Assessment and Reporting
At Whitchurch effective assessment is essential to quality teaching and learning. Regular feedback given to children on their learning helps them to understand how to be successful, reflect on what they have achieved and consider what they need to do to improve further. Good assessment practice ensures lesson planning is relevant and is based on a sound knowledge of the pupils’ learning needs, attainment, and progress. Reporting to parents at mid-year parents’ evenings and in writing at the end of the year ensures that teachers, pupils and parents are working together to raise the achievement of our children and to maintain high standards.
Detailed analysis of assessment information plays a crucial role in school self-evaluation by identifying areas of strength and weakness at an individual, group, class, year group and whole school level. This information then guides strategic planning at these levels. This analysis is also essential in enabling governors and external assessors to have a clear understanding of the performance of pupils at this school.
Assessment at Whitchurch
Pupils are formally assessed three times a year and their progress in the core subjects – Mathematics, Reading, Writing, and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) – are reported at the end of each term. Pupils in Years 2 and 6 also sit Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs) in the Summer Term. The Summer Term’s report is an extended report covering all subjects including pupils SATs results for Years 2 and 6.
Although we share pupils’ test results with parents on request, we wish to reinforce the fact that test results, on their own, are not sufficiently reliable when measuring a pupil’s overall achievement in a subject. Teacher assessment is much more reliable, and our teachers use a range of assessment tools and materials to inform their assessment of a pupil’s performance. These include:
- An analysis of a pupil’s work in books
- Discussions with pupils in class
- The results of class tests/published tests for termly objectives/topics
- On-going focused marking of written work
- Observations of pupils working independently and in collaboration with peers
Assessment in EYFS
Assessment in the EYFS is of two main types – on-going assessment which is what practitioners do on a daily basis to make decisions about what the child has learned or can do already so as to help the child move on in their learning – this is sometimes called ‘formative’ assessment because it informs the next steps that are planned with the child and the parent.
Practitioners use a range of assessment tools and materials to inform their assessment of a pupil’s performance. These include:
- An analysis of pupils work in their learning journals and books
- Their observations of pupil’s play and exploration of their learning environment
- Discussions with pupils in class
- Discussion with parents on children’s progress at home
Another type of assessment known as ‘summative’ assessment takes place termly – outcomes of these assessments are recorded and practitioners use the information gained to identify a child’s strengths and their learning needs. The final assessment takes place towards the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage when children are in the final term of the reception class. This ‘sums up’ all the different information from on-going assessments that have been made about the child. This information is added to a record of children’s achievement which is related to the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) – showing the levels different children have achieved in the seven areas of learning and development.
Home visits are carried out at the start of the Autumn Term and the visit lasts about half an hour. Practitioners gather information and answer any questions that parents may have about them starting Reception and Nursery. This information is then used to inform our baseline assessments.
How we use Assessment
We use assessment in three ways:
(i) Assessment of Learning (Summative)
Assessment of learning is any assessment that summarises where learners are at a given point in time – it provides a snapshot of what has been learned (in terms of both attainment and achievement).
(ii) Assessment for Learning (Formative)
“Assessment for Learning is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.” (Primary Framework, 2007).
(iii) Assessment as Learning
“Students as active, engaged and critical assessors, can make sense of information, relate it to prior knowledge, and master the skills involved. This is the regulatory process in metacognition. It occurs when students personally monitor what they are learning and use the feedback from this monitoring to make adjustment, adaptations and even major changes in what they understand. Assessment as learning is the ultimate goal, where students are their own best assessors.” (Lorna Earl, Using Classroom Assessment to Maximise Student Learning, 2003).
We use the following terms to describe pupils’ attainment against the End of Year Expectations (from the National Curriculum) for each associated year group. These are:
- Emerging: Below Age Related Expectations
- Developing: Working Towards Age Related Expectations
- Secure: At National Age Related Expectations
- Mastered: Above National Age Related Expectations
End of Year Expectations (Years 1 to 6)
Parents Evening and Reports
In the Autumn Term, parents’ evening involves an initial meeting to ensure pupils are settling into their new year groups. Appointments are in five minute slots with the class teacher. Should, at the end of the appointment, parents feel that a longer appointment is needed, this should be arranged with the class teacher.
Parents will receive their child’s first data report which provides information about each child’s progress towards their targets in the core subjects from the assessments held at the end of the Autumn Term. This term parents are given a 10 minute slot to discuss their child’s progress with the class teacher. A second data report is sent home which reports on the end of the Spring Term assessments.
Final reports are sent to parents, including each child’s third and final data set for core subjects, plus information about progress in all other subjects. The school will hold an opening evening towards the end of the Summer Term, where parents can look at books or come in to informally meet their child’s new teacher for September.
Should parents wish to meet their child’s teacher at any time, or have any concerns, appointments to meet teachers can be made at any time via the homework diary or the school office.
Parent Meetings in EYFS
These are held twice a year, at the start of the Spring Term and the start of the Summer Term.
Parents can meet teachers informally throughout the year to discuss children’s ongoing progress.
Reports are given out highlighting children’s progress and next steps. An end of year report is given at the end of the Summer Term, which is related to the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) – showing the levels different children have achieved in the seven areas of learning and development.