Assessment at Langton Green School
Mission Statement for assessment at Langton Green Primary
An assessment system that is simple, clear and above all fit for purpose to ensure effective learning and progress for all.
An assessment system that ensures deep learning can take place, where key concepts, knowledge and skills are considered in each child’s journey towards Age related Expectations rather than a rapid, shallow race up through levels of learning.
What is Assessment?
Assessment is part of every child’s learning journey. As with most journeys, it helps to know where you’re going, why you want to go there and how you plan to get there. It’s also important to know where you are before you begin the journey! At Langton Green teachers are constantly using assessment to ensure that every individual meets his or her full potential and that they enjoy their learning and grow in confidence during the process- this cannot happen effectively without excellent assessment for learning practices.
Is Assessment the same as Testing?
Many people assume that ‘assessment’ means taking a test, but assessment at Langton Green School is broader than that. There are two main types of assessment that the teachers will use when working with your child: summative and formative (also referred to as assessment for learning). Both forms of assessment take place at Langton Green but each has a different purpose and is reported to you in a different way. The key to good assessment practice is to understand what each method contributes!
What have we aimed to do at Langton Green School?
We aim to use a simple, stripped down approach to assessment that minimises testing and paper work and focuses on conversation, observation and evidence in books. There are three main forms of assessment at Langton Green which fall in line with the 2015 Commission on Assessment recommendations.
Summative assessment at Langton Green is used to ‘sum up’ what a pupil has achieved at the end of a period of time, relative to the learning aims and the relevant national standards, in particular to the ‘Age Related Expectations’ (see table below for ARE for each year group).
When summative assessment takes place depends on what the teacher wants to find out. There may be an assessment at the end of a topic, at the end of a term or half-term, at the end of a year or, as in the case of the national curriculum tests, at the end of a key stage. A summative assessment may be a written test, an observation, a conversation or a task. It may be recorded in writing, through photographs or other visual media, or through an audio recording. Whichever medium is used, the assessment will show the stage the pupil has reached in his or her individual journey.
End of upper Key Stage 2
Statutory Assessment Year
Upper Key stage 2
Early Years Foundation Stage
Baseline on entry
Formative assessment takes place during learning, allowing teachers and pupils to assess progress on the learning journey. You might think of it as stopping every so often to check the map. At Langton Green School we refer to this form of assessment as ‘assessment for learning’.
It begins with diagnostic assessment, indicating what is already known and what gaps may exist in skills or knowledge. If a teacher and pupil understand what has been achieved to date, it is easier to plan the next steps. As the learning journey unfolds, further formative assessments indicate whether teaching plans need to be amended to reinforce or extend learning.
Formative assessments may be recorded in a variety of ways, and can often be seen in pupils books in the form of next steps or corrections.
Formative assessment is shared with pupils regularly in the form of oral feedback, marking in books and meetings with teachers.
Feedback to pupils
We believe that pupils will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim. Teachers ensyre this takes place in the following ways:
- Providing children with clear, precise and easily comprehensible feedback, in oral and written forms, that will support their learning. We will always expect children to engage with this feedback and frequently we will ask them to respond to it. The quality and value of teachers’ feedback will be evaluated by how great an impact it has on pupils’ future progress.
- Involving children at all times in an ongoing self-improvement process and assisting them to understand that the continual quest to improve oneself is a crucial life skill. Assessment feedback should inspire ever greater effort and a belief that, through commitment, hard work and practice more can be achieved.
- The regular review of what has been learnt by children being built into our lesson structure and our learning journeys.
Feedback to Parents
We aim to ensure that we give reliable, meaningful and regular information to parents about how their child is performing and how our school is performing. At all times this information will be clear, transparent and easily understood. It will be communicated in a format that parents can understand and it should assist them in supporting their child’s future learning.
Teachers record formative assessments daily and these are shared with parents in several ways.
In EYFS and KS1 we use ‘Tapestry’ an online learning journey to contact parents frequently with videos, pictures and dialogue in terms of pupil achievements.
Throughout the school parents are invited to visit classes, look at, discuss and make a written comment on their child’s work. This is a chance to meet with the class teacher and with you own child to look at learning and talk about next steps. At Langton Green school we believe this pupil voice opportunity is vital in engaging pupils in their learning and next steps.
At the end of each long term parents will receive a printed summary report in the form of colour coded ARE objectives statements.
- White indicates learning in relation to this objective has not yet taken place.
- Red indicates learning has begun but needs reinforcing.
- Blue indicates secure learning has taken place.
- Gold indicates the pupil has mastered this statement and can now confidently apply it across the curriculum.
Summative assessments in the form of Age related Expectations are reported to parents at the end of the academic year. Children will be assessed against their year group band and reported as beginning, within or secure. Throughout the year parents will discuss progress towards ARE with teachers at parents evenings and open class mornings.
Data Collection at Langton Green
The fundamental question we should all be asking ourselves is what purpose the data collected is intending to support. Formative assessment is so important at Langton Green because it is intended to inform teaching and learning. There is no intrinsic value to recording formative assessment; what matters is that we act upon it! Therefore it must be an up to date, realistic and accurate reflection of what each child can do based on a short period of learning time.
- In-school formative assessment on a daily basis. This is recorded on planning (to ensure next steps are planned for) based on AFL observations, in pupils books and by highlighting Target Tracker statements on a regular basis. Good formative assessment ranges from the probing question put to a pupil as they think something through; quick recap questions at the opening of a lesson; scrutiny of the natural work of pupils; right through to testing in the form of spellings, times tables mental maths tests.
- In-school summative assessment three times a year on a termly basis. This is reported to parents in the form of two parents evenings, Autumn and Spring, and then in the form of a written report in the Summer term. The purpose is to evaluate pupils’ learning and progress at the end of a period of teaching. Summative assessment is recorded using steps of progress based on year groups. Summative assessment is a judgement made based on reflection of the formative data collected over the teaching period, it is validated using moderation, conversation and evidence in books. It does not need to be validated using a formal testing regime although resources are available to teachers should they wish to add extra evidence to validate their judgements.
- National Standardised Summative Assessment which is used by the government for years 2 and 6 to hold schools to account.
- The following links give more information about the year 2 and year 6 SAT test
Changes in Assessment in recent years
Key Stages 1 and 2
In September 2014 a revised primary curriculum was introduced. From September 2015 a new assessment system was introduced at our school. The assessment levels which were used for many years were phased out.
The system that was introduced, supported by parents meetings and information leaflets, is now used confidently throughout the school.
The following presentation was given to parents at the end of 2015/2016 to explain the new reporting format.