"I like maths just because it's fun."
Year 2 Pupil
At Alwyn we view assessment as a very important tool for benchmarking the starting point of a child's education and to track progress and attainment. Since the changes made in September 2016 and the removal of ‘level descriptors’ from the National Curriculum, schools are able to establish their own assessment systems to suit their curriculum and learning.
Why the Change?
The Department for Education felt levels were too vague and complicated for parents and not very good at helping to understand their child’s progress; there were also concerns that the levels system could contribute to children developing a "fixed mindset" about their ability and potential for growth.
How are children awarded a learning standard (level)?
At Alwyn we use ‘I can’ statements that describe learning objectives and help assess pupils’ progress. These statements provide information on how pupils achieve within the school age expectations.
The 'I can' statements fit into 5 different learning standards:
Exceeded (GDS) This means they show a deeper level of understanding and are able to apply their skills independently.
Working above the expected level of attainment This means they have met the expected standard and are working towards a deeper level of understanding and application.
Expected (EXS) This means they are working at the expected level of attainment for his/her year group.
Working towards the expected level (WTS) of attainment means they are showing some of the expected skills but are not consistent.
Emerging This means they have not met the required standard to be at the expected standard.
Assessment through Marking
One of the most valuable ways in which we assess children is through the marking of their work. Our approach to marking is formative, regular and consistent. It celebrates what children have achieved as well as showing them how they can develop further in their learning.
When will children be assessed?
Throughout their time at Alwyn, children are continually assessed through their school work, carpet time contributions and ongoing tests and assessments.
Alongside continuous teacher assessments, there are national assessments at regular intervals in primary education that must be taken:
Children will undergo an end of reception/foundation stage assessment based on teacher observations.
The Phonics Screening Check in Year 1 (June)
The end of Key Stage tests in Year 2 (KS1 SATs, May)
SATs results explained
From summer 2016, a more challenging SATs tests was introduced to reflect the changes to the curriculum at the end of the Key Stages (Year 2 and Year 6).
The children in Year 2 will take two reading tests, two maths tests and there is an optional spelling, punctuation and grammar (SPAG). These test results will then be used to support the teacher assessment judgement at the end of the year.
The test results (raw scores) are converted into a scaled score instead of a level that ranges between 85 and 115. The government set 100 as the expected score. The chart converting the raw score to the national standard is released each June. This helps to allow for differences in the difficulty of the tests from year to year so that pupils' results can be compared accurately.
You will be told your child's raw score, scaled score and whether they have reached the national standard for that subject.
Children will also be matched against ‘performance descriptors’ (in other words what pupils are expected to know and be able to do at the time of testing) when being assessed by their teachers to see if they’ve achieved the expected standard. This provides the teacher assessment standard.
Sample papers of these tests can be found on the DFE website.
What about children who are above or below the expected level?
There will be some children who will not meet the expected standard at the end of Year 2 and may be withdrawn from the national tests. They will continue to be teacher assessed using ‘performance descriptors’. This will be discussed with parents before the tests.
Alwyn Parent Council
The assessment procedures at Alwyn are regularly discussed at the parent council meetings.
Please look at the powerpoint presentation below to see what was discussed and look out for the next meeting!