"I like maths just because it's fun."
Year 2 Pupil
At Alwyn we view assessment as a tool for benchmarking the starting point of a child's education and to track their learning. It helps to identify gaps which informs future planning and provides valuable information on deciding individual targets, support or next steps.
Alongside continuous teacher assessments, there are national assessments at regular intervals in primary education that must be taken:
Children have a baseline assessment at the beginning of assessment
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)
Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (Reception)
This is an assessment of the children's attainment at the end of their first year in school (reception class). It is based on the teacher's knowledge and understanding of what the child knows, understands and can do in relation to the early learning goal (ELG) descriptors. The EYFS profile is also used to inform parents about their child’s development. Children are defined as having reached a Good Level of Development (GLD) at the end of the EYFS if they have achieved the expected level for the ELGs in the different areas of learning. This helps teachers and parents to understand broadly what a child can do in relation to national expectations. In addition, the EYFS profile provides a national child development data set at the end of the EYFS.
Year 1 Phonics Screening
The national phonics screening check was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils. It is a short, statutory assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding skills to an appropriate standard. It aims to identify the children who need extra help so that they can be given support by school to improve their reading skills.
At Alwyn Infant School we aim to identify children who struggle with phonics at an early stage and provide 'little and often' intervention support, however the assessment is a statutory requirement. The test comprises a list of 40 real and pseudo (nonsense) words, which a child will read one-to-one with the class teacher. Half the words cover the phonic skills which are usually covered in Reception, and half the words are based on Year 1 phonics skills. The results are communicated to parents through the school report at the end of the academic year. Any child who does not reach the rquired standard for the screening check will retake it in Year 2.
Year 2 SATs
At the end of year 2, the children sit statutory tests in the core areas of the curriculum; reading, grammar, spellings and maths. The children in Year 2 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 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.