Assessment should have a positive effect on pupils’ attitudes, motivation and self-esteem. It should play an important part in raising standards.
The Headteacher will ensure that:
- pupils will only follow syllabuses or be entered for external examinations approved by the governing body; this includes registered pupils studying in other schools and colleges
- where a subject does not have national standards as a reference then school standards will be provided and standardised assessment will be used to inform teacher assessment of pupil progress
- national assessments are applied in accordance with the statutory framework
- all teachers receive training on how to use formative assessment to inform lesson planning – this will include setting learning objectives, observing pupils learning, discussion and questioning, and giving feedback
- marking of pupils’ learning complies with the school’s guidelines, and is used to motivate pupils and to provide them with specific guidance on what further learning is required
- a database of pupil attainment will be used to track individual progress, but information about individual pupils will only be made available to them or their parents/carers
- all pupils will receive a report for each subject once per year written in accordance with agreed procedures
- parents will be informed regularly about their child’s progress and annually about the results obtained in national assessments and examinations
- any changes required to this policy in the light of practice and changes in national requirements are reported to the governing body.
The School Management Team aims to:
- ensure that all teachers know what is expected of them as regards assessing pupils;
- support teachers in sharing this process with colleagues;
- help teachers make well-founded judgements about pupils’ attainments and progress;
- track the attainments and progress of individual pupils and pupil groups over time;
- provide parents with accurate information about their child’s attainments and progress;
- monitor practice in assessment and the use made of assessment information;
- collate information that enables the Governing Body to evaluate practice across the school;
- use assessment information when planning training and the deployment of resources;
- compare the progress made by different groups of pupils to ensure that no group is disadvantaged.
All staff are expected to ensure that:
- pupils are actively involved in learning and self-assessment of progress
- care is taken to ensure that assessment builds pupils’ motivation, confidence and self-esteem
- lessons begin with clear expectations, and learning objectives are shared with pupils. These are reviewed at the end of the lesson or series of lessons
- each pupil receives feedback about the standards of their work, although this may not always be in writing
- where work is marked this may show the standards reached against the national expectation if close to the end of a key stage, but it must always show what is required for the pupil to improve and move on to the next stage of learning
- all pupils agree personal attainment targets
- results of assessment are used to inform further planning and differentiation.
Pupils are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning through:
- assessing their own work and, where appropriate, the work of other pupils
- setting targets for their own learning as part of the school’s review and reporting system
- asking for help and advice in improving their work.
The governing body is responsible for:
- ensuring that the schools Annual Report to Parents includes information about the school’s National Curriculum assessment results as well as GCSE, AS and A Level results.
- that national comparative data is provided for similar schools and national averages.
Purpose of Assessment for Learning (AfL) over view
By assessing pupils accurately and consistently and recording key information we:
- build a clear picture of each pupil’s skills, knowledge, understanding and approaches to learning;
- identify each pupil’s strengths and the priority areas for their future learning;
- diagnose specific learning difficulties
- identify an appropriate curriculum for each pupil;
- identify “next steps” for each pupil and express these as clear learning objectives;
- identify the progress made in individual lessons or series of lessons;
- evaluate the progress that each pupil is making over time;
- evaluate and improve the teaching strategies used with each pupil;
- support pupils, where appropriate, to monitor their own learning;
- identify, celebrate and share achievement.
Why do we assess?
- To define each child’s ability: what the child knows, understands and can apply.
- To reveal children’s strengths and weaknesses.
- To ensure early identification of children with S.E.N
- To inform future planning and target setting: to ensure continuity and progression in our work with the children.
- To provide information on pupil’s basic skills
- To communicate accurate information about the child that is useful to teachers, pupils, parents, and other educational agencies.
- To comply with statutory requirements.
Strategies for assessment
- Observation – watching the children on task
- Questioning/discussion with the children
- Pupils self assessment
- Peer assessment
- Photographing/videoing/audio taping work in progress
- Examining children’s written work
- Marking children’s work, according to the school marking policy
- Teacher devised tests
- Statutory formal assessments:
- Baseline assessment at Year 9,
- Mock examinations Years 10, 11, 12 and 13
- Non-statutory tests such as CAT’s, NFER for tracking and target setting purposes.
The recording process is the responsibility of the Head of Department. The statutory requirements for assessment and reporting demand reliable and valid records to enable judgements to be made about pupil’s performance, progress and achievement.
- Recording should take place throughout the Key Stage.
- The recording systems should be manageable and effective.
- The format will be determined by the professional judgement of teachers in each department.
- Mechanisms should be in place, within a department, to allow transfer of assessment records between teachers.
- Records should assist the planning of future work and form the basis for decisions about the level of pupil achievement, particularly at the end of Key Stage 3.
- Records should enable each department to make a provisional judgement on a National Curriculum level, GCSE grade or A level grade for a pupil if requested by the Head of Year or other member of the senior team in response to a parental query.
- Records should enable teachers to identify whether or not a pupil is on course to achieve a target grade.
- Records are to be used to agree a current level for tracking purposes when required by the school assessment calendar.
Portfolios of evidence are to be available in all subject areas at KS3. These exemplification documents are updated with more relevant and current material on a regular basis as and when material is available.
They are used to illustrate school judgements of National Curriculum levels at KS3. They will contain evidence of work collected from all classes from Year 7 to Year 9, reflecting work from all ability ranges within the Key Stage. It will also be used as a tool to reflect on continuity and transition between our Primary feeder schools.
- Moderation of pupils work at KS3
Regular moderation takes place each term. Departmental meeting time is used to analyse pupil’s work against National Curriculum level descriptors and the skills based framework.
- Special Educational Needs and IEPs
Assessment should reflect the school policy on SEN.
Any children experiencing difficulty in making progress in line with expectations for their age will have an IEP. IEPs are reviewed regularly, to enable pupils to progress. Please see Mrs Leah Parry should you have any questions regarding SEN.
- Target Setting
Analysis of assessment data is made by the Senior Management team. Overall percentages are reported to governors, parents and the LEA. Targets based on National Curriculum levels are set in July for each child, for the end of the next academic year. When planning, consideration is made about how to deploy support staff. These targets are reviewed each term to ascertain if the children are ‘on track’ to achieve their targets.
These targets are shared with both children and parents. Students receive individual mentoring sessions with their form tutor based on their interim report and self assessment sheets linked to their targets for each academic subject.
Marking should be a regular and integral part of the assessment process:
- Pupils work should be marked regularly.
- The process should provide constructive written comments; praise wherever possible.
- Diagnostic comment should be included, enabling the pupil to know how he/she can improve. These comments should be meaningful to pupils.
- Weaknesses in language should be indicated.
- Spelling, punctuation and grammar should be corrected.
- Departments should ensure consistency by using collective marking sessions as a method of making decisions on standards.
- Head of department is to be responsible for ensuring standards are maintained.
All statutory requirements for reporting to parents are in place.
Reporting is achieved through;
- Parents Evenings
- Written Reports
Parents are invited to attend a parents’ evening, on one occasion during the school year at which parents can discuss progress and targets for their child with the subject teachers. Opportunity also exists during the evening for the parent to discuss the social and extra-curricular progress of their child with the Head of Year.
An additional parent’s evening is held for Year 7 pupils, early in the autumn term. This evening allows parents to receive feedback from their child’s Form Tutor as to their initial progress within KS3.
- Parents receive a written report on their child’s progress for the academic year, according to the reporting calendar. This is called the Annual Report and fulfils the requirements of the relevant legislation.
- Parents are given the opportunity to discuss the contents of the report by returning an attached request sheet.
- Interim reports are sent to parents of each year group according to the school assessment calendar. This report is called a Progress Report and will contain current attainment levels or grades as well as an effort mark.
- Monitoring of underachievement takes place on a regular basis. Parents of children highlighted as underachieving are contacted and support mechanisms are employed.
The School Assessment Calendar sets out the timetable for the written report arrangements.