How We Assess
What Do We Mean By Assessment?
All schools are required to have a system for measuring both the attainment (ie ability level) and the progress being made by every child.
Schools are free to assess children in their own way, however the government carry out national tests of children at the following stages of their schooling:
- At the beginning of their Reception Year - known as a Baseline (currently discontinued)
- At the end of Year 1 & 2 - tests on Phonic knowledge
- At the end of Year 2 - known as the Key Stage 1 Assessment
- At the end of Year 6 - known as the Key Stage 2 Assessment
Schools across the country have decided how best to organise their own assessments and these may not match other schools.
At Combs Ford Primary School we have decided to assess children's attainment and progress in Years 1-6 using vocabulary that compares the child to national expectations for a child of the same age. Please see the following outline for an overview:
- At the beginning of the Reception year, we carry out a Baseline Assessment to record each child's ability upon entry to school. This also helps us measure progress across the Reception year!
- Through Years 1 - 6, the children's attainment is compared to national age expectations and the following vocabulary is used:
- Exceeding age expectations - the child is working at a higher level than would be expected for a child of their age
- At age expectations - the child's attainment is broadly in line with other children of their age
- Working towards age expectations - the child may need more support or teaching to be able to reach age expectations
- Below age expectations - if we have evidence that a child is working on a par with a child who is at least 1 year younger than they are.
- At the end of the Key Stages (Years 2 and 6), the terminology Pre-Key Stage foundations may be used to describe the attainment of a child who hasn't been able to access the programme of learning for their age-related key stage and has required SEND support and an individualised learning programme.
- We hope that every child will at least continue to maintain their level of attainment as they move through the school e.g. a child who is assessed at working towards age expectations in Year 1 will continue to be working towards age expectations in the following years. This would be described as making 'expected progress'. If a child makes accelerated progress, this may be shown in their assessments changing e.g. working towards in Year 2, but attaining at age expectations in Year 4.
Reception Aged Children in More Detail:
During the Reception year, we assess the children in two ways -
a) Progress - we look to see what stage of development each child is at when they first join us and then compare this to the stage they have reached by the end of the year. This uses a system called 'Development Matters' which the Reception teachers will be happy to explain in more detail if you wish. Typically, we would expect:
- a child entering Reception to be comfortably within the 30-50 month band, or just inside the 40-60 month band
- by the end of the Reception year, to have achieved / be firmly within the 40-60 month band
b) Attainment - we measure the children's ability in 7 key areas and assess them as either:
- exceeding (beyond the expected level)
- expected (at the expected level)-
- emerging (not quite at the expected level)