At Llangyfelach Primary School we believe effective assessment is at the heart of improving learning and teaching. It provides the basis of informed teaching, helping pupils to overcome difficulties and ensuring that teaching builds upon what has been learned. It is also the means by which pupils understand what they have achieved and what they need to work on. Our policy and practice aim to foster ‘assessment for learning’ but we also recognise the need for both formative and summative assessment because they fulfil different, parallel purposes.
Formative assessment creates a positive learning environment where children can see the steps necessary for their own success. It enables teachers to set appropriate work at the level necessary for the children’s continuing progress.
Summative assessment is important for accurate information regarding a child’s attainment and progress. It informs whole school target setting and tracking of cohort progress.
Aims and Objectives
To improve the quality of learning and teaching.
To raise the standards of achievement throughout the school.
To motivate and coach learners to make progress.
To involve the learners in their self-assessment.
To identify particular difficulties that learners may be encountering.
To maintain accurate assessments using our tracking systems in order to inform future planning.
To ensure consistency in assessing achievement and making judgements about the nature and quality of learners’ work.
To enable the active involvement of pupils in their own learning.
To enable teachers and other professionals to use assessment judgements to plan work that accurately reflects the needs of individual pupils.
To provide regular information for parents that enables them to support their child’s learning.
To provide the information that allows school leaders and governors to make judgements about the effectiveness of the school and to evaluate the school’s performance against its own previous attainment over time and against national standards.
These aims will be evident in planning, teaching and learning through the following features;
Key features of classroom practice:
to ensure that we have a clear picture of our pupils' knowledge, skill and their level of understanding;
to ensure pupils know the learning objectives of all lessons;
to ensure pupils receive and act on their oral and/or written feedback;
to reflect on our practice and challenge our own thinking;
to talk regularly with learners about their learning and listen to their responses;
to formally and informally assess the attainment of pupils and use these to deliver purposeful lessons with speed and challenge.
Key features of pupil behaviour:
enthusiastic, attentive, responsive and on task;
talking confidently and asking appropriate questions;
confident in asking for help and support;
aware of their achievements and what they need to do in order to improve;
knowledgeable about their learning.
Types of Assessment
At Llangyfelach Primary School, we use a combination of formative and summative assessment as outlined below:
Formative assessment is a powerful way of raising pupils’ achievement. It enables the learner and the teacher to understand what progress has been made and what goals should be set for further learning.
We believe that to improve learning and teaching, assessment must be essentially formative in both function and purpose, putting the children at the centre of the process. With this in mind we aim to embed formative assessment within our day to day teaching.
Formative assessments are used to:
identify children’s strengths and gaps in their skills/knowledge
identify next steps for learning
inform future planning
enable appropriate strategies to be employed
facilitate the setting of appropriate targets for the class, group, and individual
track the child’s rate of progress
facilitate an evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching and learning
inform future teaching and learning strategies
identify individuals and groups for specific intervention support.
Summative assessment is important for informing both parents and teachers of a child’s attainment and progress, whilst also help to track aspects of the progress of individuals through the school. Formal assessments can provide information to help us to group children according to ability where appropriate.
The statistics which are produced as a result of summative assessment can also enable us, as a school, to compare standards achieved with other similar schools, inform whole school target setting and prediction of a cohort’s future attainment.
identify attainment through one-off standardised tests at any given point in time
record performance in a specific area on a specific date
provide age standardised information
provide end of key stage test data against which the school will be judged
ensure statutory assessments at the end of Early Years, Foundation Phase and Key Stage 2 are met
provide information about cohort areas of strength and areas of development to build on in the future
Learning Objectives & Success Criteria
We believe that effective assessment of learning is dependent on learning objectives and success criteria being clear to both learners and teachers. Teachers assess the achievements of pupils against learning objectives taken directly from the National Curriculum Level Descriptors (via Incerts). Differentiated Learning Targets are identified in the weekly planning. Likewise, pupils are also encouraged to assess themselves against learning objectives and success criteria for the lesson. Learning objectives (LO) and success criteria (SC) are used to display the lesson focus, particularly with our older children. Learning Objectives are sometimes presented as an open question allowing the children reflect upon what they are learning as a lesson progresses.
The Role of the Teacher
When planning for learning, teachers consider carefully how opportunities for assessment can be built into classroom activities. Teachers give children a range of opportunities to express their understanding and demonstrate their skills. There are many ways in which pupils can communicate their understanding to the teacher and we consider each to be equally important in the right context. We believe it is important to ensure that all pupils participate actively in all lessons and we strive to ensure that we create the conditions for children to feel confident enough to do this.
As teachers we use our professional skills to engage children in dialogue which enables them to articulate their thinking and understanding. This is often achieved through asking questions which cause thinking. We aim to give children enough time to think about their answers so that we have a clear idea of their level of understanding. This is how we find out what their needs are.
We believe that this formative, interactive approach to assessment is a powerful means of building on children’s learning in an on-going way.
Marking and Feedback
Feedback is given to pupils throughout the day and within each lesson, feedback can be either verbal or written. All feedback is directly related to their performance against the learning objective and success criteria identified. It also focuses on the quality of children’s work, celebrates their achievements and gives advice on what the child can do to improve future work. The aim of this feedback is to encourage a ‘learning dialogue’ between teacher and pupil.
At Llangyfelach it has been agreed that we deliver Formative feedback in the following way:
Feedback relates to the learning intention and success criteria;
Identification of success is shared and where it has occurred;
Show where and how improvement could take place using, ‘closing the gap’ statements and prompts (see below);
Target for improvements set;
Allow time for pupils to make improvements; and
Start small – SMART Targets are essential to make the quickest gains!
Examples of differentiated ‘closing the gap’ statements:
A reminder prompt: is most suitable for able children.
‘Say more about how you feel about this person.’
A scaffold prompt: scaffolds the learning for children who need more support than a simple reminder.
‘Can you describe how this person is a ‘good friend’?
‘Describe something that happened that showed they are a good friend.’
An example prompt: can be extremely successful with all children, but especially with average or below average children.
‘Choose one of these or your own: “He is a good friend because he never says unkind things about me, or my friend is a friend because he never tells me lies.’”
The marking codes are displayed appropriately in all classes and also included on the inside cover of workbooks in order to provide guidance for learners. Where appropriate, good examples of pupils’ work are shared with the whole class. This enables pupils to understand what is expected of them.
Please see our Marking Policy for further information on this.
As part of our commitment to helping children to form good learning habits, we encourage pupils to reflect on their own learning. We believe that it is essential that children learn to gradually become more able to talk honestly about their own learning as they get older.
Pupils are regularly asked to assess their own progress against stated learning objectives, Success Criteria and against their personal targets (Pupil Learning Journal). This needs to be modelled for children from an early stage so that they feel able to acknowledge their achievements and strengths while at the same time identify areas in which they feel less confident and need to improve.
Please see our Assessment for Learning policy for further information on this.
We believe that children can begin to engage in informal peer assessment in primary school. As with self-assessment, giving feedback to peers is a difficult skill and so it is modelled by staff. In Key Stage 2, and when ready in Upper Foundation Phase, children are given guidance as to exactly what aspects of another child’s work to focus upon. Children become more skilled in peer assessment as they move through the school. In the Foundation Phase, peer assessment is undertaken verbally and is guided by the teacher.
Tracking pupil performance – pupil progress
The school is firmly committed to ensuring that all pupils make very good progress from their respective starting points when they join the school. Their performance is tracked - or followed, carefully - throughout their time here. The purpose of tracking pupil performance is to:
monitor academic standards
ensure that teachers always know the point that a pupil has reached in her learning
use this information to plan future learning that is pitched at an appropriate level of challenge
know which pupils require additional support (and intervene accordingly)
know which pupils require additional challenge (and provide this)
be aware of pupils’ rates of progress and consider the reasons for this.
This is achieved by following a ‘Plan - Teach - Assess’ process that allows us to have an up-to-date working knowledge of our children.
Within this process, Learning Targets are set (based on previous learning), taught at differentiated levels and assessed. Weekly PPA sessions allow teachers to assess learning, update pupil assessment records (Incerts) and plan the next round of Learning Targets. Every year, new pupils join at the start of, or within, an academic year, this process enables the teacher to quickly establish what point these children have reached in their learning. Subsequently, suitably ambitious pupil targets should be set throughout the academic year.
We aim to ensure that any recording of assessment is purposeful, manageable and informs teaching. We believe that excessive recording is not conducive to enabling teachers to make the most of their time with children in the classroom or of their preparation time.
Teachers use Incerts to record children’s achievements against learning targets. They also use Notes (within Incerts) where required, to provide depth to the assessments. Core subjects are assessed weekly, during PPA sessions, while foundation subjects are assessed when appropriate, in relation to the current Cornerstones topic. This on-going system allows teachers to have an up-to-date knowledge of each child.
In each year group, three pupils have been identified and their workbooks provide evidence of ongoing assessment and the progress being made. Each teacher maintains an electronic Teacher Record File that contains ongoing summative assessments for weekly spelling tests, weekly mental maths tests and individual reading records.
Area Leaders, Pupil Voice Groups and Link Governors monitor progress throughout the school during LPS Review Weeks. They provide action plans, targets for progress, collate evidence and write evaluative reports which feed into the LPS Self Evaluation Process. They upload their information on their relevant webpage area on the school website, in order to share with the whole community.
Standardisation and Moderation
Within each core subject, standardised examples of work provide a permanent point of reference to support all teachers in assessing children’s achievements. During the first ADDs session of each half-term teachers provide examples of levelled work in each of the core subjects. Examples of work and N.C. levels and/or Outcomes required are outlined in our Standardisation and Moderation Table. All staff agree on the Level/Outcome before the work is added to electronic standardisation folders.
In order to support assessments in the Foundation Phase Profile, Internal standardisation sessions take place within Foundation Phase staff meetings on a half termly basis. During which, examples of pupil work are analysed and discussed. All staff agree on the final Outcome of the work.
Internal standardisation is verified through our cluster standardisation and moderation sessions. These are undertaken with other schools in our cluster. At these meetings assessments of standards and levels achieved across all strands of each subject are discussed and agreed.
Early identification of children with additional educational needs is vital. Teacher observations, assessments, test data, information from outside agencies, individual plans, records from previous schools and information from parents provide an overall picture of a child's specific requirements to support their learning.
The school has also established a procedure for on-going diagnostic assessments and standardised tests. The school’s ALN Policy gives further details of the procedures for identification and assessment.
Foundation Phase Profile (Baseline Assessment)
The FPP provides a nationally consistent method for scoring the Foundation Phase outcomes and progress data. It will assess children’s abilities and development in 4 areas of learning:
As a key part of the Welsh Government’s Early Years Development and Assessment Framework, the FPP has been designed to line up with assessments carried out by health professionals. In this way it supports early identification of possible developmental delay, special education needs or additional learning needs and informs the provision of additional support for children who need it.
The Foundation Phase outcomes detailed in the FPP reflect the skills expressed in the revised areas of learning (including the LNF) for language, literacy and communication skills and mathematical development (statutory from September 2015) and those for personal and social development, well-being and cultural diversity, and physical development (published in 2008).
The Foundation Phase profile (FPP) supports summative assessments and will be used to support the statutory baseline assessment during Reception.
We also assess children on entry to Nursery during their first 6 weeks in order to provide a pre Reception Baseline. This provides the school with a value added measure of progress from entry to Reception, early identification of needs and specific areas for support. In order to support the accuracy and consistency of these assessments, the FP staff follow the standardisation and moderation procedures described above.
Formative assessment is complemented by summative assessments which help us to track the progress of children through the school. Where pupils appear to make less progress than expected, given past achievements, the school tries to intervene and support children to fulfil their potential.
A standardised reading test (NGRT) is carried out in September from Year 1 to Year 6. The information gained from these formal assessments assist us in identifying children who have a reading age below their chronological age. These children are then considered for reading support. All children are then re-tested in May and this information will indicate the progress made.
Statutory National Testing for both Literacy and Numeracy are carried out in May from Year 2 to Year 6. The results of these tests are considered appropriately to inform areas of whole school development.
We acknowledge that these tests do not necessarily present the ‘whole picture’ of a child’s progress in a curriculum area and teachers therefore supplement this information with their own observations.
Whole school target setting procedures
The school aims set realistic and challenging target for each cohort. All staff set End of Phase targets at the beginning of each academic year, these are then reviewed as at set times during the year. To enable the setting of performance data targets, we use a combination of teacher and National Test standardised assessment. Both National Test standardised scores as well as teacher assessment are used to provide a rounded picture of a child’s achievements, based on professional judgment.
Reports to parents are given verbally at parents’ evenings twice a year (Autumn and Spring term) along with written information on the children’s attainment and their targets. A comprehensive written report is provided at the end of the summer term. The reports are written in a clear, straightforward manner and are personal to the child. They inform parents of: -
Whether the child is happy, settled and behaving well.
Their child’s strengths and any particular achievements.
How their child is performing in relation to national standards.
Areas of development and improvement.
How they can help.
While supportive and constructive comments are made for every child, where there are difficulties this is communicated explicitly to parents from an early stage. Copies of reports are also available to subsequent class teachers as they are a valuable source of information.
It is important to acknowledge that this policy informs all subject policies within which further detail on assessment procedures can be found.
This policy was created December2013 and will be reviewed annually.
Next Review Date: