How Has Assessment at Primary School Changed?
In September 2014 a new National Curriculum was introduced. The new curriculum significantly raised the expectations of what children should know and be able to do within each year group. At the same time as this the Government announced they were scrapping levelled assessments. Many parents will be familiar with the old level system that started at level 1 and went up to level 5/6 at Primary School. Children achieving a level 2a or 2b (by the end of Year 2) and a level 4 or above (by the end of Year 6) were considered to be on track and making good progress. This levels system has now been discarded.
What's Changing in Assessments?
The Government have decided not to introduce a new standardised assessment system across the country, instead schools are now required to use their own on-going assessment systems to track the progress children in their school are making. New assessments take into account the tougher, new National Curriculum. At The Meadow we have updated our reading, writing and maths assessment criteria to reflect the tougher curriculum. We use these records to help assess what your child can do in line with the expectations from the New National Curriculum for their age group and target areas that they need to develop and improve.
We then use the information we have gathered through the use of the assessment records, daily marking and response work, group and guided work and of course any tests we use to track the children’s progress on a computer programme called Target Tracker. We have used this for the last few years and it is already updated for the new curriculum. This shows us if your child is ‘Beginning’ to meet the requirements of the new curriculum for their age group, ‘Working Within’ or ‘Secure’ which means they are meeting all the requirements. On our tracking system we can also break this down into ‘Beginning +’, ‘Working Within +’ and ‘Secure +’. We expect children to move through these stages over the year and we will report to you at both parents’ evenings and on the end of year report the stage your child is currently working at.
Teacher Led Assessments
On-going teacher led assessments will continue. This happens daily in school where the teacher sets up an activity or task for all the children to complete. Children complete the activity (which could be written or practical) and the teacher will decide on whether or not the learning objectives have been met and whether they are then met subsequently on different occasions where the child works independently. This kind of on-going assessment is vital at school, as it helps the teacher plan what each child needs to learn next.
Foundation Stage Children
The Government have now introduced a statutory baseline assessment for all Reception children. Within the first six weeks of children starting school in September they will be observed by the adults in their class to assess the individual child's starting point. As a school we have chosen to use the EEXBA baseline assessment which takes a very holistic approach, and allows the teacher to teach and work with children just like they always have. There is no individual sit down test and no swiping through screens of a test on an iPad.
End of Year 1Children will take the Phonics Screening Test. Children will also be assessed on a regular basis using teacher assessment and Target Tracker to report the progress made by each child, based on end of year expectations.
End of Key Stage 1
Children will be regularly assessed, throughout the year, by the teacher to ensure they are making progress towards the end of year expectations.
At the end of Year 2, children will be assessed using externally set government tests, but will be marked internally by the teacher. This will be done for maths, reading and writing. There will also be an externally set spelling, punctuation and grammar test, which will be part of the writing assessment. Children will be given a scaled score which will be out of 100, where 100 is the new standard for that stage
Throughout Key Stage 2
We will use Target Tracker and our Assessment Criteria Sheets to keep track of the progress each child makes. This is based on the end of year expectations and whether the child has met these. Teacher assessment will continue throughout the year, as this helps the teacher with future planning and to ensure each child is learning and making progress
End of Key Stage 2
Teacher assessment will continue throughout the year, this includes continually assessing writing. Children will also sit National Tests at the end of the year in maths, reading and grammar, spelling and punctuation. These will be externally set and externally marked. Children will be given a scaled score, which parents will be able to compare with the average for the school, the local area and nationally. The scaled score will be out of 100, where 100 is the new standard for that stage
What happens now?
We will continue to teach your children and assess them on a daily basis as we have in the past. The only real changes are the higher expectations and the removal of the language of levels.