At St Mary’s, we have a rigorous and shared understanding of all aspects of assessment. Our approach to assessment is at the heart of high quality teaching and learning and all teachers have ongoing opportunities for professional development, to ensure they are skilled and confident in assessing pupils’ learning. Our assessment is inclusive of all abilities and is used diagnostically to contribute to the early and accurate identification of pupils’ needs, support and intervention.
St Mary’s use ‘Class Learning Journey’ as our framework for teaching, learning and assessment, which recognises and celebrates learning as a journey and is derived from our broad and balanced school curriculum, based on the National Curriculum. The assessment criteria are short, discrete, qualitative and concrete descriptions of what each pupil is expected to know and be able to do. The ‘Class Learning Journey’ helps teachers in planning pupils’ next steps in learning; it gives pupils a sense of purpose, in recognising their progress and knowing what they need to do to improve their skills further and it provides meaningful and understandable information to give to parents, to enable them to also support their child’s learning.
Pupils are given a strong voice in the learning process and are encouraged to challenge themselves. We hold Pupil Learning Conferences in the Autumn and Spring term for all children in Years 1 – 6. This is an opportunity for pupils and teachers to discuss the progress being made. The Pupil Learning Conferences actively involve pupils, engaging them in decision making and motivating them to take responsibility for their learning.
At St Mary’s, we focus on making learning and progress visible through daily conversations and interactions with pupils, that actively promote self and peer evaluation and reflection, looking beyond knowledge and understanding to include skills, attitudes and capabilities. We combine formative and summative assessments, using evidence accumulated from day to day teaching and learning, to provide rich evidence over time for our assessment judgements. We ensure assessments are fair, reliable and valid through ongoing internal external moderation.
Methods for assessment are adapted, to ensure every pupil meets or exceeds expectations, but also so that pupils identified as vulnerable, with SEN or with disabilities are making good progress and are challenged appropriately.
Parents are very welcome in school and we aim to involve them with their children’s education as much as possible. Parent consultation meetings take place in the Autumn, Spring and Summer term. In addition to this, parents can also arrange appointments to meet with the class teacher and or the Headteacher. At the end of each year, parents receive rich and detailed academic reports on their child’s progress, recognising achievements and identifying next steps in their learning.
Our use of assessment aims to inspire the belief that through greater effort, hard work and practice, more can be achieved.