Assessment at Orchard Meadow

Our Intent

At Orchard Meadow assessment is an ongoing process that we believe is fundamental to effective teaching and learning.

Teachers have a bank of assessment tools that they can use to accurately assess attainment and progress. These cover a range of techniques including low-stake testing (POP quizzes), feedback (verbal, written) and planned, informal assessment tasks. Assessment is closely linked to and informs delivery of the curriculum. Assessment approaches are differentiated to capture attainment of all learners, including that of vulnerable groups.

  1. Formative Assessment practices (‘assessment for learning’) are part of everyday classroom routines in lessons through:
  • Scoop and boost
  • Pop quizzes
  • Low stakes assessment tasks, e.g. NCETM maths assessment activities
  • Peer and self-assessment
  • High quality questioning
  • Peer and group work is also used as formative assessment opportunities. See appendix 3 for details of ways this is used at Orchard Meadow
  1. Summative assessment (‘assessment of learning’):
  • Termly teacher assessments submitted to FFT (Fisher Family Trust)
  • PUMA and PIRA assessments
  • Mock SATs (Y6)
  • Statutory assessments: SATs; Phonics Screening Check; Y4 multiplication tables check; Early Years framework
  • RWI phonics assessments

In Early Years children are continuously assessed against the Development Matters Curriculum (2020). We use Tapestry to record attainment against the Development Matters assessment criteria. This allows parents and carers to be part of the assessment process. 

Core subjects:

Pupils are assessed at the end of every term against a set of criteria in Reading, Writing and Maths. These criteria have been developed to give a clear set of attainment characteristics for ARE in Autumn, Spring and Summer (end of year expectations).

The descriptors have been grouped so that they reflect content taught at that stage in the year. Some statements have been coloured bold to indicate that they are ‘non-negotiable’ in terms of defining ARE. For all other statements, the majority must be achieved for a pupil to fulfil the criteria for that stage.

The descriptors act as a guide for the knowledge and skills that should be taught in that term in that year group and are cross referenced against assessment tasks. These align with our partner schools so that there is a common approach to moderation and all tasks are standardised.

Assessment tasks:

Maths: NCETM assessment tasks

Writing: At the end of each unit, pupils should complete an independent long-write in their purple ‘published’ books. This task is linked to the learning in that unit and scaffolded by clear steps to success that are shared and explicitly taught to pupils. The steps to success criteria are then used to define EXS (Must) and GDS (Could) attainment.

Reading. Teachers should use the attainment descriptors statements to plan their whole class reading sessions during Theme Read time, using the guide at the bottom of each year group page which specifies texts that support different reading strands.

Attainment descriptors are used by teachers to guide their planning and help formulate learning objectives (WALTs). When assessing pupils they also help to identify gaps and set targets – see Appendix 1 with details of this process.

Non-core subjects:

Learning in foundation subjects is defined in each unit:

Core learning – those skills and knowledge that are the ‘non-negotiable’ pieces of learning in that unit. These link to the skills progression maps in each subject and ensure that pupils are being given explicit exposure and modelling of subject specific skills. These are defined in each units ‘5C’s cover sheet’ documentation, knowledge organisers and lesson plans.

Attainment descriptors are used by teachers to guide their planning and help formulate learning objectives (WALTs). When assessing pupils they also help to identify gaps and set targets – see Appendix 1 with details of this process.

Deepening concepts: These are the ideas that may underpin the core learning or provide abstract links to other subjects or contexts, for example linking a theme in a period of history to the modern day. Lessons will expose pupils to these links and prepare pupils to complete a high-quality final outcome that shows what they have learnt.

Formative assessment, to inform future teaching and learning, is at the heart of practice in foundation subjects. A typical unit will be 10 lessons, with a POP (proof of progress) assessment after 5 sessions. If the teacher is satisfied that pupils have sufficient understanding of the core concepts (outlined above), they can proceed to the deepening stage. If understanding of the core concepts has been poor, then the expectation is that lessons 5+ provide opportunities for re-teaching/ consolidation

As for core subjects, skills are defined for all year groups. At the end of each term these are used by teachers to define attainment. Teachers may also use knowledge organisers for each unit to assess pupil knowledge. Just like core subjects, this information is then recorded on FFT.  

 

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