New Assessment Rationale

Assessment without levels…an exciting new language!


Following the introduction of a new National Curriculum framework from September 2014, the government has also decided to remove level descriptors.  The government’s policy of removing level descriptors from the National Curriculum is set out in terms of freeing schools from an imposed measure of pupil progress. The Department for Education has said that levels are not very good with respect to helping parents to understand how far their child is improving. In their place, from September 2014, “it will be for schools to decide how they assess pupils’ progress”.

With levels removed and the focus now on raising the achievement of every pupil, Newington Academy’s governors, leaders and teachers have chosen a new way to measure pupil attainment and progress.

 

Our new assessment system

 

The old and new curriculum have different content. Many of the objectives in the old curriculum have shifted to lower year groups.  In the new, more rigorous curriculum, this means it is not possible to have an exact correlation between a level that was the outcome of the old National Curriculum assessment and the requirements new National Curriculum, this means a shift in thinking and in the way we assess our children’s outcomes.

The school has welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum and sees it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach that makes sense to parents.  We are very clear that whatever assessment tool we used, it needs to be robust and track pupils’ progress across the school and not just at the end of a Key Stage.

 

The principles that underpin our assessment system are:

•Every child can achieve: teachers at Newington have the mind-set, ‘What do I need to do next to enable a child in my class to achieve?’

•The National Curriculum objectives will be used as the expectations for all children.

•Children will make age appropriate progress – 12 months in 12 months.

•Teachers are experts at assessment - assessment will be effectively used to ensure the correct scaffolding is built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.


In order to be ‘secondary ready’ children need to meet the required end of Key Stage 2 expectations; this is broken down into key outcomes for each curriculum year. We use the National Curriculum objectives to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year – for example:

•A child that has achieved all the objectives set out for Year 3 for English (and no further) would be said to be working at the end of Year 3 expectation for English.

•A child achieving half or so of the mathematics objectives for Year 5 would be classed as working at the mid-Year 5 expectation for maths.

•A child achieving only a few reading objectives for Year 1 would be classed as working at the beginning of Year 1 expectation.


Our assessment and reporting system includes:

•On-going assessment by the class teacher throughout each lesson, through questioning, observation and dialogue.

•Children knowing what they are being asked to learn and more importantly, why!

•Success Criteria are discussed and agreed with or formulated by the children during each lesson; work is then assessed against the success criteria.

•Three-way feedback (pupil, peer, teacher) with clearly identified next steps – this can be written or verbal feedback.

•Regular pupils’ work scrutiny.

All of the above will feed into 'Data snap-shots’; these will take place at class, phase and subject level three times a year, towards the end of each term.

 

Tracking progress over time

 

We will use Golden Codes to track pupils' progress over time, against age-related expectations in each subject area:

•Emerging

•Developing

•Secure, reflecting that age-related objectives have been achieved

•Embedded (Mastery), showing that age-related objectives have been achieved and the child is working at a deeper level of understanding and application.

The Golden Codes and tracking scheme are the back-bone to track progress across the school.  These will be recorded on our AET Pupil Tracker as the year group followed by the code, for example: Yr3E (Year 3 Emerging), Yr4S (Year 4 Secure).

We have replaced Average Point Scores (APS) with Tracking Points. Tracking Points can be used to examine progress and attainment numerically (as an average).

 

More able children

 

Rather than moving onto the next year’s curriculum, these children will work on ‘mastering’ their knowledge through the application of skills in different contexts – they will be deepening their learning.

The depth and application of a child’s learning is an important marker of their achievement and progress.

 

Early Years - Nursery & Reception

 

Children in Nursery and Reception will continue to be assessed against the Prime and Specific areas of Learning in the EYFS profile.

Assessments will be based on observation of daily activities and events. At the end of Reception for each Early Learning Goal, teachers will judge whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of the Reception year:

•Emerging, not yet reached the expected level of development

•Expected

•Exceeding, beyond the expected level of development for their age

 

Reporting to Parents

 

Discussions at parent/teacher, consultation meetings and Open Evenings in the autumn and spring terms will be based on the assessment system in place for each age group.  We will focus greatly upon the evidence of progress held within the pupil’s books and general work.


If there is anything at all that you wish to discuss relating to our new assessment systems or your child’s learning please do contact us.  Communication is vital and often a discussion with the class teacher ensures that we are able to work together to achieve the very best standards!

Thank you for your continued support.

Steve Kernan

(Headteacher)