In September 2014, schools nationally moved away from the previous system of Levels as a way to measure attainment and progress. Instead of presenting another model that all schools had to adopt, the Department for Education (DfE) gave all schools autonomy in designing their own assessment system. This coincided with schools also being given greater freedom to shape their curriculum.
St Johns has adopted the Hampshire model of assessment for tracking attainment and progress. This model follows the principle of arranging the key objectives from the national curriculum for a given year group in three phases. Teachers assess where children are in November, February and April. The summer term is then spent consolidating the work of all three phases ready for a final judgement in July. At the bottom of this page you can access the Hampshire documents which detail these phases.
The school provides a final written report to parents in the July which summarises where their child is in relation to end of year expectations for their year group. Their progress towards this will also have been discussed at the October and February Parents’ Evenings.
All schools are required to work with the DfE to take summative snapshots of attainment and progress throughout a child’s time in primary school. Much of this is based on teacher assessment, particularly in Year R and at the end of Year 2. However, there are statutory tasks that children have to undertake for Phonics in Year 1 (carried out 1 to 1 with an adult) and for Maths, Reading and for Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation at the end of Year 6 in the form of written tests. Further tasks are provided to inform teacher assessments at the end of Year 2. Details of our school’s results can be found on the School Performance page of this site.
However, assessment is much more than just summative judgements made at the end of a unit or year of work. Our staff have formative assessment at the heart of what they do in the classroom. This is assessment which informs a learner’s next steps, either in that lesson or for the next day. It enables the learner to know where they are, where they need to get to and, perhaps most crucially, how they are going to get there. This is known as Assessment for Learning and is all about a dialogue between the teacher and the pupil. Our Feedback Policy is a useful place to start to learn more about we communicate between adult and child in school.
Children are creators of evidence and teachers don’t need to rely on formal tests to make judgements as to how well a child is doing. Observation, careful questioning and thoughtful task design mean that tests are not a staple part of our children’s diet.
Year R follow the Early Years Foundation Stage and children are assessed, through teacher observation, if they have met the Early Learning Goals.