Assessment without levels at Marshside Primary School

Why do we assess? 

Our assessment provides valuable information to help children, teachers, parents and school leaders to acknowledge, analyse and review achievements and progress in learning against age related expected standards. Our assessments inform our immediate and long term planning. 

Our assessment gives:

  • Children – the learners – an understanding of where they are secure, what it is that they need to do to rectify any gaps and the next steps needed to extend their learning; 
  • Teachers the detailed knowledge of their children’s achievements which they can use to inform future learning, their planning and their teaching;
  • Parents and carers regular reports on their child’s progress in meeting expectations and ensures that teachers, children and parents can work together to secure learning and raise standards for all children; 
  • School leaders and governors information that they can analyse and use to make decisions about future actions to improve standards, learning and teaching in the school; 
  • External agencies and partners the evidence that a school knows its children well and sets and maintains high standards in learning and teaching as part of the school’s public accountability to its children’s future. 

 What are schools and settings statutorily required to assess? 

Teachers carry out day to day assessments and checks on children’ understanding and progress as part of their day to day teaching. Statutory, formal assessment procedures and examinations also exist to measure attainment against national standards. Our children’ achievements are compared nationally with all those children of the same age and against schools in the local authority and in England. 

These formal assessments currently include: 

  • An end of Early Years Foundation Stage assessment. 

We monitor how well children are achieving and the extent to which they are meeting identified expectations in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile which helps to identify those who are achieving a good level of development and those who we need to give additional help. 

  • The Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 

It assess children’ phonic skills as part of early reading.

  • End of Key Stage 1 

Schools currently draw on a test and teacher assessments to help us to assess whether children are making progress and are achieving national expectations in reading, writing and mathematics. These expectations are currently set at Level 2 by level descriptions (but this will change from 2015 in the new curriculum). Our teachers also assess children’s achievements in speaking and listening and science. 

  • End of Key Stage 2 

Children take statutory tests that assess whether children achieve national expectations set at Level 4 in reading, writing and mathematics. We also assess children’s progress over the key stage. They are expected to make two levels or more progress in reading, writing and mathematics (but this will change from 2015 in the new curriculum). 

Why are we reviewing our assessment procedures? 

A new National Curriculum has been introduced and with it new statutory assessment regulations. We are presently facing a transition period with the new statutory assessment and testing regulations to be introduced in 2016. The National Curriculum Levels we have been using for a number of years are to be removed: they will no longer be core to this process of assessment. Marshside Primary School is working in collaboration with a borough working party to trial new assessment systems and child tracking tools. Teachers, children and parents will understand what the national expectations are of a child at the end of each year. 

Will our assessment practices change? 

Our assessment practices will continue to provide information about children’s attainment and progress. They will still involve marking children’s work and providing written and oral feedback that identifies successes and the next steps for improvement and checking that they have responded to this feedback. We will continue to engage children in the whole assessment process by building self-assessment strategies into our teaching. We will provide periodic summaries of attainment and progress through in-class tests, teacher assessment and the formal externally set tests.

What are the key features of our assessment procedures? 

Our assessment procedures will continue to give attention to helping children to meet or exceed national expectations and achieve the highest standards they can, over each key stage of their learning. The National Curriculum sets out what our children are to learn but we decide how we are to assess our children’ attainment and progress over the key stage. 

As further guidance is issued by the DfE we will amend our practices if required and keep parents informed of any changes that involve their children.