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Southfields Primary School

Southfields Primary School

Assessment

 

Principles of Assessment

At Southfields Primary school we believe that assessment, including target setting, recording and reporting, are an important part of a continuous educational journey and form the key elements in the delivery, planning and on-going evaluation of an effective curriculum that is relevant to all pupils. Children have an entitlement to an effective assessment process that accurately identifies and tracks progress whilst also highlighting individual strengths and areas for improvement of each pupil, which should be used to inform future planning and to monitor each individual pupil’s progress. It is used most effectively to provide formative and diagnostic information to staff, parents and children. 

We, as a school, feel it is essential to be aware of pupil’s individual gaps in learning. This information can then be used to form the basis of support, therapies and interventions, in order to escalate progress.

Aims and Objectives:

The further aims and objectives of assessment in our school are:

  • To enable children to demonstrate what they know, understand and can apply.

  • To guide children to understand their next steps in learning, in order to improve.

  • To enable teachers can identify children’s strengths, progress and needs.

  • To allow teachers to plan according to the needs and abilities of individual and groups of pupils.

  • To ensure that accurate records of individual children’s progress are kept. Such records should help the teacher ensure continuity and progression for each child’s learning.

  • To ensure adequate coverage of the National Curriculum. Assessment provides a record of the work covered or areas for development.

  • To aid individual teachers and subject coordinators to evaluate teaching and learning throughout the school. Pupils’ performance may reflect the appropriateness of the teaching methodology used.

  • To provide information that will inform discussion with pupils and parents about their child’s learning and progress, in order for them to work in partnership with the school to support their child’s learning.

  • To create a smooth transition from one class to another, providing the new teacher with a clear picture of the stage children are at in their learning.

  • To ensure all stakeholders can monitor the attainment and progress of all, including vulnerable groups of learners and use evidence based on national research to support narrowing gaps. (PP/FSM/EAL/Gender/SEND)

  • Keep the leadership team and governors fully informed, allowing them to make judgements about the effectiveness of the school.

  • To fulfil statutory requirements and ensure continuity within the school and nationally.

 

Assessment Approaches

Within school, both formative and summative types of assessment are used. 

There are 3 main forms of assessment, each with its own purpose:

  1. Day-to-day formative assessment – this is used by teaching staff to inform teaching on a daily basis

  2. In-school summative assessment – to understand pupils’ performance at the end of a period of teaching.

  3. National statutory summative assessment – to understand pupil performance in relation to national expectations and comparisons.

The outline of the types and frequency of assessments carried out throughout the school can be found in the Whole School Assessment Overview (Appendix A)

 

Summative Assessments

At the end of the year, teachers in Years 1, 3, 4 and 5, assess using ‘teacher judgement’ based on work carried out over the course of the year, linked to Target Tracker statements and KPIs (Key performance indicators) from the National curriculum, as well as through use of professionally produced written assessments.

 

Collecting and Using Data

Attainment and Progress

Attainment and progress data collected half termly in order to ensure pupils are on track for meeting ARE and GDS targets and to ensure suitable progress is being made. This information is fed into ‘ARE Milestones’ (example in Appendix C)- a document which sets small, achievable targets in order to reach end-of-year targets. Within this document, attainment and progress is outlined for core groups of pupils and outcomes are rag rated according to the following colours:

Red - Serious concern - significantly below set targets

Yellow - Cause for concern - below set targets

Green - Good - broadly in line with set targets

Blue -Outstanding - above set targets

 

Targets and Progress

Each child is set their own individual target in Mathematics and English, depending on their ability and calculated progress – considering historical information as well as teacher assessment and school targets set for ARE and GDS. 

The phase leaders, year leaders and assessment coordinator - with class teachers - discuss each individual child’s progress termly in a ‘Pupil Progress and Attainment’ meetings and set challenging yet realistic targets for each child for the following term. If there are any children who are not on track to achieve their target, interventions and further provision is then considered. The Senior leadership and Headteacher have termly meetings where pupil progress is discussed, reported, planned and this is reported to the performance committee of the Governing body.  

In addition to this, phase leaders, the school Inclusion Leader, SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator), Pupil Premium Leader, HLP leader and EAL leader will ensure the provision for each group and individual pupils, ensuring suitable progress is being made.

 

Greater Depth Standard Tracking

The HLP leader tracks the half termly performance of those who achieved GDS in KS1. This is to ensure these pupils are making suitable progress. If pupils are not maintaining the GD standard, the HLP leader will support teachers to ensure the learning opportunities through provision provide enough challenge to accelerate learning to a GD standard.

 

Combined Tracker

Once half termly summative data is collected, combined trackers are used to complete an analysis of where attainment is in relation to combined subjects: Reading, Writing and Mathematics. This enables teachers and leaders to target pupils who are ‘vulnerable’ in one or more subjects, ensuring not only attainment in individual subjects, but across combined subjects.

 

Individual Pupil Plans

Pupil plans are used to target specific vulnerable groups of pupils and pastoral elements that affect academic attainment. These include pupil premium (PP) plans, attendance plans and behaviour plans. Further information for these can be found in the relevant policies.

 

Summary of Data Collected and Purpose

Data collected

Purpose

Half termly assessment of statements and bands on Target Tracker completed by teachers

To ensure coverage of the curriculum, attainment of KPIs, standard of ARE achievement by year group and to identify individual pupils’ attainment

Termly test results collected in core subjects using PiXL assessments

To monitor ability and confidence to transfer knowledge to test style questions. To identify areas of support needed

ARE Milestones– a record of each year groups termly achievements in the core subjects (English - Reading, Writing and GPS; Maths and Science)

To break end-of-year targets into smaller, achievable steps. To monitor attainment towards end of year targets in order to focus upon specific pupils

Targets– children will be set end of year targets at the end of each year in the core subjects. Individual targets will also be set and recorded

To ensure all pupils are progressing towards their end of year targets, in relation to historical data

Combined Tracker

To ensure attainment across combined subjects and target pupils who are vulnerable in specific subjects

PIVATS used alongside Big Strides books to support progress of SEND

To set realistic, achievable and progressive targets suited to individual needs

Individual Pupil Plans: attendance, behaviour, pupil premium plans

To set individual targets for vulnerable pupils to ensure accelerated progress. 


 

Inclusion and Additional Support

The principles of this assessment policy apply to all pupils, including those with special educational needs or disabilities. 

Assessment will be used diagnostically to contribute to the early and accurate identification of pupils’ special educational needs and any requirements for support and intervention. 

We will use meaningful ways of measuring all aspects of progress, including communication, social skills, physical development, resilience and independence. We will have the same high expectations of all pupils. However, this should account for the amount of effort the pupil puts in as well as the outcomes achieved. 

For pupils working below the national expected level of attainment, our assessment arrangements will consider progress relative to pupil starting points, and take this into account alongside the nature of pupils’ learning difficulties.  

 

Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

Teachers will look closely at their own class outcomes and use these to make provisions for future teaching and learning. Children who are performing ‘well below’ Age Related Expectations will be targeted for further support. Any child who is consistently under-performing will be brought to the attention of the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) and either put forward as a concern, or placed directly on the SEN register so that ‘Big Strides’ can be put into place to provide support for the child. 

 

The SENCO will then, in conjunction with the class teacher, monitor the progress of any children who are placed on the register. Conducting regular assessments will enable early identification of children who are experiencing problems with the view of putting intervention into place as quickly as possible. These interventions are outlined on the ‘Big Strides’ targets.  These, together with ‘Big Strides’ evidence books are shared with parents during parents consultation meeting. Please see SEND policy for more details on this.

 

English as an Additional Language

All children will have access to the curriculum and assessment procedures. Teachers will adapt assessment procedures accordingly for children who have EAL. No child should be prejudiced from showing his/her true ability. Children who need additional support to carry out tests (other than English) should receive reading support from an adult when assessments are being carried out. For pupils who join Southfields Primary school with EAL, teachers will follow the EAL assessment framework to assess the standard and monitor the progress of each pupil.

 

Other Vulnerable groups

In addition to this, we use individual Pupil Premium plans, to outline additional support provided to children who trigger the pupil premium funding, as well as to account for spending to raise standards. These are also shared with parents. Furthermore, through the welfare team, behaviour and attendance plans are completed to ensure the needs of the ‘complete’ child are being met, thus impacting upon improving standards and progress.

 

Training

All teachers are kept up to date with developments in assessment practice through weekly staff meetings. Staff meetings are set aside for assessment updates and also to moderate work. The SMT plan these in accordance with the School Development Plan.  Continued Professional Development will focus on improving the standards and quality of teaching and learning. 

CPD planning will be based on: 

  • The needs of the school, as identified through self-evaluation 

  • Issues identified through monitoring and observations

  • National and local priorities 

  • Performance management 

  • Staff feedback 

 

All CPD opportunities must: 

  • Meet identified individual, school or national development priorities 

  • Be based on good practice with regards to teaching and learning

 

Monitoring and Moderation

For assessment to be valuable, it needs to be accurate and consistent throughout the school. To ensure this is the case, we carry out many moderation exercises internally and this is validated through external moderation.

Internal Moderation

  • Learning Walks - these are completed by year leaders, phase leaders, subject leaders, the deputy head and the headteacher. Findings are fed back to whole teams in order to share good practice and improve standards across the school. It is expected that at least 

  • Formal Observations - these are completed by the senior leadership team to monitor the standard of teaching, inform performance reviews and address areas of need according to school priorities.

  • Book Scrutinies - these are completed in many layers to monitor a range of elements: consistency within a year group; suitable year group expectations; necessary support for those who require it; and standards of marking and presentation. These are done within year groups, phases, in senior management meetings, by subject/area leaders, 

  • Lines of Enquiry - leaders follow various lines of enquiry to ensure focus upon specific areas. The outcomes of other forms of moderation, as well as data, informs the themes of the lines of enquiries.

  • Planning Scrutinies - leaders complete planning scrutinies to ensure coverage of the national curriculum, progression of skills, provision for specific groups of pupils, suitable support and challenge as well as opportunities for formative assessment through Blooms questioning.

 

External Moderation 

  • Triad moderation - visits and book moderations are completed with other schools to share best practice and to verify moderation with other schools.

  • Local Authority moderation - teachers from year 2 and year 6 attend training sessions hosted by the local authority to ensure end of key stage assessment judgements are accurate and enough independent evidence is collected in order to inform teacher assessment. 

  • External Professionals - according to school priorities, external professionals carry out whole school training sessions, team teaching sessions, training for SMT and provide advice on how to improve standards of teaching and learning.

 

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  • Ofsted Outstanding 2011|2012
  • Ofsted Outstanding 2008|2009
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  • Leeds Inclusion Chartermark
  • Arts Council England
  • Financial Management Standard in Schools
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