At Charles Warren Academy, a range of formal and informal assessment procedures take place, in order to identify further learning needs.
Processes include targeted questioning, discussing, analysing written work, marking, observing and talking with the children.
We also use written tests to help assess children’s learning against National age-related expectations.
Assessment procedures vary, according to year group and age of pupils.
Assessment in the Early Years Foundation Stage takes the form of observation. Daily observations are carried out with the children during both their child initiated activities and adult led activities. These observations are recorded in children’s individual ‘Learning Journey’ books. Throughout their time in Reception, each child’s individual level of development is recorded against 13 assessment scales on their Early Years Foundation Stage Profile.
As part of the normal school day, pupils have a substantial role in assessing their own and others’ learning and identifying the next steps towards achieving their individual targets. At the end of each half term, class teachers assess pupils progress and attainment against a National Curriculum level and targets are set for the coming term. Parents are informed of targets and their child’s progress at parent/carer consultation interviews. All parents/carers receive a written report on their child’s progress at the end of the Summer Term.
Information about assessment in the new National Curriculum
As you may know, a new National Curriculum came into operation in September (2014) for children in Years 1 - 6. It is a statutory requirement from the Department for Education that we teach these year groups according to the new curriculum.
One of the features of the new National Curriculum is that it no longer uses a system of numbered ‘levels’ to describe children’s attainment. This is because it was felt by the DfE that the use of levels had at times been detrimental to children. For example, talking to children about their attainment using numbered levels could contribute towards them developing a “fixed mindset” about their ability, whereas we want to foster in all our children a “growth mindset”, meaning that we believe that we can all improve our abilities with practice, effort and persistence. We would also like to further enrich our pupils’ learning by developing a greater breadth of skills and knowledge, so that they are confident to apply their skills to different areas of the curriculum, rather than focus on moving to the ‘next level’.
Pupils will still be familiar with their ‘next steps’ learning targets as a way of ensuring maximum opportunity for progress but there will be no emphasis on what numerical level they are working at.
This national change – the removal of levels – means that, when we discuss your child’s attainment with you, either in meetings or written reports, we will no longer be reporting levels*, as these no longer have any relevance to the curriculum. Instead we will refer to your child’s current level of attainment using phrases such as:
- working within the expected range of attainment for his/her age
- working towards the expected range of attainment
- working below the expected range of attainment
- working beyond the expected range of attainment
We will also comment on whether your child has made good progress over the year, and give details of any specific areas of the curriculum where he/she has achieved
well and any areas where further development or support is needed.