At Windmill Primary, we believe the assessment of children is essential in planning the progression of each child’s individual learning. Teachers continually assess work and set targets for children to move them forward. Records of all pupils’ progress are regularly updated.
Principles of Assessment
At Windmill, we use assessment to inform our teaching and planning to ensure that all children are able to fulfil their individual potential. We use a range of assessment strategies to promote, and not just measure learning.
Assessment practice in classrooms may look slightly different across the school because effective assessment needs to be personalised to the needs of different children. However, all assessment follows the same principles and procedure:-
Assessment is ongoing. Class teachers and teaching assistants collect information about the learning in their classrooms all the time. This information is collected in a range of ways. For example, in Reception classes, observations are made and up-loaded onto the profiles on the Interactive Learning Diary. Notes about children’s learning may be made on plans to inform the next lesson or to plan interventions. Assessment also takes place within the lesson so children can be targeted effectively.
Assessment is planned. Teachers are clear about the learning that is needed in their classroom; to ensure learning is ambitious, teachers use their knowledge of the aims and attainment targets of the National Curriculum and a range of pedagogies, tools and schemes such as Talk 4 Writing, Power Maths and the White Rose Maths Hub resources and the Primary Science Teaching Trust TAPS. When learning journeys and aims are clearly defined, effective assessment informs feedback and planning to ensure all children fulfil their potential through targeted teaching. Learning objectives to assess against and key assessment questions are noted on planning. Skilful questioning throughout lessons facilitates effective assessment.
Assessment informs regular judgements. Three times a year, teachers are asked to use what they know about each child’s learning so far to make a prediction of where they will be at the end of the year in terms of attainment. A final end of year assessment of attainment is made in July. The following letters are used to indicate end of year attainment:-
A – working at greater depth
B – working at age-related expectations
C – working towards age-related expectations
D – working below age-related expectations
Class teachers choose a range of formative and summative assessment techniques to inform these judgements.
Assessment is standardised. Assessment practice is discussed and agreed across each phase. Class teachers discuss assessment principles regularly and also discuss assessment of individuals to ensure standardisation. Standardisation practice varies across phases and subjects and phase leaders use a range of techniques to provide quality assurance of assessment. For example, standardised reading assessments are used and writing is moderated regularly both internally and externally. The assessment of individual children in other subjects is discussed through book looks, observations and pupil discussions. Staff new to Windmill and Newly Qualified Teachers are specifically supported to ensure assessment they use and judgements they form are in line with school principles.
Assessment is purposeful. The predictions that teachers provide are used to maximise progress. Phase leaders use the predictions to produce termly Phase Action Plans and then class teachers produce Class Action Plans. As teachers get to know the learning strengths and needs of the individual children in their class through on-going formative assessment, teaching is adapted and Action Plans are annotated and amended so they become working documents which drive achievement for all children. Termly Pupil Progress Meetings allow class teachers to showcase successes in their classroom and also raise any concerns regarding progress. Assessment is discussed and actions agreed to maximise progress and attainment.
Assessment at Windmill is simple; teachers know the learning strengths and needs of children in their class through using a range of assessment techniques. They then use this knowledge to promote progress for each child.
Please see the policies side-bar for:
- Principles of Teaching
- Principles of Assessment
- Principles of Feedback