Primary School Assessment Policy
We aim for high quality teaching and learning, and at the heart of this is effective assessment, underpinned by our belief that all pupils can succeed.
Aims and Principles of Assessment
- Silverline’s inclusive ethos promotes and values the opportunity for all children to be successful in their learning.
- Assessment is at the heart of the learning process, and provides valuable evidence to guide teaching and learning.
- High quality, in-depth teaching is supported and informed by quality formative assessment, ongoing in every lesson. Teachers respond accurately to the learning needs of each pupil, and with the contribution of support staff, give ongoing support to enable all pupils to make progress.
- Pupils will demonstrate what they know, understand and can do in their learning. They have an active role in identifying their own learning needs and know how to improve their work.
- Outcomes of formative and summative assessments enable teachers to judge whether pupils are on track to meet age-related expectations.
- Assessment should not seek to label children’s achievements but instead to remove the ceiling on attainment and support children in making the nest steps in their learning.
Assessment and the school curriculum
- The National Curriculum provides an outline of core knowledge around which teachers develop exciting and stimulating lessons to develop pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills.
- Following the removal of National Curriculum levels for the attainment and progress of children, schools have been given the opportunity to develop their own internal system that more closely support teaching and learning.
- Silverline has responded to these requirements and established a curriculum and assessment framework that ensures every pupil achieves their learning potential.
- Through tracking progress and attainment, our framework determines the extent to which pupils are meeting the requirements set out for their age group in reading, writing and maths for Key Stage 1 and 2.
Assessment at Silverline
We use two broad forms of assessment in Key Stage 1 and 2.
The vast majority of our assessment is ongoing, formative assessment that involves teachers giving feedback to pupils that relates to what they have achieved and and areas they need to improve on. It is an integral part of teaching and learning and creates a positive learning environment where pupils can see the steps necessary for their own success. It allows teachers to understand pupil performance on a continuing basis, enabling them to identify when pupils are struggling and need support to develop fluency, when they have consolidated learning and are ready to apply and when they are ready to be challenged at a deeper level to master the skill or concept. Formative assessment enables teachers to evaluate their own teaching of particular topics or concepts and to plan future learning accordingly. Teachers make professional judgements about pupils’ attainment against the objectives used within lessons. At Silverline, we recognise that this form of assessment is the most crucial in facilitating progress.
Examples of formative assessment
- Observing pupils whilst they are working.
- Asking probing, open ending questions to support or challenge.
- Verbal and written feedback to individuals and groups (see marking and feedback policy)
- Discussion with pupils.
- Discussion with other adults working with groups of children.
- Self and peer assessment against agreed criteria.
Teachers make use of in-school summative assessments to evaluate pupil learning and their own teaching in regular, agreed points throughout the year. It is recognised that, whilst useful, summative tests only provide a snapshot of performance at any given time. The paramount purpose of any assessment is to inform subsequent teaching and learning.
Examples of summative assessment
- Mid semester or end of semester assessments in reading, writing and maths.
- Reviews for SEN pupils to inform IEPs.
- End of year assessments.
Recording and reporting assessment outcomes
Outcomes of formative and summative assessments will be used in conjunction to determine attainment and progress throughout the year. Teachers are expected to know if pupils are on track to meet age-related expectations, whether they are where they should be, and are best placed to make such judgements through their professional skills and knowledge of the pupils. Staff meetings take place to moderate and standardise teacher judgements about pupil attainment. This challenging, yet supportive, opportunity allows a professional dialogue to develop consistent expectations within and across the school and supports teachers in making accurate and robust judgements.
Attainment and progress trackers are updated accordingly. Each year’s grid has steps that describe how secure the pupils are against the expectations for their chronological age. Pupil attainment and progress is shared with parents in parent-teacher open evenings, individual parent-teacher meetings, mid-semester reports and end of semester reports.
Pupils working outside of age-related expectations
Silverline is proud to be an inclusive school and we work hard to meet the needs of all our pupils. Class teachers are responsible and accountable for the progress and development of all pupils in their class. High quality teaching is available to all children, including those with additional needs. Where a child is not making expected progress, the class teacher will work alongside the Inclusion Co-ordinator, parents, and external agencies (where appropriate) to plan tailored support.
Some children may be significantly below their age related expectations because of their SEN. For such pupils, it is important to assess their learning using a wider range of tools. This may be different for every child and targets will be set that reflect their individual learning needs. Their IEP will detail specific targets for them to work on and progress will be reviewed against these in their IEP.