How do we assess pupils' learning?
Knowing where children are at, where they need to go and how they will get there.
These are the underlying principles of our learning approach to teaching and learning at Burnside. They are important components within our assessment structure, which pupils are very much a part of.
Teacher's at Burnside assess children's learning and how they progress through a clearly planned sequence of learning to acquire skills and the knowledge needed to apply them in a variety of ways.
The principles that underpin our assessment system are:
- Every child can achieve: teachers at Burnside use the growth mindset approach. ‘What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?’
- Objectives from the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage Profile are used as the expectations for all children.
- We work towards pupils progress from their different starting points and work towards more progress for those who need to 'close the gap' to reach age related expectations.
- Teachers are well trained in our assessment processes - assessment is effectively used to ensure the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.
Our assessment and reporting system includes:
- Ongoing assessment by the class teacher throughout each lesson, through questioning, observation and dialogue to inform next steps in teaching
- Children knowing what they are being asked to learn and more importantly, why.
- Children are partners in the learning process, using pre/post assessment tasks to know where they are at in the learning journey, where they need to go next and what they need to do to get there.
- Success Criteria are discussed and agreed with the children during each lesson, work is then assessed against the success criteria.
- Three way feedback, pupil, peer, teacher with clearly identified next steps –for most impact this is verbal feedback and immediate.
- Regular pupils’ work shares take place.
In addition to the above will have two 'formal' assessment points or 'data checkpoints' in the year. These will take place at the beginning of the spring term and at the end of the summer term. These will provide us with up to date progress information, gap analysis tells us if pupils are on track to meet National Curriculum expectations for their age range. The tests will also to inform our next steps in teaching. We will use teacher assessment for writing, and in Early Years. Children's reading ability will be 'Benchmarked' termly to ensure a good match of reading book to ability.
Children in Years 1, 2 and 6 will continue to sit the statutory assessments in the summer term and Year 4 pupils will sit the new national times table check, again in the summer term.
How we share this information with parents:
- Discussions at parent, teacher, consultation meetings in the Autumn and Spring a terms are based on the assessment system in place for each age group.
- Parents also receive an annual report and outcomes of statutory assessments at the end of the Summer Term.
Pupils also complete the following statutory assessments:
- Reception – Baseline, EYFS profile
- Year 1 (and 2) - Phonics Check
- Year 4 - Multiplication tables check
- Years 2 and 6 - end of key stage assessments
Early Years - Nursery & Reception
Class teacher's will use a combination of the EYFS profile and the a baseline assessment to measure children's progress.
- The baseline assessment will result in a score that forms part of each child’s baseline profile. By having a good understanding of the child’s abilities when they start school, class teacher's are able to measure each child's progress and plan for next steps in learning.
- The baseline assessment is face-to-face with a mixture of tasks and observational checklists.
- The EYFS profile assessment is carried out in the final term of Reception
- The main purpose of the EYFS profile is to provide a reliable, valid and accurate assessment of individual children at the end of the EYFS.
EYFS profile data is used to:
- Inform parents about their child’s development against the early learning goals (ELGs) and the characteristics of their learning.
- Help year 1 teachers plan an effective, responsive and appropriate curriculum that will meet the needs of each child.
Children in Nursery and Reception are assessed against the Prime and Specific areas of Learning in the EYFS profile, these are recorded on our on-line system. Assessments are based on observation of daily activities and events. At the end of Reception for each Early Learning Goal, teachers will judge whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of the Reception year:
- Emerging, not yet reached the expected level of development (Below)
- Expected (inline)
Phonics Screening Check Year 1
- The Phonics Screening Check demonstrates how well pupils can use the phonics skills they have learned up to the end of Year 1, and to identify those who need extra phonics help.
- The checks consist of 40 words and non-words that your child will be asked to read one-on-one with a teacher. Non-words (or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything.
- The 40 words and non-words are divided into two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex word structures of five or six letters.
- Pupils will be scored against a national standard, and the main result will be whether or not they fall below, within or above this standard
- Pupils who do not meet the required standard in Year 1 will be re-checked in Year 2.