Assessment and Reporting
“Students no longer ask ‘Is this what you want?’ or ‘Is this going to be on the test?’ Instead learning goals and standards are clearly spelled out so that students understand them and what they are expected to learn…know how to demonstrate they have learned it…and know what to do to improve.” Grant Wiggins Educative Assessment, Designing Assessments to Improve Performance (1998)
Assessment is at the heart of all we do at BSJ. Students can only achieve their best and continually improve if they understand where they are on their learning journey, where they are going and what they need to do next to help them get there. This is achieved by a continuous process of classroom assessment where students and teachers interact to plan the learning journey. It means that the teacher’s planning needs to be flexible, responding to the student’s needs on a daily basis. This process is called assessment for learning and consists of the following components:
- the active involvement of students in their own learning
- sharing learning goals and success criteria
- involving students in self and peer assessment
- effective questioning
- providing feedback that allows students to recognise the next steps in their learning and how to take them
- continually adjusting planning in response to the results of assessment
- a belief that every child can improve
In Key Stage 1 and 2 student’s attainment in mathematics, reading and writing is judged against the UK National Curriculum attainment targets. Three times a year the teachers record their summative assessment for each child in these areas and this is recorded electronically in a database. This process is called assessment of learning and the information is used by the school in a number of ways all with the explicit aim of raising achievements and standards. In the Foundation stage the assessment of learning takes the form of a baseline assessment within the first 6 weeks of the child’s start at school. This sets out areas of development that could be catered for as part of the Foundation Stage Learning environment.
To support and validate the teachers’ assessments all students from Year 2 to Year 6 take external tests in Mathematics and English. These are online assessments and are taken by the students in June. Students in Year 3 and Year 6, and all new students in Key Stage 2, also take Cognitive Ability Tests (CATs). These are verbal and nonverbal reasoning tests and help the teachers analyse attitudes to learning as well as learning potential. Students in Foundation Stage 2 and Year 1 also take the Electronic Performance Indicators in Primary Schools (EPIPS) external test on a one-to-one basis to give a benchmark for progress and early development.
Written reports are prepared for the parents twice in the school year in January and June. In addition, there are opportunities each term for parents to meet formally with class teachers to discuss reports and set targets thus developing the home-school partnership.
Parents are welcome to make appointments at any time during the school year to meet the teacher and discuss their child’s learning.