At Wilberforce Primary we use a range of different forms of assessment. These are outlined briefly below and give you an overview about how we assess.
Formative assessment is the most important method of assessment that takes place at Wilberforce Primary. While it is called ‘Formative Assessment’, this method of assessment does not include formal testing. Instead, it is about how your child’s class teacher assesses your child through their daily interactions to find out how well they understand their learning. Teachers find out this valuable information through different means. For example, teachers will ask a range of different questions in a lesson and judging by a child’s response the teacher will assess if the child needs more support in understanding the learning, needs to be further challenged or are at the right point in their learning. Using this information, teachers will be able to re-direct their lessons immediately to meet the needs of the learners in their class at that moment.
Teachers (and other pupils) provide pupils with concise feedback that will always move and deepen the child’s learning; we believe that this is a very important and active part of the learning process and should happen immediately or as close to the event as possible.
Children in each year group will participate termly tests in Mathematics and Reading. This test information is analysed closely using both an interactive computer program and through professional dialogue between teachers and senior leaders, to inform us what the children need to learn next. This information is used to plan the next cycle of learning for each class. The test results are tracked extremely closely and allow us to put intervention in place for both those who need some extra help and those who need to be challenged further.
All of our other subjects are assessed continuously throughout the year. In all subjects we have outlined what we feel are the qualities that make a good learner in each subject and these are continuously assessed. For example, in writing we have a selection of different qualities of what makes a good writer and these are continuously assessed as the children encounter different genres of writing.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) a profile is kept on your child’s progress. This is a report of your child’s development and achievement at the end of their Reception year.
The EYFS Profile is broken down into seven specific areas of learning:
- Communication and language
- Physical development
- Personal, social and emotional development (PSE)
- Understanding the world
- Expressive arts and design
Assessment is ongoing throughout the EYFS but the official EYFS Profile for each child is completed in the final term of Reception. The assessment takes place through teacher observation of children’s learning and development as they take part in everyday activities and planned observations where teachers spend time on a specific task with an individual child or small group.
There are two separate achievement levels within each Development Matters age band (a document which outlines expected progress for different age ranges in the Early Years):
- Expected: your child is working at the level expected for their age
- Emerging: your child is working below the expected level
At different points in primary school, children are required to sit statutory assessments, which are outlined below.
Year 1 Phonics Screening
Towards the end of Year 1, children will conduct a simple test with their class teacher to determine if they have met a set threshold in their phonetic knowledge. The children are required to read 40 words to their teacher who will assess how well this is done. Results are communicated with parents soon after this test takes place.
End of Key Stage 1 National Curriculum Tests
Towards the end of Year 2, pupils will sit a Writing, Reading and Mathematics test (commonly referred to as ‘SATs’). These tests are marked by the class teacher and are used to support the class teacher’s existing knowledge of the child’s learning. An attainment level is reported to parents.
End of Key Stage 2 National Curriculum Tests:
Towards the end of Year 6, pupils will sit an English punctuation, grammar and spelling test, Reading test and Mathematics test (commonly referred to as ‘SATs’). These tests are set and marked externally. An attainment level is reported to parents.
Involving Pupils and Parents:
Pupils are continuously involved in their learning. We encourage pupils to reflect daily about their learning and we also include pupils in self-assessing their own and other’s learning.
We do not share grades with pupils as we do not believe this helps their learning. We do, however, ensure children know what they need to do next to improve to improve their learning. Progress information will be shared with parents at parents’ evenings.
Teachers meet formally with parents three times a year, where assessment information is discussed. Parents also receive a detailed end of year report. However, we always operate an open door policy and parents are more than welcome to have an informal chat with teachers when they see them.