At Langdale, we believe the key purpose of assessment is to move children on in their learning. Teachers assess children’s progress continually, both formally and informally, and these assessments are used to plan the next steps for children across all subject areas. As a result of this ongoing assessment, children’s class groupings may remain fluid as teachers plan precisely to reach children’s needs. Assessment happens on a daily basis with more formally recorded assessment occurring half termly/termly. This information is used by teachers and the Principal to track the progress of each child and is used to set targets for their future development.
Teachers keep records of children’s progress as they move through the school, referred to as Teacher Assessments. The records are used to:
- Inform the child’s next step in learning
- Inform our annual written reports to parents
- Inform teachers when the child moves to a new class or new school
In all years, teachers set group targets based on the children’s prior learning. These targets are tracked by the class teacher and the Senior Leadership to ensure that pupils make appropriate progress throughout their school career. Children are encouraged to understand their targets, self assess or work with a partner to assess their work, so that they become aware of their own strengths and areas for improvement.
Children’s attainment is assessed formally at the end of Year 2 using both teacher assessments and standardised assessment tests/tasks. The outcomes are reported to parents with the annual written report. The Foundation Stage Profile is completed during Year R. This is reported termly to parents, verbally for the autumn and spring term, then in the form of a written report in the summer term.
In some year groups, children and teachers complete national assessments like the National Foundation Stage Profile, Year 1 Phonics Screen and Key Stage 1 and 2 Standard Assessment Tests (SATs) and a new multiplication test in Year 4.
Year 4 - Multiplication Tables Check
From the 2019-20 academic year, all Year 4 pupils in England must sit a new statutory test called the Multiplication Tables Check. The MTC is an online test administered in the Summer term where pupils are asked 25 questions on multiplication tables facts up to 12x12 (with a greater focus on the x6, x7, x8 and x9 tables). For every question, the child will have six seconds to read the calculation and input the answer. This is followed by a three second pause before the next question is displayed.
No additional time can be allocated to pupils with specific needs; however, there are some reasonable adjustments that can be made (such as some visual adjustments).
The standard for the test is 100%: the published data will reflect this and their will be no additional breakdown of scores. In terms of purely academic attainment, this high standard provides further evidence for a rigorous approach to learning number facts, including times tables.
Your child can practise here; however, it is vital that this tool is only used with children who already demonstrate a secure grasp of the majority of multiplication facts.
Feedback and Marking
Pupil feedback makes the biggest positive difference in supporting learning and helping children make the best possible progress. Feedback comes in varieties of forms: verbal conferencing, pupil self and peer assessment, next steps and responding to teacher’s comments. At Langdale we focus our feedback on pupil progress, effort and determination. We provide our children with next learning steps, learning questions or challenges linked to the learning objective.
“The most powerful single modification that enhances achievement is feedback. The simplest perception for improving education must be ‘dollops of feedback”
Professor John Hattie (Influences on Student Learning)
The research of eminent educationalists such as Dylan William, Paul Black (Inside the Black Box), Shirley Clarke and John Hattie highlight the fact that formative assessment (assessment for learning) plays a fundamental role in ensuring pupils make good progress, therefore raising standards.
The teachers at Langdale have formed working parties and reviewed our Marking and Feedback Policy. Using the available research and focussing on the purpose of marking and feedback, we aimed to devise a system which is effective and manageable.
The Target Tracker Assessment System
In April 2014 the Department for Education (DfE) released 'Assessment Principles', a document outlining the core values all effective assessment systems should implement as part of the changes introduced with the 2014 National Curriculum.
As the ‘Government will not impose a single system for ongoing assessment’, it is up to schools to implement a system that can: ‘Give reliable information to parents about how their child, and their child’s school, is performing, help drive improvement for pupils and teachers and make sure the school is keeping up with external best practice and innovation.’
Target Tracker have developed an effective assessment system that meets the needs of all school stakeholders and supports our school in embedding the DfE ‘Assessment Principles’ .
Tracking Attainment and Progress with Steps
To track pupil attainment Target Tracker devised a system of steps.
This performs the function of communicating progression and attainment in a simple format.
To track and monitor pupil attainment and progress, teachers will now use Target Tracker to assess children using a system of ‘steps’ (rather than ‘levels’ or ‘stages’). The terminology has now changed where each year group is now referred to as a ‘Band’ (e.g.: Year 1 = Band 1; Year 2 = Band 2 etc...).
It is further broken down into six sections:
- Beginning (b) - Children are starting to learn content in their year band. There may be minimal elements of the previous band still to gain complete confidence in.
- Beginning plus (b+) – Up to around 40% of the content has been achieved
- Working within (w) – Up to 55% of the year content has been achieved
- Working within plus (w+) - Up to around 70% of the content has been achieved
- Secure (s) - Children are competent in their year group band and up to approximately 90% coverage of the content has been achieved. Children may still need to build confidence in using and applying some elements.
- Secure+ (s+) [Mastery/Greater Depth] - Children are 100% secure in all areas in their band and can show confidence and competence in repeatedly applying the skills they have learnt.
At half termly intervals, our teachers select a step to show where each pupil is working.
Children are assessed within their current year band. We only allow lower achieving pupils and children in receipt of an Educational Health Care Plane (EHCP) to be shown working at a band outside of their current year. In very extreme cases, highly gifted children, children working at least two years above their age related expectation in a subject, will be given a personal learning programme designed to deepen their knowledge, skills and understanding.
How Do We Show Progress?
- To meet age related expectations, children should reach the secure (s) step by the end of the appropriate year.
- To move from secure (s) in one year band to the next is 6 steps over 6 half terms. Therefore, this equates to 1 step of progress each half term.
Pupils working below Band 1 and pupils with SEND
Year 1 pupils who are working below the beginning of the Year 1 band could still be assessed in the EYFS 40-60 w, 40-60 w+, 40-60 s or 40-60 s+ month band steps.