Assessment at St. Joseph's
Pupils are assessed both formally and informally across all areas of the curriculum, including Religious Education.
Pre-school information alongside initial observations are used to make entry assessments of each pupil. The Foundation Stage Profile, which is a way of summing up each child’s progress and learning needs, is completed for all children at the end of Reception Class. This profile is based on the staff’s ongoing observations over all six areas of learning.
At the end of Key Stage 1, Year 2 pupils undertake SATs (Standard Assessment Tasks) with Teacher Assessments in English, Mathematics and Science. At the end of Key Stage 2 SATs results are compared nationally. Pupils in Years 1, 3, 4 and 5 complete written assessments in English and Mathematics, which alongside regular teacher assessments, are used to establish the progress made towards achieving age related expectations.
Reading tests are used in the school, and a record of each child’s comprehension and spelling attainment is sent up to the next class.
Profiles are kept of individual achievement in Computing and work samples are, where appropriate, saved in pupil’s individual files. Levels of attainment are used in Religious Education. Parent-Teacher consultation takes place normally in October and March each year. Parents are also encouraged to make appointments to see individual teachers after school. Written reports are sent out before the end of the summer term. There are also planned half-termly ‘drop in sessions’, where parents may meet with teachers.
Assessment without Levels
At the beginning of the academic year, September 2014, the new National Curriculum was introduced, bringing in some significant differences to the way children are assessed.
Levels have gone. Your child will no longer be assessed as a level 2a or 5c etc., as these levels no longer exist. The curriculum for English and Mathematics is now organised into Years 1-6; there is a clear expectation that the majority of children will master the requirements of each year group by the end of that academic year.
The new curriculum is also more difficult. For example, many of the knowledge, skills and understanding in Mathematics which would typically have been taught in Year 4 under the old curriculum are now expected to be taught and mastered in Year 3 and some even in Year 2.
There is no national method of assessing a child’s mastery of the objectives for each year or for assessing their progress within the new curriculum. The responsibility for this has been given to schools.
At St. Joseph’s we have been using a school tracking and assessment tool known as Target Tracker. This has enabled teachers to track the achievement of individual pupils against the new National Curriculum Statements. This of course is not an exact science and time is needed to embed the new practice. With the heightened expectations of the new curriculum teachers are also using Target Tracker to identify the gaps in children’s learning as they move from the old to the new curriculum.
Teachers will be able to tell you broadly whether your child is working towards, within, achieving or exceeding the age related expectations for their year group. As the new curriculum is significantly more challenging there may be some gaps in your child's learning, initially. Teachers will be able to tell you how they are addressing the gaps in learning and working to accelerate your child’s progress.
The terminology working towards, within, achieving and exceeding age related expectations in a particular year group will be reflected in your child’s end of year report.
Mrs. S. Ginzler-Maher