Our starting point for assessment is the National Curriculum. We have broken down the expectations for pupils in English and Maths in each year group into statements. We have combined the statements from the National Curriculum with other objectives that we feel are relevant to the needs of our pupils at Primrose Hill. Teachers are using these statements to plan the learning for children in their classes and are recording achievement against each statement once it had been achieved. From this we will be able to assess whether children are working below, in line with or beyond expectations for their year group.
We believe that this will make planning much easier as teachers know exactly what each child has to do to achieve the statements. Therefore a very strong link between planning and assessment should be established. Teachers will record a tick or highlight against each statement once it had been achieved.
Our curriculum plans have been designed to link subjects together in a meaningful and relevant way. We are aiming for children to have a secure and deep understanding of learning objectives in the curriculum so we will take every opportunity to extend and reinforce understanding and not simply teach objectives in isolation.
There is a strong emphasis on the skills which should be taught to develop pupils understanding across the foundation subjects, staff will plan where these skills will be taught and then consolidated throughout the curriculum. This will help pupils make links between curriculum areas and help them to learn through meaningful experiences. Staff will then assess pupils against the ability to apply these skills in their learning.
As a staff we are working towards developing our own plan of where we expect children to be at particular time of each year as expectations for Years 3 and 4 and Years 5 and 6 are grouped together in the national curriculum, making it more difficult to show progression from Year 3 to Year 4 or from Year 5 to Year 6. The system we are trialling shows progression from Reception through Year 1 to Year 6 so that the whole curriculum is coherent and builds on prior learning.
Staff will moderate children’s work to ensure statements are being assessed in a consistent way between classes.
We are developing a new school tracking system. We have previously used an ‘in house’ system very successfully as it met our needs more closely than a commercial system and could be altered to meet changing needs. We have decided to continue with an ‘in house’ system as this means that assessment and tracking of pupil progress is bespoke to our own curriculum. Our asssessment leader and senior leadership team are currently in discussion about how our new system will be used to track individual children and groups of children to ensure that they make appropriate progress in each year group for reading, writing and maths.
A key role for assessment is to keep parents informed. We hold two parent/teacher consultation evenings each year and a further opportunity at the end of the summer term for parents to discuss their child’s progress with the class teacher. This means every parent gets to spend a total of 20-30 minutes with their child’s teacher throughout the year (with their child being present if the parent chooses) to discuss progress and next steps.
English and maths are discussed every term, as is the child’s social and emotional development and dispositions and attitudes. Targets for the school and home to work on are agreed and a summary of the meeting is given to each parent.
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