Learning and Assessment
Learning and Assessment
Our Approach to Assessment
At Osmaston Primary School we use assessment practices that are research-based to ensure that we are as accurate as we can possibly be and that our assessment helps our children to learn more effectively.
Assessment begins in the classroom where the classroom staff are checking all the time to make sure that children understand and remember what they are being taught. We do this in a variety of ways - we look at their written work, observe them practising skills, ask questions to check their understanding and undertake regular quizzes with them. We know that,in order to retain knowledge, we need to test the children regularly and that testing is actually one of the best ways of helping children to learn. Once a week, the teacher will give the children a quiz that tests their retained knowledge - both of that week's lesson content and of previous weeks too. Children that do not get good marks on this quiz may be identified as requiring additional help in their learning and the class teacher will arrange this as necessary to ensure that all children make good progress.
At the end of each term children in KS1 and KS2 will be asked to undertake a formal test in mathematics and reading. Many of the tests will be undertaken online which means that the results are available to our staff immediately and are 100% correct. We believe that testing using standardised tests is a more accurate way of assessing pupils' progress than teacher assessment alone as it eliminates human bias! However, we understand that, for any particular pupil, it is possible that they may have a particularly bad or good day when they take the test so we will always take this into account and discuss their progress with their teacher rather than simply relying on the results of the tests alone. The only element of progress that we do not test is writing, where teachers will make a judgement at least one a term on the progress being made. At the present time there is no test at primary school level that is available to independently judge attainment and progress in writing.
Statutory Assessment Explained
As a government-funded primary school, we are required by law to assess our children at various stages of their education and to submit the test results centrally to the Dept for Education (although in the case of KS2 the tests are marked centrally and we are given the results).
The first formal assessment point is when the child is in reception class (FS2) and must be submitted to the Dept for Education by us no later than Friday 29th June 2018 for every child who will reach their fifth birthday during the current academic year. You can find a very good 'parent-friendly' explanation of the EYFS profile on this website. Class teachers will keep parents informed about the completion of the EYFS profile and you can also find more information on this by clicking here.
KS1 Phonics Testing
All children in Year One will be formally testsed during the week commencing Monday 11th June 2018 and the results submitted to the Dept for Education. The test consists of the teacher asking the child to read forty words out from a card. Some of the words are real words and some are made up. Whilst it may seem slightly strange to ask a child to read a made up word, this is a good test of the child's understanding of the different parts of a word and ensures that they aren't just recognising words that are familiar to them. In other words, we know that they will have the ability to read words that are new to them in the future. You can find a good 'parent-friendly' explanation of the phonics check for 2017 (it hasn't changed for 2018) on this website. When a child has not reached the desired standard then the child will be re-tested in Year Two after they have had an additional year of learning phonics.
End of KS1 Testing
All children will be formally assessed in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Year Two. Assessments are undertaken by the class teacher but they are helped in their judgement by having the children sit short tests in reading and mathematics. All assessments need to be submitted to the Dept for Education by Thursday 28th June 2018. You can find a good 'parent-friendly' explanation of the end of KS1 statutory assessment process on this website.
End of KS2 Testing
All children will be formally assessed in reading, writing and mathematics at the end of Year Six. Assessments are undertaken by completion of external tests during the week commencing Monday 14th May 2018 AND by the class teacher. Unlike in KS1, the test results and teacher assessments are two separate submissions and it is only the test results that count in the national tables (apart from for writing which is judged on teacher assessment only. You can find out more about KS2 SATs by watching the video below.