Assessment at St Andrew’s CE Primary School.
Assessing our pupils to identify gaps in their knowledge, skills and development is an essential part of teaching and learning here at St Andrew’s. Once we know what a child can and can’t do, we can make sure we teach the knowledge and skills not yet known and celebrate every success.
How do we assess our pupils?
Teachers and teaching assistants assess pupils informally every day, making observations and taking notes in each lesson, identifying the strengths and areas of development for each child. Children’s work is marked regularly to see what each child achieved in the lesson. These observations are used to help teachers plan a child’s learning journey and make sure he/she makes progress.
Assessment tests in phonics, maths, reading, writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) take place at least once a term. For some tests, such as reading, maths and GPS, a ‘standardised score’ is generated. Where a child scores 100 he/she is said to be working at the standard expected of a child his/her age. Scores over 110 indicate the child is working above the expected standard and scores below indicate the child has not yet reached the standard. Test papers are also analysed again to enable teachers to see what a child can do in a test and what he/she found more difficult.
Information on test outcomes are shared with parents/carers at our termly parents’ evenings or in our end of year reports to parents.
We use test results and teachers’ professional opinions to identify children who are making rapid progress, those who are making expected progress and those who are making slower progress. We then tailor our teaching in order to give every child the opportunity to maximise their rate of learning.
It is important to us that children do well every day in every lesson and in a system where children have to sit national tests such as SATs in Year 2 and Year 6 as well as GCSEs in high school, we aim to ensure that our children can do themselves justice in test conditions too. We foster an environment where testing is done in conditions as stress free as possible and we make sure that children know we are proud of them when they have tried their best.
Beyond reading, writing and maths teachers assess children in the following subject areas:
· Art and design
· Design technology
· Physical Education
Again assessment in these subjects is to ascertain any gaps in pupil’s knowledge and skills and to ensure all our children receive a curriculum that is broad, balanced and offers lots of new experiences. For example, we want our pupils to work like scientists in science lessons and historians in history lessons and geographers in geography lessons. We do not test in these subject areas; teachers look at the work produced by the children and use their professional judgements to decide how well each child has achieved in the subject area.
St Andrew’s is a Voluntary Controlled Church of England Primary School so the teaching of Religious Education (RE) is also important to us. Assessment in RE is done via teacher assessment and we expect similar outcomes to English.
Assessment of Emotional Well-being.
As well as academic assessment, we also work to ensure children’s emotional and social development. For us, this is just as important as academic assessment and success. We want our children to be well rounded, confident, articulate pupils who are ready to learn and enjoy learning.
We use the Thrive Approach to ensure all our children receive the support and nurture they need to flourish. Part of the Thrive Approach includes a computer program which specially trained professionals in school can use to help identify any help a child may need. All pupils at St Andrew’s are assessed in this way and all benefit from the support we offer. For some children it may come in the form of whole class lessons which help them to continue to mature and develop in line with their age, for other children it may mean small group work or even individual work where children are given tailor made help in order for them to become steady, confident individuals, ready to enjoy learning and thrive at school and beyond.
Should you have any further questions about assessment, please contact school to make an appointment with the Headteacher who will be happy to discuss our school procedures further.