…‘assessment’ refers to all those activities undertaken by teachers, and by their students in assessing themselves, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged.
(Black and Wiliam, 1998, Inside the Black Box, nfer Nelson)
At Archdeacon Cambridge’s we track progress during lessons through observation, questioning, dialogue and responses from pupils. Children also feed back to the adults and to the class during lessons explaining, summarising and extending ideas. Written work too provides an opportunity for teachers and children to assess progress and ascertain whether learning objectives have been met. Following marking or discussion, teachers feed back to pupils to provide them with a picture of what they have done well and what needs to be improved.
There are three broad assessment routines:
Day to day (formative):
- Involves sharing learning goals with learners (e.g. success criteria, curricular targets).
- Involves learners in peer assessment and self-assessment.
- Provides feedback that helps learners recognise the next steps they need to take, and how to take them.
- Informs planning.
Day to day assessment is an essential part of learning. It provides ongoing checks on learning and progress at the point of learning and takes place in all lessons through questioning, dialogue, discussion, observation and oral and written feedback and is underpinned by the confidence that every learner can improve.
Periodic assessment (summative):
- Uses teacher assessment and tests to make a periodic review of progress and attainment.
- Identifies gaps in experience and informs planning.
- Helps learners know and recognise the standards they are aiming for.
- Involves both learner and teacher, reviewing and reflecting on the evidence of attainment.
Periodic assessment gives an overview of progress and provides diagnostic information (which is linked to national standards) about individual children. Periodic assessment takes place in the core subjects every term. Optional or past QCA test materials, NFER reading and Young’s Spelling materials are used. In line with current National Standard Test practice, children in Key Stage 2 are formally assessed, at the end of a school year, in Reading Comprehension and Maths. There is no formal test of Writing. However, a periodic review of Writing takes place during Assess and Review Week.
- brings together a range of evidence, including tests, to reach a view of attainment.
- is externally validated and externally communicated.
- is set within the framework of national standards.
Transitional assessment provides a summary of where learners are at a given point in time, in relation to national standards. It takes place at the end of Early Years Foundation Stage, using the Early Years Foundation Stage profile. At the end of Key Stage 1 and at the end of Key Stage 2 National Standard Assessment Tests are used in conjunction with Teacher Assessment.
Individual pupil progress
Data from assessments is used to track individual progress. Every class teacher has a termly meeting with the Headteacher to discuss individual pupil progress.
In Early Years and Foundation Stage, as with all areas of child development children have their own individual profiles. Throughout Nursery and Reception, ongoing planned and incidental observation takes place and evidence of independent and adult directed work is evaluated and progress towards the EYFS ELG (Early Years Foundation Stage Early Learning Goals) is tracked. Observation notes are entered into individual tracking booklets covering all areas of learning. The booklets are started in Nursery and completed in Reception. Staff receive a Nursery Transfer Summary from other settings and begin tracking children from when they join us in Reception. Children’s ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ are also observed and a comment is made in their end of year written report.
From Reception onwards, Pupil Progress meetings between parents and teachers take place in the autumn and spring terms and a written report summarising progress for the year is sent home in July. If a teacher feels a child is not making enough progress in any particular area of the curriculum, additional school support is provided and its impact measured. Should concerns remain, parents are invited in to school to discuss how the school and home can work together to help the child or if outside agency expertise is needed. Leaders at the school review progress regularly and adjust the use of adult support as necessary.