At Newton Farm we use a range of different forms of assessment. These are outlined briefly below and give you an overview about how we assess. More information can be found in our assessment policy or by speaking to your child’s class teacher.
Formative assessment is the most important method of assessment that takes place at Newton Farm. While it is called ‘Formative Assessment’, this method of assessment does not include formal testing. Instead this is about how your child’s class teacher assesses your child through their daily interactions to find out how well they understand their learning. Teachers find out this valuable information through different means, for example, teachers will ask a range of different questions in a lesson and judging by a child’s response the teacher will assess if the child needs more support in understanding the learning, needs to be further challenged or they are at the right point in their learning. Using this information, teachers will be able to re-direct their lessons immediately to meet the needs of the learners in their class at that immediate moment. Teachers (and other pupils) provide pupils with concise feedback that will always move and deepen the child’s learning; we believe that this is a very important and active part of the learning process and should happen immediately or as close to the event as possible. Feedback is offered in a number of ways, including verbal written, peer and self-feedback.
Other Assessment methods:
Children in each year group will participate in termly tests in reading, mathematics and Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. The utmost care is provided to the children to ensure any necessary access arrangements are received, so all pupils can demonstrate their existing understanding on the tests. This test information is analysed closely through professional dialogue between teachers and senior leaders, to inform us what the children need to learn next and this information is used to plan the next cycle of learning for each classroom. This information is tracked extremely closely and allows us to put intervention in place for both those who need some extra help and those who need to be challenged further.
All of our other subjects are assessed continuously throughout the year. In all subjects we have outlined what we feel are the qualities that make a good learner in each subject and these are continuously assessed, for example in writing we have a selection of different qualities of what makes a good writer and these are continuously assessed as the children encounter different genres of writing. More information on this can be found in the curriculum area of the website.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) a learning journey is kept of your child’s progress. This is a report of your child’s development and achievement at the end of their Reception year.
The EYFS Profile is broken down into seven specific areas of learning: •Communication and language •Physical development •Personal, social and emotional development (PSE) •Literacy •Mathematics •Understanding the world •Expressive arts and design
Assessment is ongoing throughout the EYFS, but the official EYFS Profile for each child is completed in the final term of Reception. The assessment takes place through teacher observation of children’s learning and development as they take part in everyday activities, and planned observations, where teachers spend time on a specific task with an individual child or small group. We actively welcome parents to contribute to their child’s profile and EYFS teams will arrange times for parents to come in and meet with them to do this.
There are three separate achievement levels within each Development Matters age band (a document which outlines expected progress for different age ranges in the Early Years):
•Expected: your child is working at the level expected for his age •Emerging: your child is working below the expected level •Exceeding: your child is working above the expected level
We closely track the progress of every single pupil to ensure every child is achieving the best they possibly can. This is communicated through our tracking system and through daily dialogue between teaching staff and senior leaders. Once pupils have been identified, appropriate interventions can be put in place. As levels have been
removed from September 2014 (for years 2 and 6 from September 2015), we now closely track each pupil using the following language:
This would mean that the pupil is working below the standards of their age group.
This would mean that the pupil is beginning to show some of the areas expected at that age group.
This would mean the pupil shows many of the areas expected but is not yet at the standard expected for their age group.
This means the pupil is at the standard expected for their age group.
This means the pupil is operating above the standard expected for their age group.
At different points in primary school children are required to sit statutory assessments, which are outlined below.
Year 1 Phonics Screening:
Towards the end of Year 1, children will conduct a simple test with their class teacher to determine if they have met a set threshold in their phonetic knowledge. The children are required to read 40 phonetic words to their teacher, who will assess how well this is done. Your child’s pass mark will be reported to you and you will be told whether or not they have met the pass mark. Those children who do not pass in Year 1, will repeat the test in Year 2. The Year 1 class teacher will pass on more information as your child enters Year 1.
End of Key Stage 1 National Curriculum Tests:
Pupils towards the end of Year 2 will sit a writing, reading and mathematics test (commonly referred to as ‘SATs’). These tests are marked by the class teacher and are used to support the class teacher’s existing knowledge of the child’s learning. The results of these are reported to parents.
End of Key Stage 2 National Curriculum Tests:
Pupils towards the end of Year 6 will sit an English punctuation, grammar and spelling test, reading test and mathematics test (commonly referred to as ‘SATs’). These tests are set and marked externally. The results of these are reported to parents.
Involving Pupils and Parents:
Pupils are continuously involved in their learning. We encourage pupils to reflect daily in their reflection journals about their learning and we also include pupils in peer and self-assessing their own and other’s learning.
We do not share grades with pupils as we do not believe this helps their learning. We do, however, share targets (generated from assessment information) with pupils and ensure they know what they need to do to improve their learning. When you attend parents’ consultations, your child’s class teacher will be able to inform you about your child’s targets and what they need to do in order to progress.
Teachers meet formally with parents twice a year, where assessment information will be discussed, as well as receiving a detailed end of year report. However, we always operate an open door policy and parents are more than welcome to have an informal chat with teachers when they see them. If you require a meeting with your child’s class teacher to further discuss assessment information, please make an appointment with the office and a mutually convenient time will be arranged.
All results from statutory assessments will be reported fully to parents.