At Helmshore Primary we believe that planning and assessment are integral to successful teaching and learning. We feel that assessing and tracking the progress that your child makes at school is essential to their ongoing learning and development.
The aims of assessment in our school are:
- To ensure that all children progress.
- To celebrate achievement, for pupils’ to raise their own expectations and increase self-motivation.
- To enable pupils to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do in their work.
- To empower pupils to understand what they need to do next to improve their work.
- To allow teachers to plan work which accurately reflects the needs of every child.
- To assist in evaluating the success of curriculum delivery.
- To promote continuity and progression between year groups.
- To provide information to parents to enable them to support their child’s learning.
- To provide evidence of attainment and enable the Head teacher and Governors to make judgements about the effectiveness of our school.
Assessment for Learning is undertaken by all staff at Helmshore. This is a day-to-day process whereby teachers and children continually reflect on how learning is progressing, see where improvements can be made and identify the next steps to take. These assessments are used in our everyday learning and teaching:
- Sharing and talking about learning objectives, learning outcomes and success criteria with children; clarifying progression.
- Observing and listening to children as they learn.
- Questioning and whole class discussion work to check, probe and develop understanding.
- Giving oral and written feedback to help identify next steps in learning.
- Planning for group talk, peer and self-assessment to help children to develop as independent learners.
We also follow a more structured approach to periodically assessing Maths, Reading and Writing, where teachers make judgements against the National Curriculum attainment targets. Termly assessments are undertaken and this information is used to track the progress of children as they move through school. Examples of these assessments include:
- Early Years Foundation Stage profile completed during your child’s Reception Year.
- Phonics Assessment Year 1 onwards.
- Reading Age Tests completed Years 1-6.
- Optional Tests in Years 3-5.
- End of Key Stage Assessments in Key Stage 1 (Year 2) and Key Stage 2 (Year 6).
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
A baseline assessment is undertaken on entry into Reception. It is based on on-going observation and assessment in seven areas of learning and development, namely:
Prime Areas of Learning:
- Communication & Language
- Physical Development
- Personal Social and Emotional Development
Specific Areas of Learning:
- Expressive Arts & Design
- Understanding the World
Judgements are made based upon a combination of observation, discussion and work with the children. The Profile is used throughout the year to track children’s progress towards the Early Learning Goals. The results of these profiles are shared with parents through discussion at Parent’s Evening.
These assessments are undertaken primarily in Year 1 and sometimes for specific children identified in Year 2. They are based on key knowledge and skills as outlined in the Primary Strategy’s six-phase phonics programme, ‘Letters and Sounds’. The results of these assessments are reported to parents in the end of year academic report.
Key Stage Assessments
At the ages of seven and eleven your child will be assessed using National Tests (Standard Assessment Tasks and Tests-SATs). These tasks and tests measure each child’s progress in Reading, Writing, Maths and at KS2, Science. It is important to remember that these tests are only part of the range of assessments that we currently use in our School’s curriculum planning, and that these tests give information about what a child can do on a given day and at a given time under test conditions.
At 7 years old the children are assessed in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Handwriting and Maths.
At 11 children are tested in Reading, Maths, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling. Science tests will also be undertaken if our school is selected to do so. These assessments usually take place during May. The test papers for Year 6 are marked by an external body and are returned to school before the end of term.
Teacher assessment helps our teachers to know children’s strengths and weaknesses and plan work which is matched to their abilities. It covers everything that children are taught in the National Curriculum. Teachers award a level, taking into account all the evidence and knowledge they have of the child. Teacher assessment allows children opportunities to show what they can do. Some children will show what they can do by talking, some by writing and others by doing. Teachers use a variety of different ways to make sure that all children are given opportunities to show what they know and understand.