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Wordsworth Primary School

Wordsworth

Primary School

Ongoing Assessment Sheets

As part of ensuring effective partnerships with parents we endeavour to provide parents and carers with valuable information about their child/children’s progress. In order to do this it is important parents and carers have an understanding of what their children learn and how their achievement and progress is measured. We hope the following will explain what Wordsworth are doing in response to the new curriculum requirements.

Since 1988 all primary schools have delivered the National Curriculum and assessed children’s attainment based on National Curriculum Levels. Children were assessed using tasks and tests. Scores from these tasks and tests were converted into a national curriculum level. Levels ranged from 1c through to 5a.

1c

1b

1a

2c

2b

2a

3c

3b

3a

4c

4b

4a

5c

5b

5a

Children would typically work in this range of levels during Key Stage One – Years One and Two.

They would be expected to achieve Level 2b at the end of Key Stage 1.

Children would typically work in this range of levels during Key Stage Two (Years 3,4,5 & 6).
All children nationally were expected to achieve Level 4 at the end of Year 6. More recently Level 4b has been defined as the expected level for the end of Year 6 and children achieving this have been considered ‘secondary ready’.

Benchmarks at key points were designed for parents to understand how their child’s attainment compared with children nationally. For example at the end of Key Stage One (end of Year 2) children were expected to have achieved level 2b. By the end of Key Stage 2 (year 6) children were expected to have achieved a Level 4 (more recently this has been defined as level 4b). Standardised tasks tests and mark schemes were designed to try to achieve consistency.

Following the introduction of a new National Curriculum framework from September 2014, the government has also decided to remove level descriptors. The government’s policy of removing level descriptors from the National Curriculum is designed to free schools from an imposed measure of pupil progress.

During the academic year 2015-16, our school will be in a period of transition from old levels to new assessment descriptors:  Reception assessments are not yet changing in school or nationally. Year groups 1,2, 3, 4 and 5 are being assessed against new descriptors, see below.

Our school system for assessing the new National Curriculum is based upon the following principles:

Effective feedback based on accurate assessment by all adults in conjunction with pupils is central to our learning principles. Clear pupil friendly systems ensure feedback is acted upon to improve learning.

Formative and summative assessment is used to improve teaching and learning, curriculum provision and raise achievement. Assessment is based upon the work children produce over time in a range of contexts. Test scores are rarely used as a means of assessment.

Assessment judgements are carefully moderated within the school, with Maths and English consultants and other professionals from beyond the school. Assessment evaluates how well pupils are doing against year group expectations shown in 'Ongoing Assessment Sheets.' This helps identify pupils who might be falling behind and ensures there is challenge for all groups of learners.

School leaders, including governors are able to use assessment summaries as a tool to monitor progress and attainment to ensure the school is helping pupils achieve well. Parents are provided with a clear and accurate sense of their child’s achievement and progress as well as areas where they can support their child’s learning.The school can provide data for external teams to show how children are performing.

Children in Years 1,3,4 & 5

The old and new curriculum has different content including totally new expectations such as the teaching of computer science (programming). Many of the objectives in the old curriculum have shifted to lower year groups in the new, more rigorous curriculum. It is not possible to have an exact correlation between a level that was the outcome of the old National Curriculum assessment and the requirements of the new National Curriculum, this means a shift in thinking and in the way we assess children’s outcomes. This may mean for some children who were previously judged as working at age related expectations have some ‘gaps to close’. Class teachers will be able to provide examples of your child’s next steps and suggest ways in which you can support their learning at home.

The school has welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum, viewing it as an exciting opportunity to review assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach that makes sense to parents. We were very clear that whatever assessment tool we used, it needed to be robust and track pupils’ progress across the school and not just at the end of a key stage.

The new National Curriculum has set out clear expectations for what children should achieve by the end of each key stage and has provided guidance for English, Maths and Science, as to which aspects should be covered in a particular year group.

These expectations have been developed into a set of statements for each subject and each year group- 'Ongoing Assessment Sheets'. These statements are used by teachers as guidance to help define the next steps in learning. Pupils will be aware of specific statements they are working on to improve their learning, through their targets.

To track pupil attainment and progress we use a system of steps. This performs the function of tracking and communicating progression and attainment. This is based on a carefully considered logical approach to assessment. The terminology has been selected for consistency and clarity.

Each year band (set of statements) has been broken down into three steps: Emerging, Expected and Exceeding band which allows broadening and deepening of their understanding, knowledge and skills across various context and areas of the curriculum.

The sections may be thought of in these terms-

  • Emerging: Pupil learning is solely focused in the band with all previous band elements achieved.
  • Expected: There is confidence in all of the criteria for the band. Some learning may still focus on gaining confidence in some minimal elements but the broad expectations for the band have been met.
  • Exceeding: Children who exceed the Secure band from their age related expectations will be extended further by being challenged to apply their skills, knowledge and understanding at a deeper level, in various contexts and across the whole curriculum.

As we are now beginning to assess children against a new framework, some of which may not have been taught the previous years’ objectives and content, we are in a time of transition between old and new sets of assessment data. During this transition time children and teachers will complete baseline assessments to determine starting points in the new National Curriculum. For children to be working at age related expectations, they would need to reach the Expected step at the end of the appropriate year.

The New Curriculum allows teachers to introduce content earlier or later than set out in the programme of study. Where appropriate children will have opportunities to apply their understanding in a range of challenging real life contexts, and to demonstrate their mastery of a particular skill at a deep and thorough level before moving on. We would expect children who are 'Expected' in the band of statements they are working on to have these experiences, and therefore be working at the 'Exceeding' step before being assessed against the following year band statements.

It is our aim and expectation that at the end of the academic year children will be Secure  in the statements appropriate for their year group. End of year reports will clearly state if this is the case or not. Where children are not secure in particular key areas, information regarding next steps and the support in place will be provided.

Children in Years 2 &6 Children in these years will continue to be assessed using tasks and tests similarly to how they have been previously. At the end of this school year all children will be assessed against the new curriculum statements. Children are in Years 2 and 6 this year will be subject to the tests and tasks based on the curriculum with new national benchmarks and measures. As we become more familiar with these measures, further information will be provided for parents and carers.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)Your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through seven areas of learning and development. Their progress will be assessed on an ongoing basis. 

At the end of the year adults will decide if they are ‘emerging’, ‘expected’ or ‘exceeding’ in these areas. Children who are ‘expected’ in all the prime areas will be considered to have achieved a Good Level of Development (GLD). The proportion of children achieving a GLD is one of the measures schools would use to self-evaluate and compare themselves with schools nationally.

Children should mostly develop the 3 prime areas first. These are:

  • Communication and language;
  • Physical development; and
  • Personal, social and emotional development.

These prime areas are those most essential for a child’s personal, emotional, social and physical development, which impacts on future learning.

As children grow, the prime areas will help them to develop skills in 4 specific areas.
These are:

  • English;
  • Mathematics;
  • Understanding the world; and
  • Expressive arts and design.

Children in Year 1- Phonics Screening

Children in Year 1 will be assessed on their ability to use and apply synthetic phonics. In June they will undertake a ‘screening’. This ‘screening’ involves working one to one with the class teacher to read a list of forty words some of which are ‘nonsense’ words. They will receive a score. If their score meets or exceeds the nationally set threshold (previously 32/40) they will be considered to have met the expected standard. Parents will be informed if children have met the expect standard or not. If a child has not met the expected standard parents will be informed as to what additional support the child will receive. Children who do not meet the required standard would be ‘screened’ again at the end of Year Two.

We look forward to continue working together effectively to support our children, especially in this time of change.