Reviewed: Jan 2016
Assessment for learning is the process of identifying what the learner has or has not achieved in order to plan the next steps in learning. It involves using assessment in the classroom to raise children’s achievement and is based on the idea that children will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim. We believe that every child can improve. We use assessment to improve children’s understanding and to support and encourage them to achieve excellent progress.
At Holmbush we aim to:
- Ensure that every child knows how well they are doing and understands what they need to do to improve and how to get there.
- Ensure that every child gets the support they need to be motivated, independent learners on an ambitious trajectory of improvement, developing a positive growth mindset attitude to learning.
- Ensure that every teacher and teaching assistant is equipped to make well-founded judgements about children’s attainment, understands the concepts and principles of progression, and knows how to use their assessment judgements to forward plan, particularly for children who are not fulfilling their potential.
- Ensure that our school has in place appropriate assessment systems for making regular and accurate assessments of children and for tracking their progress.
- Ensure that every parent and carer knows how well their child is doing, what they need to do to improve and how they can support the child and their teachers.
Assessment at Holmbush
Staff at Holmbush have worked together to develop an assessment system that takes into account the criteria of the new National Curriculum, whilst providing a greater focus on mastery. Assessment takes into account children’s strengths as well as areas where they need support. It consists of mainly formative strategies and a range of recording methods, as detailed below. Formative assessment for learning is ongoing teacher assessment so that next steps can be planned.
- Children in our Little Learners Nursery and our Holmbush Reception class are tracked using the Learning Outcomes. Assessments are recorded using Orbit (an online learning journal sharing children’s learning with staff and parents) and then Reception children’s progress is tracked using Target Tracker. During the summer term, the final teacher assessments are reported using the EYFS Profile and Characteristics of Learning. Parents receive a written report. A Learning Journal book of key learning highlights is also kept and parents and carers are able to contribute to this document with Wow moments.
- Phonics is assessed at the end of a phase, using the phonics-tracking sheet.
Key Stage 1 and 2
- Assessments are made in Maths, Reading, Writing, Science and Speaking and Listening on Target Tracker.
- Phonics is assessed termly at the end of a phase, using the phonics-tracking sheet unless children are working within phase 6.
- In year one children are assessed using the standardised national phonics test.
- In year two, standardised national tests (SATs) are used to inform end of Key Stage teacher assessments. These are recorded on Target Tracker and reported to the Local Authority and parents.
- In Year 6, statutory attainment tests (SATs) are carried out as required. These are recorded on Target Tracker and reported to the Local Authority and parents.
Assessing pupil progress
At Holmbush Primary Academy we use Assessment Criteria (AC) sheets linked to National Curriculum criteria, key performance indicators or mastery statements. In Reading the AC sheet takes the form of Reading Cards and each child has one. The Writing (WAC) sheets are kept in the children’s books. Speaking and Listening (SPLAC) sheets are kept in the guided reading file. Maths curriculum assessment criteria are kept in a teacher file to be updated onto target tracker. Maths fluency criteria are recorded on Fluency Cards and every child has one. These are dated regularly by teaching staff and the children’s target areas identified by a T in a circle.
Regular staff meetings are allocated to moderate work to ensure consistency in assessment judgements across the school. Teachers are also expected to use part of their PPA to moderate work and assess pupils. We also moderate samples of learning with locality schools and with our Local Authority on a regular basis. Rising Stars assessments may be used by teachers to check their own formative assessment at the end of a unit.
This policy should be read in conjunction with:
- Teaching and Learning Policy
- Feedback and Marking policy
- SEN Policy
Reviewed: March 2017
- Feedback enables children to understand the strengths and weaknesses demonstrated in their learning. Next steps for progress can then be planned.
- Giving feedback involves talking to children, encouraging them to be reflective about the learning objectives and their progress.
Characteristics of effective feedback to the learner
- To be effective, feedback should cause thinking to take place.
- Feedback is most effective when it confirms that children are on the right track and when it stimulates correction or improvement to a piece of learning.
- Suggestions for improvement should act as 'scaffolding', i.e. children should be given as much help as they need to use their knowledge. They should not be given the complete solutions as soon as they get stuck and should learn to think things through for themselves.
- Feedback will lead children to recognise their next steps and how to take them. It should promote confidence that every child can improve.
- In books, feedback will identify what has been achieved and what needs improvement.
- Teachers will plan reflection time and follow-up activities that provide opportunities to ensure that meaningful interventions that extend children’s understanding take place following any feedback.
- Teachers and support staff will feedback according to the school Feedback Policy. Children will have planned opportunities to follow up from feedback.
- Teachers and support staff will encourage children to ask for help and the growth mind-set ethos of the school will encourage them to do so.
- Feedback may also be given to the whole class or to a specific group of children, when appropriate. This is particularly helpful when addressing common difficult points/ misconceptions.
Peer and self-assessment
Self-assessment is a vital part of assessment for learning. Our children self assess during lessons using age appropriate strategies linked to the learning objective. We want children to become active learners who take increasing responsibility for their learning and progress. Once children understand how to assess their current knowledge and the gaps in it, they will have a clearer idea of how they can help themselves to progress. We will develop the habits and skills of collaboration in peer assessment. Peer assessment will be used when relevant. Children will be encouraged to clarify their own ideas and understanding of both the learning intention and the assessment criteria while improving their work with the help of a peer. We will encourage children to set questions and give feedback to help them understand the assessment process and to focus further efforts on improvement.
Children will be given opportunities to be involved in both the assessment of learning and the assessment for learning activities that they are involved in.
Children will be given opportunities to:
- reflect on their own work
- be supported to admit problems without risk to self-esteem
- be given time to work problems out
- be supported in learning from mistakes.
Children may look at examples of other children’s learning that does and does not meet the success criteria as this can help them to understand what was required from a task and to assess the next steps they might need to take. Looking at different responses may be used to help children understand the different approaches they could have taken to a task.
Feedback in books
Green Highlighter – ‘Good to be Green’ for positive reinforcement
Pink Highlighter – ‘Pink for Progress’ ‘You haven’t got this YET’ for something that needs editing/improving
Turquoise and Purple – Polishing pens these are for the children to edit, answer questions, and improve.
Feedback = Thinking and Reflection = Improvement = Progress
All feedback and marking will be completed within the lesson.
Books of Pupil Premium Grant children and those with SEN will always be checked during every lesson.
All pieces of work must have a title that is a Learning Intention that children and staff can evaluate the work against.
Time should be allocated for children to respond appropriately to feedback within the lesson.
If children receive support or group/class feedback which the children then act upon this is done in purple pens to show they have had support/feedback.
Corrections/extensions should be made in addition to the existing work in purple pens.
Adults need to check work is dated and ensure children date if necessary.
Any verbal and written comments should avoid implying innate ability e.g. ‘you are good at this.’ Comments should reflect our ethos of growth mind-set and be focused on learning achieved and effort.