What Do We Mean By Assessment?
All schools are required to have a system for measuring both the attainment (i.e ability level) and the progress being made by, every child.
Until recently, there have been two universally used systems that all schools have followed:
- For Reception children - a system of measuring their understanding and development against a set of key criteria, including the areas of reading, writing, maths, physical development, personal and social development, understanding of the world and art / design.
- For children in Years 1 to 6 - a series of levels and sub-levels for each of the areas of reading, writing, maths and science.
Recently this has changed and schools are now free to assess children in their own way.
However, the government will still be carrying out national tests of children at the following stages of their schooling:
- At the beginning of their Reception Year - known as a Baseline
- At the end of Year 1 and 2 - tests on Phonic knowledge
- At the end of Year 2 - known as the Key Stage 1 Assessment
- At the end of Year 6 - known as the Key Stage 2 Assessment
At Southroyd Primary we have decided to assess children's attainment and progress in Years 1-6 using a series of 'steps' and 'bands'. Please see the outline below for an overview:
- At the beginning of the Reception year, we use a Baseline Assessment known as Early Excellence to record each child's ability upon entry to school
- Through Years 1 - 6, each year group will be known as a band, where there are a series of statements outlining what a child should be able to do based on the new national curriculum.
- A child's ability will be measured using a series of steps (beginning, working within or secure) within each of these bands.
- The statements being used are known as KPIs (Key Progress Indicators) We have designed our Southroyd curriculum, based on the Southroyd Promise, to ensure both coverage of these KPIs but also specific skills we think are really appropriate to our children.
- A child's progress will be measured annually by the number of steps achieved.
- We are beginning to use Classroom Monitor software which measures the progress towards achieving the KPIs over the year and assesses a child's progress towards these ends.
At the October parents' evening, teachers will discuss children's attainment and targets for the year. There will be a second parents' meeting in March, where teachers will further explain children's progress and attainment. A full report in July will give a summary report of progress and attainment through both the core and foundation areas of the curriculum.
A child should finish the year at Age Related Expectation (ARE) If they have not achieved the ARE, they will be "Working towards ARE". However, children who have mastered and exceeded the curriculum for the year group will be working at "Greater Depth."
Reception Aged Children in more detail:
During the Reception year, we assess the children in two ways -
a) Progress - we look to see what stage of development each child is at when they first join us and then compare this to the stage they have reached by the end of the year.
This uses a system called 'Development Matters' which the Reception teachers will be happy to explain in more detail if you wish.Typically, we would expect:
- a child entering Reception to be comfortably within the 30-50 month band, or just inside the 40-60 month band
- by the end of the Reception year, to have achieved / be firmly within the 40-60 month band
b) Attainment - we measure the children's ability in 7 key areas and assess them as either:
- emerging (not quite at the expected level)
- expected (at the expected level)
- exceeding (beyond the expected level)