How do we know how well children are learning?
Children's learning is assessed through the work they do, the tasks completed and observations during discussions and lessons. Through these insights, teachers determine how effective learning has been. At the end of an Enquiry or other unit of work, children are given the opportunity to produce summaries of what they have learned, which they enjoy creating and use as a reflection on what they have grasped in their learning.
Some examples of these 'double-page spreads' are shown here:
Children also take part in more formal assessment during the year. These include NFER tests, and 'No more marking' writing assessments - activities like this give a nationally-benchmarked snapshot of each child's attainment which is used to inform future planning and intervention work as needed.
Assessment in EYFS
In Nursery and Reception at Hillside we record all the fun and learning of our early years education via online learning journals. We use photographs, video and observation notes to show how the children are applying their learning. Parents and other carers can add observations too. We assess the children's progress in learning this way, using the Tapestry online journals.
As one parent said, "It's my dream come true! It's like looking through the window and seeing how happy my child is at school."
Assessment in Key Stage One
Day to Day Assessment
During the year our class teachers assess their children at regular intervals to monitor their progress so they can move forward in their learning or so support can be put in place if a child is having difficulty. This assessment can be a piece of unaided writing, a reading comprehension task, a spelling or mental maths test or simply observing a practical task.
In Year 1 all children must attempt the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check in June. This consists of 40 words, some real and some made up which the children are asked to read directly or blend sounds to be able to read. They must be able to read most of the words to pass the screening check. If a child does not reach the pass score they have to retake the test when they are in Year 2.
At the end of KS1 all Year 2 children have to complete a set of tests to assess their reading, writing and maths ability. These are known as “KS1 SAT’s” and they take place in the month May. They are delivered and marked by the class teacher and are used alongside the children’s day to day work to assess whether they have reached the Year 2 Expected Standard in reading, writing, maths and science.
Assessment in Key Stage 2
Assessment is an important part of the work we do with the children in Key Stage 2. It helps to inform the class teacher of what the next steps in their learning should be and clarifies that the children are making expected progress. It can also identify any misconceptions that the children might have so that they can be cleared up as soon as possible. Intervention can be put in place for a child if they are making below expected progress.
Assessment is always carried out in a supportive atmosphere and the children are encouraged to view it as just part of the work that they complete in class. They are assessed termly in reading and maths. Writing is assessed at the end of a unit of work when the children are given the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills that they have learnt.
In Year 6, the children sit their SATs in reading, maths and SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) which are externally marked. Their writing is assessed by the teacher throughout the year.