How we assess our children

Our Assessment Principles

Our approach to assessment empowers schools to assess the core fundamentals underpinning a child’s entitlement within each key stage. The fundamentals are based upon the National Curriculum statutory outcomes for Year 2,4,6 and advised outcomes for 1,3,5. Therefore in each year and core subject there is a clear assessment criteria.

The rationale for ‘securing the fundamentals’ is drawn upon the DfE guidance for the 2014 Curriculum and assessment beyond levels. In order to ensure children are well prepared for the next stage in their education, there are fundamentals in learning that must be achieved within each key stage. The 2014 National Curriculum has narrowed and is viewed as a list of fundamentals. We view all of these fundamentals as non-negotiable and the following guidance on using the tracking tool crystallise this principle. The tool equips teachers and leaders with an immediate overview of what the child has and has not learnt. Further, as the assessment approach develops, children will be active participants in using the tool and will fully assess their learning. The fundamentals are broad objectives which provide freedom to teachers and schools in how the curriculum is organised and the sequencing of learning opportunities.

What are The Fundamentals?

The Fundamentals are a set of key assessment statements from the National Curriculum.

There are Fundamentals for reading, writing and maths.

Children must secure The Fundamentals so that they are ready for the next stage of their learning. Children must have attained 100% of The Fundamentals in their year group by the end of the academic year in order for them to have reached Expected Standard.

Securing The Fundamentals There is an individual tracking tool for reading, writing and maths which enables teachers and leaders to track progress from Year 1 to Year 6. In each subject and in each year there are a set of clear objectives that a child must learn to be ready to access the next year of study. Each objective is weighted equally. However, the number of objectives in each strand will depend on the year group. Further, the objectives have been deliberately presented within circles to highlight the cycles of learning and move away from a purely linear view of learning and progression. Our model is based upon consolidation, revisiting and expansion of skills and knowledge. With the exception of children with complex SEND needs, it is our ambition and belief that all children should achieve all of the objectives within each year and subject: therefore securing The Fundamentals.

Maths Each objective in maths carries a weighting of 5% and strands are proportioned to the skills and knowledge that will underpin further success. This is reflected in number and place value. There are objectives for ‘being a mathematician’ in each group to allow for assessment of the application of skills and knowledge to develop problem solving and reasoning.

Writing Each objective in writing carries a weighting of 4% and strands are proportioned to the skills and knowledge that will underpin further success. To reflect the 2014 curriculum there is significant coverage

of spelling, punctuation, grammar and transcription. However, to be principled, the objectives for composition (being a writer) are given appropriate representation throughout the tool.

Reading Each objective in reading carries a weighting of 5% and strands are proportioned to the skills and knowledge that will underpin further success. Additionally, the proportions change depending on the year group: For example, there is a decrease in the proportion of objectives for word reading in KS2. It is important to note that in KS1, teachers should ensure that children are assessed using a text that enables the child to demonstrate their skills and knowledge whilst reading an age appropriate text. There is guidance on how to select age appropriate texts using coloured book bands. There are objectives for ‘being a reader’ in each group to allow for assessment of application of skills and knowledge and to assess how well children are reading for pleasure.

Making a judgement about pupil outcomes

Teachers will make two judgements about pupil outcomes

• attainment judgement

• progress judgement

Attainment- What language do we use to describe pupil attainment?

Above Expected Standard (AES)- A pupil will be reported to be above expected standard when in addition to working at greater depth within the subject they have also attained The Fundamentals of the year group above. Very few children will be assessed as AES, perhaps one every few years. These children will sometimes join the year group above their chronological age for lessons eg maths.

Greater Depth within Expected Standard (GDES)-A pupil will be reported to be at greater depth within expected standard when they have attained 100% of The Fundamentals for that year group and understand them in great depth.

At Expected Standard (ES)-A pupil will be reported to be at expected standard if they have attained 100% of The Fundamentals for that year group.

Working Towards Expected Standard (WTES)-A pupil will be reported to be working towards expected standard if they have not yet attained 100% of The Fundamentals for that year group.

Below Expected Standard (BES)-A pupil will be reported to be below expected standard if they have not attained any of The Fundamentals for that year group and subject. In addition to BNS teachers should record the year group that the child is working at in terms of national standard eg a year 5 child might be assessed as Maths Y3NS. P levels may also be used.

Progress- What language do we use to describe pupil progress?

In the Outstanding category, Ofsted describe progress as ‘substantial and sustained, developing excellent, understanding, knowledge and skills, considering their different starting points.’ and ‘above national average from starting points’ or ‘high compared with national figures’

In the Good category, Ofsted describe progress as ‘consistently strong, developing secure knowledge, understanding and skills, considering their different starting points’ and ‘above average or improving from different starting points’, ‘Progress in English and maths is close to or above national figures’

In the Inadequate category, Ofsted describe progress as ‘pupils underachieving considerably from different starting points’ and ‘progress from different starting points is consistently low and shows little improvement’

Obviously, where we have national data and we are making comparisons we can use some of these phrases. However, which words might we usefully use where we want to describe pupil progress, but are not making national comparisons?

Experience has taught us that it is usually sensible to use language that mirrors Ofsted language to that we are able to communicate effectively and reduce misunderstanding J

Where teacher assessment data from pupil observations, tests, work scrutiny etc suggest that a pupil has moved securely from Expected Standard to Expected Standard, we might describe this progress as ‘strong progress’.

Where teacher assessment data from pupil observations, tests, work scrutiny etc suggests that progress has been better than ‘strong’ the teacher might describe this progress as ‘substantial and sustained progress’. Progress in this case would have to demonstrate excellent understanding, knowledge and skills.

Where teacher assessment data from pupil observations, tests, work scrutiny etc suggests that progress has not been ‘strong’ the teacher might describe this progress as ‘insufficient’ in the following way ‘John has made insufficient progress in reading this year, showing not enough improvement in his reading skills’ 

Measuring pupil progress from the end of Year 2 to the end of Y6

There is a national formula in place to measure progress from the end of Year 2 to the end of Year 6. This measure compares pupil progress with pupils with similar starting points nationally.