Assessment practice in all schools is currently in a state of change following the introduction of a New National Curriculum, the removal of levels and the transition to new systems for tracking pupil progress.
Assessment at Holland House Infant School and Nursery
Early Years Foundation Stage
There are two main points of entry to our school, Nursery and Reception. Evidence of prior attainment and progress is sought from previous settings, including statutory assessments.
On entry to Reception in September a baseline assessment is completed against the Development Matters, through observing pupils in their independent play to make an assessment of what skills they already have, and when working with adults. This is done whilst giving pupils time to settle into their new surroundings, allowing children the opportunity to show what they can do independently. Assessments are then moderated within school.
Following from this, the Development Bands are assigned e.g. 30 – 50 months, or 40 – 60 months, and the point within the band for example, emerging, developing competency, or secure. This information is used formatively to inform planning for Nursery and Reception pupils. Progress of pupils is captured using planning sheets, books and child initiated activities which inform future personalised opportunities to meet the needs of individual pupils and engage their interests. Parents are encouraged to share their own observations of their children’s learning at home, and moments when they have shown a skill independently for the first time. On-going evidence is collected using ipads, and SPTO software, which aligns children’s achievements to the Early Years Curriculum and progress towards the 17 Early Learning Goals. Adults in the setting also capture when children show elements of the ‘Characteristics of Effective Learning’ (CoEL), also recorded using SPTO software. This package of software enables Leaders to monitor the curriculum, achievement and progress of pupils in the EYFS.
Foundation Stage Profile (Statutory)
In June of their Reception year, teachers make a summative assessment of children and report whether they are Emerging, Expected or Exceeding against each of the 17 Early Learning Goals. These judgements are moderated within school and across other schools in the Locality. Staff also attend moderation meetings organised by the Local Authority. The judgements for this are made using a ‘best-fit’ approach. The information at the end of FS is shared with Year 1 teachers who use this to inform their starting point in Year 1.
Phonic Screening Check – End of Year 1 - (Statutory)
The school uses Read Write Inc (RWI), this involves on-going tracking of pupil progress (at least half termly) assessments of pupils development in phonics. Groups are fluid to meet the individual needs of pupils, and progress is monitored by the RWI Manager using the progress tracker. Expected ARE for pupils is that they have sufficient phonic skills to achieve the required mark at the end of Year 1 in the Phonic Screening check. In June pupils in Year 1 take the phonic screening check. This is administered by one member of staff, known to the children. The member of staff has undergone appropriate training to carry out this role and external moderation from the LA may take place.
Key Stage One Assessment – on going
School Pupil Tracker Online (SPTO) is an assessment tool, used to support the weekly formative assessment of pupils at our school in reading, writing, maths, science and the foundation subjects. Class Teachers can identify whether objectives are being worked towards, achieved or set as an individual target for pupils. The highlighting of objectives enables assignment of a summative judgement each half term. At five intervals during the school year, a ‘Golden Code’ is entered onto SPTO as a summative assessment of pupil achievement.
Age Related Expectations - ARE
Children are working at age related expectation when they have achieved the ‘Secure’ element of their year group e.g. Y2S (Year 2 would denote ARE for a pupil in Year 2). Deeper learning and application of learning is also tracked using the same system. All staff are trained to use SPTO, additional training will be on going.
Moderation of teacher judgements is made by senior leaders and subject leaders, through the on-going MER Cycle (Monitoring Evaluation and Review) scrutiny of books and planning, learning walks, lesson observations and staff meetings. Additional moderation will take place with colleagues from other schools (through the North Birmingham Company of schools).
Marking – daily marking of pupils work and feedback in line with school policy, during lessons as live marking and after. On-going observations of pupils work, conversations, questioning of children in lesson, and opportunities for application of skills, challenge and deepening thinking.
EYFS Profile, Year 1 Phonics Check and End of Key Stage 1 assessments – for Reading, Writing, SPAG, Maths and Science.
Children complete work in their ‘My Best Work’ books to capture achievement at regular points.
Pupil Progress Meetings & Monitoring
Senior Leaders hold rigorous pupil progress tracking meetings at the end of each half term for every teacher to discuss the progress made by the pupils they teach. During these meetings pupils that have been identified as needing a high focus or needing challenging targets are discussed. Class teachers use SPTO to identify percentages of pupils within their class working at ARE, and have targets set for the end of the academic year.
Teachers and Senior Leaders monitor progress of high focus pupils frequently and where appropriate interventions or new appropriate targets are set. Senior Leaders analyse data and review individual targets for all pupils and groups of pupils.
This overview will be reviewed regularly due to the on-going changes in assessment at a National level and as the DfE make future announcements and releases.