"We nurture the courage and skills to fly higher than the flock ..."
At Overthorpe C of E Academy, we see assessment as an integral part of teaching and learning, and it is inextricably linked to our "Curriculum Fit for Overthorpe".
We use three broad overarching forms of assessment: day-to-day in-school formative assessment (assessment for learning), in-school summative assessment (assessment of learning) and nationally standardised statutory tests.
In-school formative assessment
This is for:
- Teachers to identify how pupils are performing on a continuing basis and to use this information to provide appropriate support or extension, evaluate teaching and plan future lessons
- Pupils to measure their knowledge and understanding against learning objectives, and identify areas in which they need to improve
- Parents to gain a broad picture of where their child’s strengths and weaknesses lie, and what they need to do to improve
In all Key Stages, teachers use formative assessment in a variety of ways. This assessment information is collected in a variety of ways, for example:
- Questioning to ensure that teachers recognise gaps, misconceptions and to identify where children require further challenge.
- Marking and feedback, sometimes done alongside the child, to ensure that children have immediate advice and feedback on each piece of work. This enables them to know what they do well and what they need to do in the future to improve. This also informs future lessons. See the school’s marking and feedback policy for further details.
- Self and peer assessment is used when appropriate to ensure that children can evaluate their own progress and identify their own next steps for learning. As an academy, we feel that it is important that children feel a part of their own ongoing assessment.
- Observations of children undertaking specifically chosen tasks. This allows teachers to assess children’s thinking processes, learning attitudes and use of curriculum subject key It also enables the adults in class to identify, gaps, misconceptions and needs for further challenge to inform future learning and refine teaching.
In-school summative assessment
Effective in-school summative assessment enables:
- School leaders to monitor the performance of pupil cohorts, identify where interventions may be required, and work with teachers to ensure pupils are supported to achieve sufficient progress and attainment
- Teachers to evaluate learning at the end of a unit or period and the impact of their own teaching
- Pupils to understand how well they have learned and understood a topic or course of work taught over a period of time. It should be used to provide feedback on how they can improve
- Parents to stay informed about the achievement, progress and wider outcomes of their child
On entry to Overthorpe Nursery children are assessed using an in-house baseline and observations. Children are then continually observed and tracked to form an overall judgement of the child in the 17 areas of learning and in the characteristics of effective learners on a regular basis. These are recorded on Tapestry.
Children entering Reception are assessed using the Eexat baseline and the data is used to complete initial judgements in all 17 areas of learning against the Development Matters Bands. This is conducted in the first four weeks of term. Information provided by pre-school practitioners will help to inform these initial assessments. Assessment continues throughout the year with information being electronically recorded at the end of each half term.
Class teachers also assess pieces of unaided writing, progress in the phonics programme from Success For All, reading and spelling of frequently used words, and all areas of learning through outcomes, observation and talking with children.
Key Stages 1 and 2
In Key Stages 1 and 2 the teachers assess children’s progress at four assessment points during the academic year. The first assessment is a teacher assessment to identify gaps and strengths in learning. Assessment point 1 takes place in Autumn Term 2 and is informed by teacher assessment from books or specifically designed tasks. Assessment point 2 takes place in Spring Term 2, Assessment point 3 takes place in the Summer term.
At these times, teachers will assess using:
- Phonics progress in KS1 using a mock phonics assessment test and the SFA phonics assessment. This will be used to inform phonics groupings, interventions and to ensure that teachers can identify strengths and next steps for their pupils. Spelling progress in KS2 using the common frequency words and the spelling patterns outlined in the National Curriculum for each year group.
- Teacher assessments of reading and maths based on evidence collected on a day-to day basis in lessons. Guidance for this is provided by the English and Maths leaders and taken from National Curriculum objectives.
- Writing assessment is carried out on a regular basis in English books. The writing task is common to all age groups and is linked to work being done in the curriculum topic. It is set and marked by the teacher using Overthorpe writing assessment materials. These are taken from the National Curriculum and the Interim Assessment Frameworks. It is moderated by other phase teachers and the English leader. Opportunities are also taken throughout the year for external moderation with other schools in our Academy Trust and pyramid
Together these enable the teacher to arrive at judgements based on National Curriculum expectations. These form the basis of the tracking system used across the school for monitoring pupils’ individual progress in reading, writing and mathematics.
Children with Special Education Needs
Pupils with Special Educational Needs have targets for their learning and individual needs outlined on their My Support Plan or EHCP. These targets are assessed and amended by the class teachers in collaboration with class ETAs using SEN assessments and day-to-day formative teacher assessments. These are monitored by the SEND Leader and these children are discussed at pupil progress meetings, with the SEND leader present for advice and support.
Nationally standardised statutory tests
- Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) profile at the end of reception
- Phonics screening check in Year 1 (usually June)
- National Curriculum tests and teacher assessments at the end of Key Stage 1 (year 2) and Key Stage 2 (year 6). These are usually in May.
- From 2019-2020, Year 4 will be tested on their Times Tables.
Our assessment leader is Mr Birkett. Further information regarding assessment can be found below in our Assessment Policy.