Assessment at Backworth Park Primary
Following the introduction of the new National Curriculum, schools have no longer used the system of levels, which had been in place for a considerable time. The new National Curriculum sets out clearly the expectations at the end of Key Stages and in English, Maths and Science has detailed guidance as to which year group within the Phase, this content should be covered in, but not how progress should be assessed.
At Backworth Park, a range of assessment materials are used, including the North Tyneside Assessment Guidelines (NTAGS) for Reading, Writing and Maths, alongside commercial resources to help teachers to plan and teach a rich, challenging curriculum and assess pupil's progress. We also participate in cross-moderation within our own school and with other schools to ensure that the judgements we make are robust and secure. Schools are also selected to be externally moderated by the Local Authority on a rolling programme.
Assessing each child against Year Group expectations:
All staff use formative assessment on a daily basis within lessons and give verbal and written feedback at an age-appropriate level to children, so that children know how they are achieving and how to improve in their learning.
Progress in Early Years is assessed against the Early Years Outcomes and Developmental Matters framework, which identifies typical behaviours/learning in age-bands, across 7 areas of learning. Assessment is on-going throughout Early Years, and regularly reported to parents, culminating in statutory assessment against the Early Learning Goals at the end of a child's Reception year. These statutory outcomes are also reported to the Local Authority and nationally.
Within Key Stages 1 and 2 teachers assess pupils against the expectations set out in the 2014 Primary Curriculum. The terms ‘Developing’, ‘Secure’ and ‘Exceeding’ are used to describe a pupil’s understanding of the curriculum for their year group. Whilst the expectation is that most pupils will be working securely within their age-appropriate curriculum by the end of the academic year, we recognise that each pupil is an individual and that learning does not often take a linear path. Some children may be working below their appropriate age group’s curriculum and require targeted teaching for specific gaps in their knowledge. If a child was working at the early stage within the objectives for their age, they would be assessed as 'developing'. If they demonstrated that they were working confidently with most objectives for their age-group, they would be judged as ‘secure’; some children may demonstrate a deeper level of understanding and then be described as ‘exceeding’. Pupils may stay on their chronological year group’s curriculum for longer rather than moving on to the next year’s curriculum as they could with the old National Curriculum levels. A small number of pupils may demonstrate their knowledge and understanding independently and confidently in a variety of contexts, including applying their skills across the curriculum, and may be described as showing ‘mastery’.
Assessment is carried out half-termly against learning targets taken from the curriculum objectives for the appropriate year group that the child is following. Progress is regularly tracked to ensure that appropriate pace is being kept and where additional support or interventions are needed to accelerate pupil progress. Written tests are undertaken in certain year groups to support teacher assessment judgements and identify next steps for learning.
Assessment outcomes are reported to parents in Target Setting meetings and Open Evenings and formally in Annual School Reports issued at the end of the Summer Term.
In addition to the EYFS assessments in Reception, statutory assessments are undertaken: