Aims

At Junction Farm Primary School, we believe that the key aim of assessment is to support pupil achievement and progress.

Through our assessment and reporting practice, we aim to:

  • Enable pupils to understand what they have to do to reach end of lesson, unit, topic, academic year and key stage expectations.
  • Allow teachers to determine what a child can/cannot do and to help them plan future support to fill any gaps in knowledge and understanding.
  • Help set targets and involve pupils in their own learning.
  • Give parents a clear idea of what their child can do and what they need to do to progress.
  • Provide information that can be used to evaluate teaching and learning practice.
  • Give pupils effective feedback so they know what they have done well and what they need to improve.
  • Enable all pupils, including pupils with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), to make good progress.

Principles

The principles that underpin assessment at Junction Farm Primary are:

  • Every child can achieve with teachers constantly evaluating:
  • What do I need to do next, to enable all children in my class to achieve?’
  • The removal of levels has helped to improve pupils’ mind-sets and all pupils have the opportunity to access more challenging aspects of the curriculum.
  • The Primary National Curriculum Programmes of Study are used as the expectations for all pupils. Assessment of pupil’s attainment and progress is directly linked to the curriculum and evaluates pupils’ knowledge and understanding of subject requirements.
  • Assessment is used to ensure that all pupils make appropriate progress.
  • All children need to understand the learning objective in each of their lessons and what they need to achieve it. Success Criteria are shared, or formulated, at the start of each session and pupils’ work is assessed against this criteria.
  • Strategies are used to ensure that pupils have a secure understanding of key ideas and concepts before moving onto the next phase of learning.

There are three main types of assessment used at Junction Farm:

Formative Assessment

This is used by our teachers to evaluate pupils’ knowledge and understanding on a day-to-day basis and to tailor teaching accordingly.

Summative assessment

This is used to evaluate how much a pupil has learned at the end of a teaching period (end of a Unit/Topic, term or academic year).

Nationally Standardised Summative Assessment

This is used by the Government to hold schools to account and to provide information on how pupils are performing in comparison to pupils nationally.

Procedures – Formative Assessment

Day-to-Day Formative Assessments

This type of assessment is embedded across all lessons – in all subjects (foundation as well as core). Teachers assess pupils’ understanding of individual learning objectives and identify where there are gaps. This tells the teacher what to focus on in future lessons and prompts them to adapt their teaching approach to improve pupils’ understanding.

Strategies used will vary according to the subject and learning objective taught – these include:

  • Use of rich question and answer sessions to evaluate pupil understanding and identify gaps or misconceptions.
  • Use of whiteboards, flip charts and number fans to get instant feedback of understanding.
  • Mini-plenaries to determine understanding at regular intervals.
  • Short re-cap quizzes or recall of facts.
  • In mathematics lessons, teachers often focus on the wrong answers (which can be used to explore concepts in greater depth and to identify and address any misconceptions).
  • Observational assessment.
  • Scanning work for pupil attainment and progress.
  • Self (or peer) assessment at the end of every lesson based on individual learning objectives and Success Criteria.
  • 1:1 or group discussions with pupils.
  • Next step marking and feedback (see Marking and Feedback Policy).

Mastery Learning: The Mastery-learning model forms the basis of our approach to traditional teaching. This means spending greater time going into depth about a subject as opposed to racing through the things that all children should know. Previously, racing through content lead to some children having large gaps in subject knowledge because the concept they had just learnt was either too big or learnt too quickly. As a primary school, it is our duty to ensure that children have an absolutely solid, concrete understanding of subject knowledge and skills as well as being emotionally resilient.

Formative assessment is used to show what pupils have learnt well and what they still need to work on, and identifies specific ‘corrective’ activities to help them do this. After undertaking

these corrective activities (or alternative enrichment or extension activities for those who have already achieved mastery), formative assessments are used to evaluate further progress.

Procedures – Summative Assessment

End of Term Summative Tests (Years 1 to 6) – Maths, Reading and Grammar Punctuation and Spelling. Writing is assessed through a ‘showpiece’.

At the end of every term, we hold a Test Week using a range of Optional Tests in Maths Reading and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS). These tests give a good indication of whether pupils are working below, towards, meeting or exceeding end of year government expectations.

This Test Week is followed by a Pupil Progress Meeting whereby the class teacher, the Senior Management Team and SENCo meet to analyse the results and to plan appropriate targets and support. Assessment information is used to plan teaching and learning strategies, including the identification of pupils who are working below their target stage, falling behind in their learning or who need additional support, enabling pupils to make good progress and achieve well.

When tracking assessment information the SMT and subject coordinators carefully track the progress of different groups within the school. They also compare the progress rate of different groups. This information is then used to help plan to raise standards in any group identified as not make adequate progress.

Procedures – Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS): Ongoing Assessments

Throughout our Early Years setting, practitioners use the Development Matters and Early Learning Goals (ELGs) as a part of their daily observation, assessment and planning. On-going formative assessment is at the heart of effective early years practice. Key workers make regular observations of how children act and interact, take photographs and make notes of what they can do to help identify where they may be in their own developmental pathway. Teachers collect this evidence using the Evidence Me, online learning journey program on their iPads. Key workers log onto this platform weekly and use evidence collected to inform their judgements of whether pupils are progressing towards expectations in each aspect of the early years ages and stages. Next steps are then discussed as teams to inform future planning to ensure all children make progress. Parents can also add photos and comments to their child’s online learning journey to provide additional evidence when gathering information about their child’s development and progress.

On entry to the Early Years setting, all children are baselined within their first six weeks. Reception children take part in the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA) screening activities, whilst Nursery children are baselined in line with the checkpoints from Development Matters for three year olds.

Ongoing observations and informal assessments are used to help track pupil progress alongside evidence in pupil books. Analysis of data is used to inform individual pupil targets and to plan appropriate support. It is also used to help identify whole class coverage of the Early Years curriculum and more general gaps in knowledge. Informal tracking systems from ‘Is it Time to Play?’ are used half termly to ascertain whether the children in the setting or ‘On Track’ or ‘Not on Track’ in each area of the Early Years Curriculum. The statements for these targets are taken from Development Matters and broken down into smaller steps. Proud Cloud targets are sent home to parents using Marvellous Me/ Showbie, these are updated for each child half termly. Parents are encouraged to document any learning at home via email/ Showbie or Evidence Me in order to accumulate further evidence of individual progress. EYFS Profile: In the final term of Reception (Upper Early Years) the EYFS Profile is completed for each child. This provides parents, carers and practitioners with a well-rounded picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1.

The profile reflects ongoing observation (as described above), records, discussions with parents and carers and adults working with the child. Each child’s level of development is assessed against the early learning goals (ELGs) on our tracking system.

Practitioners must indicate whether pupils are:

  • Meeting expected levels of development
  • Not yet reaching expected levels (emerging)

Parents are provided with a short commentary on the Characteristics of Effective Learning to outline how their child has approached learning, faced challenge and achieved success in the Early Years.

The Year 1 teacher is given a copy of the Profile together with a short commentary on each child’s skills and abilities in relation to the three key characteristics of effective learning. The Reception teacher meets with the Year 1 teacher (as a part of our Handover Meeting at the end of the academic year) to discuss each child’s stage of development and learning needs. This informs planning in the first term of Year 1 and beyond.

At the end of the Reception year we give parents a written report which:

  • States the child’s attainment against the ELGs
  • Summarises attainment in all areas of learning
  • Comments on general progress including the characteristics of effective learning

Parents are invited into school at the end of Reception to discuss the Profile. The report is specific, concise and identifies appropriate next steps. The results are also sent to the Local Authority.

The EYFS profile data is used to measure Good Levels of Development within the EYs setting:

  • Levels of learning and development in each of the areas of learning for individual pupils and the class
  • The attainment of children born in different months of the year
  • The attainment of different groups of children e.g. SEN and Pupil Premium

Procedures – Nationally Standardised Summative Assessment

Nationally standardised summative assessment provides information on how pupils are performing in comparison to pupils nationally:

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

This check demonstrates how well a child can use the phonics skills they’ve learned up to the end of Year 1 and identifies pupils who need extra phonics help. It consists of 40 words and non-words that a student reads 1:1 with a teacher. Each child is scored against a national standard – children who do not meet the expected level in Year 1 are given extra phonics support and then repeat the test near the end of Year 2.

End of Key Stage 1 tests

All pupils sit the following tests at the end of Year 2:

  • Reading
  • Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS)
  • Mathematics
  • Writing (teacher assessment)

End of Key Stage 2 tests

All pupils will take the following tests at the end of Year 6:

  • Reading
  • Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS)
  • Mathematics
  • Writing (teacher assessment)

At the end of KS1 and KS2 pupils will be given a scaled score and a ‘performance descriptor’ against the expected standard. We use these results to benchmark our school’s performance against other schools locally and nationally. The Senior Management Team makes judgements about the school’s effectiveness and analysis of data is used to inform the School Development Plan.

Assessing Pupils with SEND

We have high aspirations for all our children here at Junction Farm. In each year group, we teach the national curriculum for that year – therefore all children are learning in line with the national curriculum. We assess children’s progress against national and age related expectations. Assessment is an ongoing part of our teaching process for all children to identify success, areas for development and next steps in learning.

In some instances where children have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), their provision may identify the need for access to a different curriculum, this will be provided in accordance with their plan and therefore these specific children will be assessed on this curriculum.

Assessment methods are adapted for some pupils with SEN and disabilities. This includes adapting the use of questioning to give pupils with significant learning difficulties sufficient time to respond, using visual stimuli and alternative means of communication. It could be the use of verbal questions or observations rather than asking students to produce a written response. Adapted tests are often used with specific pupils. This could be the use of braille or

larger print. Readers are used to read questions where appropriate and pupils can be given additional time to complete papers. Scribes can be used for pupils with particular gross/fine motor control difficulties.

Assessment is used to contribute to the early and accurate identification of pupil’s needs and any requirements for their support and intervention.

Reporting

Reporting not only fulfils legal requirements but also is vital part of our relationship with parents and the wider community, serving to support and extend pupil progress.

Reporting to Parents

  • Parent Consultation Meetings (Informal in the Autumn Term, Formal, to discuss pupil reports, in the Summer Term): these meetings focus on the curriculum – what pupils can do and what they need to do to improve (targets)
  • Annual Reports (including assessment against end of year government expectations)
  • Term Cards – these provide parent/carers pupil grades on the curriculum taught so far.
  • The results of any statutory assessments e.g. phonics screening and end of KS1/KS2 results.

Reporting to Governors

  • The Head Teacher’s Report to Governors (termly)

Pupils

  • Through our formative assessment strategies pupils get instant feedback on a daily basis.
  • Our next step marking informs pupils of what they have done well and what they need to do to improve. Pupils are actively encouraged to respond to teacher’s comments, questions and commands in their marking, to self-evaluate their work and set their own targets based on a success criteria.

Local Authority and Government (DfE)

All statutory information (including relevant teacher assessments) are sent to the Local Authority and DfE as required.