At Bourne, we are continually assessing our pupils. We use a mixture of informal observations and assessment for learning opportunities in lessons. We also make more formal assessments with the use of tests to support our teacher assessments.
We keep a detailed track of our pupils’ progress and attainment using SIMs, our data management system.
Marking and Feedback
The most effective feedback requires pupils to think about the gap between what they have produced, and what the teacher wanted, and then allows them time to close that gap, in response to the teacher’s comments or prompts.
· All learning should receive quality feedback, however this can take the form of spoken or written marking, peer marking and self-assessment.
· All of the strategies used at Bourne are simply tools. Teachers need to choose the best tool from their toolbox for the job in front of them
· The best and most effective marking will be done during the lesson
· There is no expectation that all children will be marked in the same way for any given piece of work; it should reflect individual needs and abilities
· The quantity of feedback should not be confused with the quality. The quality of the feedback, however given, will be seen in how a pupil is able to tackle subsequent work.
· Pupils should be taught and encouraged to check their own work by understanding the success criteria, so that they can complete work to the highest standard.
· The ‘tools’ of our marking policy (Tickled Pink and Green for Growth; the secretarial marking symbols; polishing pens; closing the gap prompts; response to marking etc) will stay the same but there is no expectation for how frequently each should be used.
· Using symbols or Tickled Pink or Green for Growth does not require any further explanation
· The marking ‘tool’ used should be appropriate to the child and to the learning and is chosen by the teacher
· Sometimes a single word or symbol is enough – the work after this will show the impact of the teacher’s feedback
· House points are not part of our marking policy
Tests and formal assessment
All of our pupils have regular assessment opportunities, including marking, tests and teacher observations. The results of these are shared with parents at parent evenings. Parents can take home any completed practice test papers to help support their children at home. The test papers are also used by teachers to identify gaps in knowledge and inform future planning. They are also used by support staff to help identify weak areas for some children and to help focus interventions so that the children can keep up with their peers.
Some of the tests we use at Bourne include:
· The Maths Challenge
· Practice Phonics checks at the end of Reception and termly through Year 1
· A mock SATs test in the middle of Year 2
· Reading, Grammar and Maths tests in the middle and end of years 3, 4 and 5
· Termly mock SATs tests through Year 6
There are also National assessments that have to be made at key times during the primary school phase:
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (Reception Year)
During the Reception year, children are continually assessed and at the end of Reception a judgement is made as to whether they have achieved a good level of development.
Children are awarded levels across the areas of Communication & Language, Physical Development, Personal Social and Emotional Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design, which define whether or not they are working towards (emerging) or have met or exceeded the expectations for the end of the Reception year.
The Year 1 Phonics Screening
The Phonics Screening Check happens towards the end of Year 1. It is administered individually to each child by the class teacher. It is meant to show how well a child can use the phonic skills they’ve learned up to the end of Year 1, and to identify students who need extra phonics help.
The checks consist of 20 real words and 20 non-words that a child will be asked to read one-on-one with a teacher. Non-words (or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything – a child will need to read these with the correct sounds to show that they understand the phonics rules behind them.
The 40 words and non-words are divided into two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex word structures of five or six letters. Each of the non-words is presented with a picture of a monster / alien, as if the word were their name.
If the children do not pass the check in Year 1, they will be checked again in Year 2.
End of Key Stage 1 SATs (Year 2)
The children in Year 2 have to be assessed in English, maths and science and teachers have to make an assessment of their attainment against the age-related expectations of the National Curriculum. These assessments are moderated by the local authority.
The children are teacher assessed across the year. They also do more formal SATs tests in Maths (arithmetic and reasoning) and Reading. These tests are done to help the teacher with their Teacher Assessment.
End of Key Stage 2 SATs (Year 6)
Year 6 children (end of Key Stage 2) have to take national SATs tests in Reading, Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling and Mathematics. The tests are sent to external markers and the school receives a result for each child.
In addition, teachers in Year 6 make an assessment of the children’s progress in Reading, Writing and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling, Maths and Science. This level is based on ALL the children’s work over the school year and includes important aspects of English, mathematics and science which are not tested.
This means that teacher assessments are not always the same as test results. Some children do less well on the test day, so their results are lower than we expect. Some children do well in a test situation, but this does not reflect their work over the whole school year.