Assessment at Christ Church
At Christ Church, assessment is at the heart of our teaching and learning being both a formative and summative tool. We have developed a system which supports both the children’s learning and progress, along with supporting teacher knowledge and understanding of the key learning objectives in the new National Curriculum.
Our assessment system ensures that:
- Our pupils can develop their learning, recognise the progress they have made and achieve all that they are capable of.
- Parents can support their children with their learning at home.
- Teachers can use it daily to inform their planning and to help them to identify individuals who need more support or challenge.
- School leaders and governors can use it to ensure high standards, rigorous accountability and to allocate resources.
At Christ Church, we pride ourselves in providing outstanding teaching and learning so that our children achieve well against challenging expectations.
Up until 2014, the language of progressing through ‘levels’ was used to measure children's progress. However, levels are no longer used and schools have to consider how well children are progressing against their own Year Group Objectives/Skills (Age-related expectations).We believe that assessment without levels brings a new era of challenge and opportunity for schools to show progress in their own way
Our Assessment system explained
At Christ Church we have developed our own, individual assessment system, which is bespoke to our school. Our system allows us to know exactly where each individual child is in their learning. We use it on a daily basis to inform the teaching and learning taking place in every lesson.
How it works
At Christ Church, we have adopted 5 stages of performance against each Year Group Skill. If a child is working at, working at + or working at ++ a skill by the end of the year, this will mean that they have achieved the National Expectation for that skill.
1. Working towards a skill (Below National Age Related Expectations)
The child has been taught the skill but has not yet started to show evidence of achieving it independently.
2. Working at a skill (Working at National Age Related Expectations)
The child has used and applied the skill several times independently with a few errors.
3. Working at + a skill (Working at National Age Related Expectations)
The child has used and applied the skill several times independently with very occasional errors.
4. Working at + + a skill (Working at National Age Related Expectations)
The child has used and applied the skill independently unprompted and with independence.
5. Greater depth understanding of a skill (Exceeding National Age Related Expectations)
The child has shown a very competent level of understanding, having a greater depth understanding of the skill, ready to move on to the next Year Group expectation of this skill.
How we use and track our children’s progress
- Excel Spread sheets
Class teachers assess the children against the Key Learning objectives from the National Curriculum. Data is then inputted into excel spread sheets every term. If they are entering (E), a skill this equates to 1 point. If they are developing (D) a skill this equates to 2 points. 6 points (M) is the highest point to be awarded against a skill. The points then add up to from an Average Points Score (APS) for the child e.g. 56 out of a possible 72 points. The APS score will then increase each term as the child learns more/secures their knowledge against a skill.
- Assessment folders:
These are used on a daily basis by teachers to inform them about where the children are in their learning and the progress that they are making. These link to the information on the excel charts.
- Unseen writing:
Approximately every 3-4 weeks, the children will complete an unseen writing task. This will be the same writing genre e.g. narrative, for a whole term so that both teachers and pupils can assess how well their sentence writing skills are progressing over a period of time. They also show any gaps in learning and what skills may need to be taught next.
- Individual Targets:
These are found at the front of children’s books and are used on a daily basis to show what skill a child may need to work on to develop their learning/next steps. These are the same key skills assessed against at the end of each term to ensure consistency.
- Pupil progress meetings:
Every term, teachers meet with the Senior Leadership Team to discuss the assessment, progress and attainment of the children in their class. The way that teachers report at pupil progress meetings links to how we assess our children’s progress.
(click here to see a examples of the different ways we track progress)
Our assessment judgements are moderated throughout the year both within school and with other local schools, to ensure that they are accurate. We then use assessment outcomes to help our children to continue to move on in their learning.
Although assessment places achievement in context against nationally standardised criteria and standards, we have extremely high expectations of the children at Christ Church and always aim for our children to achieve the very best that they can.
How we keep parents/carers informed
During parents evenings over the year, we talk to parents/carers about assessment so that they understand where the children are in their learning, what progress their child has made and how they can continue to support their child's learning at home.
For the half terms which do not have a parents' evening taking place in them, we send home a mid-term report to parents/carers to inform them about their child's progress during that half term.
We are also happy to see parents/carers at any point during the year, if they have any questions or queries regarding their child's progress.
Pupil Voice and understanding
When we assess our children, we use a wide range of evidence to provide a complete picture. We continually talk to the children about their learning so that they are fully involved in it and take responsibility so that they always do their very best. Our children understand that through hard work and practice, even more can be achieved.
The children at Christ Church can talk about the assessment procedures that we use and use these to challenge themselves; many have the aspiration of mastering as many skills as they can.