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SCHOOL POLICIES
Assessment Policy



Rationale

Assessment lies at the heart of the process of promoting student’s learning. It provides a framework within which educational objectives may be set and student’s progress expressed and monitored.

Assessment should be incorporated systematically into teaching strategies in order to diagnose any problems and record and monitor progress. It helps the school to strengthen learning across the curriculum and helps teachers to enhance their skills and judgments.

 

Aims

To provide evidence of achievement and progress

To monitor development against expectations and standards (internal or external)

To gather information on all aspects of children’s development

To ensure that difficulties are highlighted and appropriate steps put into place

To inform planning

Through our assessment system we will be able to answer two key questions:

    What do pupils know/can do and what don’t they know/can’t do yet?
    Are pupils making good progress?

If we have high expectations and aspirations for all of our pupils and are able, at any point, to answer the first question, we can be responsive to the needs of our pupils and ensure they have the knowledge, skills and opportunities to practice. If we do this well, pupils will make good progress and achieve their potential at the end each year.
Roles and Responsibilities

The overall responsibility for assessment belongs to the Head teacher. This responsibility will also be shared wit the Deputy Head teacher, Class teachers are responsible for assessment of the children in their care and curriculum.

 

 

Procedures

Observations, ongoing and specific, of all children provide evidence for the recording framework

All observations should be objective and not interpreted subjectively by the observer

Staff to ‘assess’ at different times to monitor learning effectively

A variety of approaches and range of evidence should be gathered to fit different kinds of learning

Skills, attitudes, concepts and knowledge should all be monitored

Summaries should give an accurate and reliable account of learning at points of transition

Staff should understand what we are assessing and why

 

Principles underpinning assessment

The principles that should underpin assessment of young children’s learning and development are as follows.

    Reliable and accurate assessment should be based primarily on the practitioner’s knowledge of the child, gained predominantly from observation and interaction in a range of daily activities and events.
    A well-thought-through pedagogy must be in place so that the provision enables each child to demonstrate their learning and development fully.
    Practitioners should be looking for evidence of ‘embedded learning’ – this is identified by assessing what a child can do consistently and independently in a range of everyday situations.
    An effective assessment should present a holistic view of a child’s learning and development.

 
Forms of Assessment
Day-to-day In-School Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is carried out by teachers every day in every lesson. It allows teachers to understand pupil performance on a continuing basis. This type of assessment is used to assess knowledge, skills and understanding, and is used to identify gaps and misconceptions. It enables teachers to identify when pupils are struggling, when they have consolidated learning and when they are ready to progress. It also enables teachers to identify if children are working at greater depth.  Teachers are then able to provide appropriate support or extension as necessary. The methods of formative assessment we use include; the use of pertinent questioning, marking of pupils’ work using our marking guidelines (see marking policy) and observational assessment. Formative assessment enables teachers to evaluate teaching of particular objectives of the curriculum and plan future lessons accordingly. For pupils, formative assessment helps them to measure their knowledge and understanding against the lesson objective and success criteria. They can then identify how they can improve.
Local In-School Summative Assessment

Local Summative assessment enables teachers to evaluate both pupil learning and the impact of their own teaching at the end of a period of time. It provides evidence of achievement against the objectives of the curriculum. It is useful in informing teaching and learning in subsequent lessons. This type of assessment is shared with parents at parent/teacher consultations and enables them to support their child’s learning. In Writing, teachers plan for a ‘Big Write’ at appropriate times in the term. In Maths, teachers use Abacus assessment resources alongside other bespoke assessment material to provide evidence of achievement against the curriculum objectives. In Reading, teachers use guided and shared reading sessions to record progress and achievements against the national curriculum objectives.  The progress of pupils with SEN and disabilities is reviewed and summative assessment adapted as necessary. Children who have not made expected progress or whom have fallen behind are targeted for interventions and rapid response work.

Teachers will review summative assessments in order to make a professional judgement on the progress pupils have made:

    From their starting point (this year or a previous year) – Have they demonstrated knowledge or skills that they did not in prior assessments?
    From the last summative assessment – Have they acquired the new knowledge and skills they have recently been taught?

Or simply:

    Have they got better at the old stuff?
    Have they learnt the new stuff?

Nationally Standardised Summative Assessment
Year 1 Phonics Screening Test

This test is administered internally. These results are then reported to the local authority and to parents.

 

 

What is observational assessment?

Observational assessment involves watching, listening and noting what children say and do as they play together, interact with adults and engage in everyday activities and experiences. From this you will be able to build up an understanding of individual children by seeing how they demonstrate their specific knowledge, skills and understanding. Each child will be different in this respect as everyone has their own unique way of approaching and building their learning.

Observational assessment is the key to understanding what children really know and can do, and it is the most reliable way of building up an accurate picture of a child’s development and learning.

How and when observations are made will vary depending on the circumstances, the child and the type of activity. Although some observations may be planned, there will be others that are more spontaneous and capture an important moment or event. The key to capturing these moments is to know the children well and to be aware of the sorts of things that are likely to spark their imagination. This also supports your planning, which will come from previous observations of young children’s interests and fascinations.

Evidence of attainment

The holistic nature of young children’s learning means that observations of everyday activities will provide evidence of attainment across many different areas of learning. This is where a thorough knowledge of the content of the EYFS Learning and Development Framework is essential. It is only through this that practitioners can be fully tuned-in to all the learning opportunities that present themselves in every setting on a daily basis.

Observational assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children or the production of large amounts of written records. The core skill practitioners need to develop is an appreciation of what is important and meaningful for any one child within the vast range of possible ‘observation opportunities’ available.
AWARDING A ‘WORKING AT’ GRADE WITHIN A LEVEL

Once the most appropriate descriptor has been identified it may then be necessary to identify whether a pupil is working at the top or bottom of that descriptor in order to award the relevant ‘working at grade’ (this is not necessary if a pupil fits the 2nd descriptor). In order to do this, teachers should use the formative scores they have collected in their mark books and the performance taken from summative assessments, along with their professional judgement, to make a decision. The key to successfully assigning pupil to the descriptor that best fits their current attainment is regular use of formative tools during lessons and moderation across departments

Using a well-thought-through pedagogical approach

Effective observational assessment, which involves noticing children’s interests, skills and knowledge, should be used to plan relevant and motivating learning experiences for each child. When children have access to a rich learning environment it provides them with the opportunities and conditions in which they can flourish in all aspects of their development.

Effectiveness of your assessment depends on

    your understanding of child development, including both the biological and cultural aspects, and how this impacts on the way you support children’s learning in your setting
    how well your approach to planning ensures a wide range of relevant, motivating, flexible and interesting opportunities for children
    how effectively your  environment  facilitates and encourages successful learning by all children in your setting, e.g. boys and girls, children with additional needs, children for whom English is not their home language or children who learn best when out of doors.
    how well all staff members understand the EYFS Framework and the principles behind the  observation and assessment policy
    the importance of high-quality adult interaction that is sensitive and adaptive to the needs of individual children.

A successful observation and assessment policy provides vital information to share with parents and with colleagues who may have responsibility for supporting the next stage in a child’s learning journey.

References

 Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Profile Handbook
Forms of Assessment
Day-to-day In-School Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is carried out by teachers every day in every lesson. It allows teachers to understand pupil performance on a continuing basis. This type of assessment is used to assess knowledge, skills and understanding, and is used to identify gaps and misconceptions. It enables teachers to identify when pupils are struggling, when they have consolidated learning and when they are ready to progress. It also enables teachers to identify if children are working at greater depth.  Teachers are then able to provide appropriate support or extension as necessary. The methods of formative assessment we use include; the use of pertinent questioning, marking of pupils’ work using our marking guidelines (see marking policy) and observational assessment. Formative assessment enables teachers to evaluate teaching of particular objectives of the curriculum and plan future lessons accordingly. For pupils, formative assessment helps them to measure their knowledge and understanding against the lesson objective and success criteria. They can then identify how they can improve.
Local In-School Summative Assessment

Local Summative assessment enables teachers to evaluate both pupil learning and the impact of their own teaching at the end of a period of time. It provides evidence of achievement against the objectives of the curriculum. It is useful in informing teaching and learning in subsequent lessons. This type of assessment is shared with parents at parent/teacher consultations and enables them to support their child’s learning. In Writing, teachers plan for a ‘Big Write’ at appropriate times in the term. In Maths, teachers use Abacus assessment resources alongside other bespoke assessment material to provide evidence of achievement against the curriculum objectives. In Reading, teachers use guided and shared reading sessions to record progress and achievements against the national curriculum objectives.  The progress of pupils with SEN and disabilities is reviewed and summative assessment adapted as necessary. Children who have not made expected progress or whom have fallen behind are targeted for interventions and rapid response work.

 

Teachers will review summative assessments in order to make a professional judgement on the progress pupils have made:

    From their starting point (this year or a previous year) – Have they demonstrated knowledge or skills that they did not in prior assessments?
    From the last summative assessment – Have they acquired the new knowledge and skills they have recently been taught?

Or simply:

    Have they got better at the old stuff?
    Have they learnt the new stuff

 
Assessment for Learning

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.

Assessment for learning is a key part of our approach to teaching and learning at IOANID International Preschool.  Staff use success criteria, peer marking and peer and self-assessment to involve pupils in their learning and to inform them of their next steps.  Assessment for Learning opportunities are identified in planning. Marking should be against the learning objective and should identify successes and areas for improvement.  Effective questioning is also used to inform assessments.
Accuracy and consistency of Judgements

Moderation is necessary to ensure accuracy and consistency of teachers’ judgements about standards. It is important to agree judgements if our decisions are to be given credence. Teachers will often share opinions informally with subject leaders and other colleagues to clarify ‘best fit’ judgements or for statutory teacher assessments. Professional Meetings are arranged for teachers to compare judgements and agree standards.  Our school also works with colleagues in our cluster to ensure that our judgements are accurate and consistent.

Staff training is arranged when there are changes to assessment processes to ensure all staff have a good understanding of assessment. Staff members attend training and cluster meetings for their subject to ensure they stay abreast of good practice. Feedback from this training is shared with staff so that we continue to develop and improve our practice.
Target Setting

At the beginning and end of the academic year percentages of pupils expected to meet or exceed the national standards in English and Maths are set for children in Years 1. Short term (next steps) in writing, reading and maths are set in Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Years 1.  They are reviewed regularly.
Foundation Stage Assessments

The Foundation Stage Profile is an ongoing assessment, which is completed throughout the reception year. Written information and record sheets are passed from the nurseries to the EYFS2 class teacher and from EYFS2 to Year one. The EYFS teacher meets with the Headteacher or Deputy Head to discuss the children’s progress at termly PPM meetings.

The Foundation Stage Learning Journey begins in Catkins, added to each term, and completed by the end of the EYFS year. On entry to EYFS, the seven areas of learning are assessed using Development Matters statements to develop an initial overview of children’s abilities.  These seven areas of learning are then regularly assessed through both teacher and child initiated activities in the form of observations and evaluations.  These assessments are then inputted into the Foundation Stage Learning journey each term and progress tracked over the year.
Records

School Pupil Tracker Online assessment documents are used as an aid to effective planning. The progress of children receiving extra support is monitored by the member of staff delivering the support.  Teaching assistants report on assessment outcomes to the class teacher, who then reports to the Head of school.

The above records enable the class teacher to assess the progress made by each child and are an important part of the formative assessment needed for future planning.
Curriculum Links

Assessment is an integral part of curriculum delivery at IOANID Preschool International Education. Tracking of individual and class progress informs planning and enables systematic progression to be maintained. Assessment methods vary from formal testing to informal observation depending on the curriculum area. For example, in maths regular testing of subject knowledge is appropriate, whereas in art teachers will use their observations of children’s work to inform their judgements.
Monitoring

The Senior management monitor class assessment data (Excel Spread sheet) during the year. Monitoring of assessment and classroom practice will be carried out through lesson observations, book and planning scrutiny and pupil conferences. This includes monitoring of agreed assessment arrangements defined in this policy. Feedback, with necessary actions, is then provided to staff to ensure consistency across the school.

If required, staff meetings are held to discuss and review the procedures in the assessment policy.
Equal Opportunities

As outlined above, assessment plays an integral part in identifying the individual needs of all children. It enables children with special educational needs and disabilities, children who excel and children for whom English is an additional language to be given a differentiated curriculum which meets their needs. In addition, the assessment policy at our school ensures that identification of these children is systematic and effective.
Special Educational Needs and Disability

When assessment indicates a child may have Special Educational Needs or Disability, the Head of School is informed and the child‘s progress is carefully monitored.  Further assessment then takes place, as outlined in the SEND policy. When teachers assess a child with SEND they will draw upon any on-going formative and summative assessment. Where necessary, they will gain views from parents, the pupil and any external specialists.

Able, Gifted and Talented

Certain children have remarkably high academic ability in one or multiple fields, and that certain children have exceptional expressive or creative ability.

Our teachers are experienced and able to identify our Able, Gifted and Talented pupils and support them to ensure that their individual needs are met both within and outside the curriculum.

Identification

The school uses a range of agreed criteria and sources of evidence. These may include:

    Non-verbal reasoning tests
    Attributes and subject specific checklists
    Information from teachers, parents, carers and outside agencies
    Children’s work

We keep updated Learning Journeys where the children who show particular or general exceptional ability within the curriculum can be seen. Children do develop at different rates and comparisons between children should never be made.

Reporting to parents

Teachers will use day-to-day formative tools and regular summative assessments in order to identify a ‘working at grade’ for each pupil. We will discuss each child’s progress in our termly parent teacher meetings. Staff are prepared to make themselves available at the end of the school day to discuss parents’ concerns. If it is not possible to speak to a parent immediately a prompt appointment will be made. If a member of staff has concerns over a child they will contact the parents. Parents of children with IEPs may be given an additional opportunity to meet with staff.

This assessment system is designed to support teaching and learning, help teachers understand where pupils are at and if they are making progress against the curriculum objectives.

Updated on April 2019 to be reviewed on August 2020.