Assessment at Sandgate Primary School

When the new national curriculum was published in 2014, new forms of assessment were developed to align with its new content and principles.

Principles of Assessment at Sandgate Primary School

The removal of levels allowed our school to develop its own approaches to assessment that focused on teaching and learning and that were tailored to our curriculum.  At Sandgate Primary, assessment means continually evaluating children’s knowledge, skills and understanding, establishing what children can do and what their next learning steps should be.

Assessment is at the heart of the learning process: it provides valuable evidence to guide and improve teaching and learning. Alongside this it offers an opportunity for children to demonstrate and review their progress. It is an integral part of our relentlessly ambitious, high expectations culture.

The primary principle of assessment at Sandgate Primary therefore, is that it is fit for the purpose intended: it is without doubt an integral part of teaching and learning and lies at the heart of promoting pupils’ education. Our assessment information is wide ranging, from in-school formative assessment to in-school summative assessment. It is transparent: there are no hiding places or masking of capability. It provides information which is clear, reliable and free from bias.

At Sandgate we are committed to

  • A growth mindset: all children can achieve. ‘Mastery for all’ is our genuine goal.
  • Mastery in assessment: deep, secure learning for all, with depth of knowledge and understanding for more able pupils.
  • Using day-to-day assessment in the classroom to raise children’s achievement and their aspirations. 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.
  • 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 expect a dialogue to emerge between the pupil and teacher. The quality and value of teachers’ feedback will be evaluated by how great an impact it has on pupils’ 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, everyone can be successful.
  • Continually tracking the performance of children and using this information:
  • to ensure that all children are suitably challenged
  • to provide additional challenge in the moment
  • for contingency plans to secure, for example, conceptual understanding in mathematics
  • to identify which pupils need additional support
  • to ensure that all assessment approaches are inclusive of all abilities
  • Giving reliable, meaningful and regular information to parents about how their child 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.
  • The regular moderation of our assessment information approaches by professionals working within and beyond our school to ensure accurate and consistent judgement.
  • Making effective use of assessment information to support teaching and learning and to ensure that every child is appropriately supported to make progress and meet, if not exceed, expectations.
  • Effective in-school formative assessment that ensures all pupils have regular opportunities to engage in effective question and answer during class, produce work which exemplifies their learning, demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways and consolidates learning with appropriate home-learning.

Our curriculum and assessment framework enables us to pinpoint the aspects of the curriculum in which pupils are falling behind whilst recognising exceptional performance. The new assessment system tracks how each pupil is performing against the new skills of the national curriculum, with a clear focus on the NAHT’s Key Indicators. Teachers use the outcomes of these assessments to summarise and analyse attainment and progress for their pupils and their classes and use this data to plan the learning for every pupil, ensuring they meet or exceed expectations.

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