Assessment Policy

You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives. – Clay P. Bedford

1. Rationale
At Green Park School, we believe that assessment provides the basis of informed teaching, helping pupils to overcome difficulties and ensuring that teaching builds upon what has been learned. It is also the means by which pupils understand what they have achieved and what they need to work on.
Formative assessment creates a positive learning environment where children can see the steps necessary for their own success. It enables teachers to set appropriate work at the level necessary for the children’s continuing progress.
Summative assessment is important for accurate information regarding a child’s attainment and progress. It informs whole school target setting and prediction of a cohort’s future attainment.

2. Aims and objectives
The aims and objectives of this policy are:
• To raise the standards of achievement throughout the school
• To maintain accurate records of the progress and attainment of individual children and cohorts
• To ensure consistency in assessing achievement and identifying achievable and challenging targets for each child
• To enable the active involvement of pupils in their own learning
• To enable teachers and other professionals to use assessment judgements to plan work that accurately reflects the needs of individual pupils
• To provide regular information for parents that enables them to support their child’s learning
• To provide the information that allows school leaders and stakeholders to make judgements about the effectiveness of the school and to evaluate the school’s performance against its own previous attainment over time and against national standards

3. Assessment Cycle:

4. Types of assessment:
At Green Park School, we use a combination of formative and summative assessment as outlined below:

Formative Assessment (Assessment for Learning – AFL)
Formative assessment is a powerful way of raising pupils’ achievement. It is based on the principle 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.
Formative assessments are used to:
• identify children’s strengths and gaps in their skills/knowledge
• identify next steps for learning
• inform future planning
• enable appropriate strategies to be employed
• facilitate the setting of appropriate targets for the class, group, and individual
• track the child’s rate of progress
• facilitate an evaluation of the effectiveness of teaching and learning
• inform future teaching and learning strategies
• identify individuals and groups for specific intervention support

Summative Assessment – Assessment of Learning
Summative assessment (Assessment of Learning) is important for informing both parents and teachers of a child’s attainment and progress. This will also inform whole school target setting and prediction of a cohort’s future attainment
Summative assessments:
• identify attainment through one-off standardised tests at any given point in time
• record performance in a specific area on a specific date
• provide age standardised information
• provide end of key stage test data against which the school will be judged
• ensure statutory assessments at the end of KS1 and KS2 are met
• provide information about cohort areas of strength and weakness to build from in the future

5. Summative Assessment Outline – Goalposts:

6. Planning for assessment
• The National Curriculum Programmes of Study and Early Learning Goals are used to guide our teaching. These documents provide us with the framework to ensure breadth and balance in our curriculum.
• Lessons are planned with clear learning objectives, based upon the teacher’s detailed knowledge of each child. We strive to ensure all tasks set are appropriate to each child’s level of ability. The format of our lesson plans ensures that our lessons are planned in detail, taking into account the needs of all pupils.
• Teachers use focused marking to assess children’s progress in relation to the planned learning objectives and set next steps to show where the child is in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim. Teachers use this information when planning for subsequent lessons.

7. Assessment and Recording in Key Stage 1 and 2
• Teachers use assessment for learning (AFL) to provide on-going assessment, through the use of focused marking and/or observations of children’s work against learning objectives and success criteria. This information is then used to assess progress towards meeting learning targets and to identify and set next step targets for each child.
• Teachers use tracking grids based on Assessing Pupil Progress (APP) materials for each child on an on-going basis to record progress and to identify next steps for learning in reading, writing and maths.
• Annotated plans and planning notes made by class teachers and other adults involved with each child record other important information about the progress of children in the class.
• Reading age is assessed by means of the Salford Reading Scale – this may be used as part of the assessment process to identify progress and gaps in learning. Assessment Folders contain a record of the progress made by children throughout their time at Highgate Primary School.
• A school’s early intervention programme and the SEN teacher identify children with special educational needs and those children not making expected progress are supported appropriately and their needs assessed regularly.
• Pupil Progress Profiles are kept for each class to record progress, identify under-achieving pupils and set targets, in reading, writing and maths for individual pupils and groups. These are used to identify and analyse progress and set targets, in reading, writing and maths for classes and cohorts.
• Pupil Progress Profiles and APP-based tracking grids for reading, writing and maths are kept by each class teacher in the class assessment folder, which is passed on to the receiving teacher at the end of each academic year.
Year 1:
End of Year Phonics Screening Check: The phonics screening check is a statutory assessment for all Year 1 pupils in maintained schools, academies and free schools to confirm whether children have learned phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. Children are asked to decode 40 words under 1 – 1 test conditions with a teacher or teaching assistant. The word list contains a combination of real and ‘nonsense’ words, the latter being included to ensure that children are using phonic skills to decode words and not recognising words by sight. To pass, children must score at least 32 out of 40. Children who fail the test in Year 1 are required to retake it in term 1 of Year 2.

Year 2 – End of KS 1 Assessment:
Teacher assessment is the main focus for end of key stage 1 assessment and reporting. It is carried out as part of teaching and learning. The statutory national curriculum tasks and tests (SATs) are administered to all eligible children who are working at Level 1 or above in reading, writing and mathematics to help inform the final teacher assessment judgement reported for each child at the end of key stage 1. Teachers determine levels for reading, writing, and speaking and listening, an overall subject Level for mathematics, and a Level for each attainment target in science.
From summer 2016, at the end of key stage 1, teacher assessment in mathematics and reading will be informed by internally-set, internally-marked tests (SATs). There will also be an externally-set test in grammar, punctuation and spelling which will help to inform the teacher assessment of writing. The tests reflect the new national curriculum and will be expressed as a scaled score.
To accommodate preferred percentage descriptors by the Supreme Council of Education, the Levels will also reflect translated into percentages on the End of Year Report.

Year 6 – End of KS 2 Assessments:
The national curriculum tests are designed to assess children’s knowledge and understanding of specific elements of the key stage 2 programmes of study. They provide a snapshot of a child’s attainment at the end of the key stage. Green Park School will administer Level 3 – 5 tests in English reading, English grammar, punctuation and spelling and mathematics, which are externally-set and marked (SATs).
At the end of key stage 2, teachers determine a Level for each attainment target in English, mathematics and science, and an overall teacher assessment Level in each of these subjects.
The results of the tests in reading, mathematics, and grammar, punctuation and spelling will be reported to pupils and parents as scaled scores.

8. Assessment Year 3, Year 4, Year 5
Essentially, teacher assessment is the main focus for these year groups, which is carried out as part of teaching and learning. The statutory national curriculum tasks and tests are administered throughout in reading, writing and mathematics to help inform the final teacher assessment judgement reported for each child. Teachers determine levels for reading, writing, and speaking and listening, an overall subject Level for mathematics, and a Level for each attainment target in science. Teachers may also wish to implement practice SATs, obtained externally but marked internally.

9. Holding students back from moving up a year group (fail):
Should a child not meet the required year standard, or display severe learning difficulties, Green Park School reserves the right to, in conjunction with the parents; hold the child back from moving on to the next Year group. Green Park School is to confer with the child’s parents no later than four weeks before the end of Term two.

1. Where methods other than formal marking are used, as in b) & c) above, the teacher still has the responsibility to ensure that students are doing the work and that it is properly marked.
2. Where different strategies are used (as above) it may be advisable to make students do the work in different parts of their exercise books so that the system is clear to students and parents – e.g. formally assessed work at the front of their book, students’ notes at the back.
3. Practical and project-based subjects need to have regular assessment/checking, even if a whole project may extend over a lengthy period of time, to avoid problems being stored up.
4. For students following examination courses it is important that, wherever possible, marking is directly related to the exam marking criteria/mark schemes. Providing mark schemes for discussion and self/peer marking is encouraged.
5. Late or copied up work should be clearly labelled as such by the student or teacher, and
recorded as late in the teachers’ mark book.

6. Missing work must be chased and every attempt made to ensure that students complete all assignments. In the case of prolonged absence teachers will use their judgement about what may be copied or photocopied rather than done as original work.

Students’ Expected Standards
1. Students should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work.
2. Students are expected to complete and submit their work on or before the required deadline.
3. Each piece of written work must carry the date, a title (underlined) and a reference (e.g. textbook exercise number) if relevant.
4. Word-processed work should have a header & footer, with the student’s name, the date and their file reference.
5. Formal work should be in blue or black ink.
6. Copy books and notes must not contain scribbles and doodles.

7. Files containing notes should be well organised and clearly divided into sections. It is good practice for them to include a contents page.
8. Formal essay-style answers should be written in a formal register. No slang expressions should be used and words such as ‘therefore’ must not be replaced by their mathematical symbols or by expressions used in ‘texting’.
9. Essay and descriptive work should not consist of whole chunks copied directly from text books or the internet but should, as far as possible, be the students’ own sentences. All quotations should be clearly acknowledged.
10. When a teacher has offered an advice or admonished a student; such as ‘underline title’, add a date etc., it is the student’s responsibility to do this before the book is next marked by the teacher.

Diagnostic Marking
1. Formal marking should include considered comments and not just ticks. Written comments are needed, even when verbal feedback is given as work is returned – although use can also be made of printed feedback sheets.
2. Staff are encouraged to help progression by using written comments only (rather than grades and comments). Evidence suggests that this has the strongest impact on student learning and progression. Giving just a grade or a grade and comment has little impact on learning and progression for most learners. A mark should be kept in teacher mark book but not placed on the student’s work.
3. Students should be encouraged to write their own criticisms/corrections/notes on their work to record verbal feedback from the teacher. It is a good idea if they do this in a different colour and they should be encouraged to see this as part of an important stage of any piece of work – self-reflection & evaluation.

4. Written comments need to be encouraging but not merely congratulatory. It is particularly important that comments tell students how to improve their work.
5. Errors should be corrected or highlighted. There may well be a case for not identifying every error, where for example to do so might discourage a student. But important and significant errors should not be left uncorrected
6. Sharing examples of students work for positive criticism should be encouraged.

Target Setting
1. Target Setting can play an important role in teaching and pastoral support.
2. It develops naturally from diagnostic marking and Assessment for Learning.
3. Target Setting can be verbal or written. It can be done through discussion in class, comments on marked work, via formal written reports or through negotiation between the teacher or tutor and the student.
4. Targets can be for an individual or a group.
5. They can be academic or behavioural.
6. They can be short term (applicable to just one lesson) or long term.
7. To be effective, targets should be:
• Specific
• Measurable
• Achievable
• Realistic
• To a Timescale
• Evaluated
• Reviewed

8. The actual targets should be decided by the student and teacher with professional judgement being the key tool for the teacher.
9. Lesson plans and tasks can also be moderated and adapted in the light of these targets.

Strategy for Spelling and Grammar
As spelling and grammar are whole school issues, it is important that all subject teachers:
1. Teach subject-specific spellings.
2. Correct poor expression or faulty grammar especially where it causes any significant hindrance to clear communication of content, ideas or explanation.
3. Follow up such teaching and correction as a matter of routine.

Some suggestions:
1. Set aside some homework time for the learning of correct spelling of key words and subject specific terminology. Such learning should be tested formally in class.
2. Where a student’s spelling is frequently and/or seriously inaccurate, it is far more helpful to isolate a few of the most useful, frequently used words for correction than to cause demoralising confusion by drawing attention to all errors.
3. It is far more helpful to write out words for consideration at the bottom of a piece of work than it is just to indicate where errors have happened. However the student should then be asked to write out the corrected spelling in a dedicated section of his/her exercise books.

Recording of Marks and Information
1. Marks/grades for students’ work, together with other useful details, need to be recorded carefully. This may be done in a conventional mark book or on computer, provided that the information is readily accessible.
2. Work handed in late or incomplete should be identified.
3. Student attendance in lessons should be recorded, together with any lateness.
4. Students’ diagnostic and assessment results should be noted in teachers’ mark books.
5. Departments should record internal and external examination marks and grades for each year group in the school.

Appendix 1: Marking Guidance

The guidance on marking forms part of the whole school policy for assessment and is directly linked to curriculum planning. The school is committed to using formative assessment, through assessment for learning, and uses focused marking as the principle method for providing feedback to children in order to raise standards of attainment.

Formative Assessment and Focused Marking:
Formative assessment is based on the principle that in order to make good progress, pupils need to be clear about the next steps in learning.
Teachers use focused marking to assess children’s progress in relation to planned learning objectives and to identify children’s strengths and gaps in their skills/knowledge. Next steps should be shared with the child, in an age-appropriate way, in order to provide feedback to the child about where they are in relation to this aim and the steps necessary to achieve the aim.
Next steps information is used to inform planning for subsequent lessons and to facilitate the setting of appropriate targets for the class, group or individual. Grouping should be flexible in order for teachers to effectively address the needs of children with similar gaps in learning.

Frequency of Marking
At least once a week, teachers should write a comment and next step target on the children’s work in literacy and maths.
The school recognises that often the best way to communicate next steps is through verbal feedback given directly to the child by the teacher; however a record of this should be made in the pupil’s book, along with the next step.
Children should be given the opportunity to look at and respond to the teacher’s comments in an-age-appropriate way. These opportunities must be made explicit in teacher’s weekly planning.

Focussed marking of children’s writing should relate to either the specific learning objective (communicated through ‘I can…’ statements), or the next step target for each child. Teachers should not correct every mistake in a piece of written work, as this can be overwhelming for children and will rarely lead to an improvement.

The main purpose for marking maths work is to identify whether children have grasped a mathematical concept or method and to assess the steps needed to enable them to make further progress. It is often only necessary for the teacher to mark some of the calculations on a page in order to judge whether the child has understood the concept.

Test Marking
The school acknowledges that there is a role for testing; however teachers should ensure that test results are fed back to children individually and sensitively. Teachers are however encouraged to provide information to children on whether the mark achieved is an improvement on previous attainment.

Pupil Self-Assessment
Teachers should provide regular opportunities for children to assess their own work and the learning of their peers. This supports children to be actively involved in their learning and to be able to identify their own targets for improvement.
This may include:
• peer marking against the learning objective (assessing and/or marking another child’s work)
• two stars and a wish (children identify two ways in which their work meets the learning objective and one thing that they could improve)
• self-evaluation (e.g. traffic lights or smiley faces to indicate how the child views their work in relation to the learning objective).
• VCOP: (using a colour-coded highlighting system to assess their work – vocabulary; connectives; openers; punctuation)
• Highlighting and annotating own or a peers work to demonstrate appropriate use of text feature