we make varies from subject to subject. The teachers at Butterstile Primary record the progress of each child against the National Curriculum Learning Objectives for each area of the curriculum; this enables them to make a judgement about the work of each child in relation to the National Curriculum levels of attainment. This allows us to monitor and track the progress of every child.
At regular, timely intervals children are assessed through more formal teacher assessment. Each child’s individual progress is discussed in Progress Meetings attended by the class teacher and Team Leader. Three time per year the Headteacher, Deputy Headteachers, Team Leaders and SENCO meet to discuss the raising of attainment and progress.
Reporting to Parents
We have a range of strategies that keep parents fully informed of their child’s progress in school. We encourage parents and carers to contact the school if they have concerns about any aspect of their child’s work.
Parents are provided with the opportunity to meet the class teacher at two parents' evenings during the school year.
During the summer term we give all parents a written report of their child’s progress and achievements during the year. In this report we also identify target areas for the next school year. We report on all subjects of the National Curriculum and Religious Education. In reports for parents in Year 2 we provide Teacher assessment level information and year 6 we provide details of the scores achieved in National tests.
At the beginning of each term our teachers prepare curriculum information for parents.
Feedback to Pupils
At Butterstile Primary School we believe that feedback to pupils is very important, as it tells them how well they have done and what they need to do next in order to improve their work. We have an agreed code for marking as this ensures consistency. We give children verbal feedback on their work whenever possible.
We encourage the children to make comments about their own work and the work of fellow pupils. We encourage older pupils to be the first markers of some pieces of work.
Statutory Testing and Assessment
Statutory, formal assessment procedures and examinations also exist to measure attainment against national standards. Our children’s achievements are compared nationally with all those children of the same age and against schools in the local authority. These formal assessments include:
- An end of Early Years Foundation Stage assessment - we monitor how well children are achieving and the extent to which they are meeting identified expectations in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile which helps to identify those who are achieving a good level of development and those who we need to give additional help. We complete the new baseline assessment. As part of their everyday practice practitioners build their knowledge of each child through their observations, interactions and every day activities. They use this professional knowledge to make a series of judgements about each child based on a clear set of assessment criteria.
- The Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 - it assess children’s phonic skills as part of early reading
- End of Key Stage 1 - teachers’ assessments in mathematics and reading will be externally set and internally marked. Also an externally-set test in grammar, punctuation and spelling to inform teacher assessment of writing.
- End of Year 4 - Times Table tests. Children are tested on their recall of times tables up to 12 x 12.
- End of Key Stage 2 – externally set and marked tests in mathematics, reading, and grammar, punctuation and spelling. Teacher assessments in mathematics, reading, writing and science.