At St Thomas of Canterbury RC Primary School we believe that in order for all our children to be successful learners then Assessment for Learning must be at the heart of everything we do. The primary purpose of assessment is to inform the next steps in teaching and learning in order for us to ensure every individual fulfils their maximum potential. Assessment provides the basis of informed teaching, helping pupils to overcome difficulties and ensuring that teaching builds upon what has been learnt. It is also the means by which pupils understand what they have achieved and what they need to work on. Our dedicated staff are constantly reflecting upon teaching and learning, to provide a quality education for all of our pupils.
Here at St Thomas of Canterbury, we have a robust assessment and tracking system, which reflects the National Curriculum 2014, and uses a carefully planned combination of formative and summative assessment. Following a transitional phase in 2014-15, we have moved away from the old assessment system of levels, and for the start of the academic year 2015-16, we have a system based on end of year expectations across all year groups.
At St Thomas of Canterbury, we use STAT (School Tracking & Assessment Tool) Sheffield for Reading, Writing, SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) and Mathematics to track children's progress, without levels. These are available using the links below. For each year group, there is a set of Age Related Expectations (ARE’s) for a child to meet. These are a set of statements which clearly outline the skills and knowledge that a child should achieve by the end of a particular year.
Assessments are carried out termly, using the Sheffield STAT materials:
NB – Therefore expected progress is 3 steps per year – ENTERING, DEVELOPING, SECURE in any relevant year group.
At Assessment Point 3, NFER (National Foundation for Educational Research) tests are also used, alongside teacher assessments - from Year 3 to Year 5 - in Reading, Maths and SPaG, to support teacher judgements. From this, teachers report as to whether a child is ‘Below’, ‘Entering’, ‘Developing ‘ or ‘Secure’ within their year group in Reading, Writing, Maths and SPaG.
‘Below’ means that a child is working at least one year below the expectation for their age.
‘Entering’ means that a child is working at a standard expected at the start of the year they are now about to finish.
‘Developing’ means that a child is still working within the expectations for their year group.
‘Secure’ means they have secured all or most of the objectives for their year group. This includes ‘above average’ pupils.
Following termly teacher assessments, standards meetings are held, where class teachers meet with Mr Deane to look closely at the progress of individual pupils. Provision for children that are not on track is discussed, in order to address gaps in learning.
Assessment in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
Children in EYFS are assessed against the Foundation Stage Profile and the seventeen ELG (Early Learning Goals). During Nursery and Reception, observational evidence in the form of written observations, photographs, annotated pieces of work and learning journeys are used to capture children’s learning and to inform staff in planning developmentally appropriate next steps. At the end of Reception, teachers report as to whether children are ‘emerging’, ‘expected’ or ‘exceeding’ for each ELG and whether they have achieved a good level of development.
The profile is available by selecting the link below.