Assessment Practises 2015-16
There are several assessment changes happening in schools this year.
All schools with Reception children have undertaken a statutory ‘baseline screening’ with children. We have done the same for our Nursery children, trialling the screening a year before we are required to introduce this. For our Early Years Foundation Stage children and practitioners, this has been through the use of observations and everyday tasks in school from which data has been entered onto an IT based program. This information is gathered and sent off (as required by law) so that a national picture of where children start in Reception can be ascertained. This data will provide teachers with a class wide profile as well as information on each child. This will support teachers at forthcoming consultations in providing individual feedback but will also support staff in terms of looking to see where any possible gaps in provision may be which can then be addressed.
Phonics Screening for Year 1 will continue. This will be the 4th year of testing. Phonics is high profile in schools and also with Ofsted. Again, staff will feedback to parents/carers from all classes about their child’s phonic development. Please remember to look under the ‘For Parents/Carers tab on the school website, then Curriculum where you can access resources to support your child.
From September 2015, schools in England are expected to develop their own ways of assessing the progress of children against the revised National Curriculum. For us, this means Years 1 and 2.
Tracking assessment is important as it:
- Informs parents/carers about the performance of their children
- Informs children how well they are doing
- Holds schools to account through Governorship
- Hold teachers to account from the headteacher
- Is monitored by the Local Authority
- It is monitored by Ofsted
Assessment is important as it:
- enables teachers to see the journey of a child’s learning
- helps teachers to plan appropriate learning experiences that will meet their children’s needs
- identifies pupils who are making slow progress, so that action may be taken
- provides the school leadership team with information about the progress pupils are making across the school
- provides the school leadership team with information about whether pupils are meeting age-related expectations and are ‘on track’ to meet expected end of key stage outcomes used for accountability
Many of you will be familiar with the old systems of ‘levels’ such as Level 2B and Level 3 which were aligned with national expectations. These have now been removed with a sharper focus on the content of the curriculum (and the extent to which it has been taught and learned), instead of focusing on abstracted and arbitrary expressions of the curriculum such as ‘levels’ and what at times has felt like a race through the levels.
With the absence of levels, all schools are creating their own systems and procedures, often individualised to each school. Our school is doing the same: we have explored options and come up with a system which tracks what children apply, know and can do and plots this against a rising scale which then indicates whether a child is beginning, emerging, expected or exceeding in terms of the National Standard, i.e. the curriculum expectations of their age. Again, staff will be able to talk with parents/carers at Consultations about how their child is performing in terms of the levels of understanding of the curriculum. Please bear in mind that children have only just started the Year 1 or Year 2 curriculum so please allow time for your child to make progress during the course of the year! Please also bear in mind that we are just getting to grips with the system ourselves!
Year 2 will continue to have end of Key Stage tests. These will take the form of new style tests in Reading, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar and Mathematics. With the absence of levels, the proposal is that each year there will be a ‘national standard’ score; this will be converted to 100 and according to how they attain, children will be given scores that are scaled on either side of this. There will also be a teacher assessment score given. If you would like to see what the new style tests look like, please go to
The change to Assessment without Levels is quite a culture shift for schools. As the year progresses, if there is more information to share about national developments, I will pass this on. We will run a Year 2 Tests Briefing Meeting for parents/carers in the Spring term. On a day to day basis, our focus will continue to be meeting the needs of individual learners, curriculum delivery and of course, tip-top learning and teaching
What is a Key Stage?
The National Curriculum is divided into 4 Key Stages. Each Key Stage covers a different period of a child’s educational life.
Foundation Stage – Nursery, Reception, 3 – 5 yrs
KS1 1, 2 5 – 7 yrs
KS2 3, 4, 5, 6 7 – 11 yrs
KS3 7, 8, 9 11 – 14 yrs
KS4 10, 11 14 – 16 yrs
Hampton Wick Infant and Nursery School covers the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. Children begin Key Stage 2 when they start Year 3.
What is Teacher Assessment?
Teacher Assessment is used to monitor progress in English, Mathematics and Science throughout Key Stage 1. At the end of Year 2 an overall attainment level is given for each of the above subjects.
KS1 End of Year Assessment (SATs)
Pupils at the end of key stages 1 (aged 7 ) in May 2016 will be assessed for the first time against the new curriculum, which has been taught in all local authority maintained primary schools in England, from September 2014.
SATs are Standard Assessment Tasks and Tests. These tests are set centrally by the Qualification and Curriculum Authority (QCA). They are used to provide information about the achievement of pupils in reading and writing in English and number, shape, space and measure in Mathematics.