Burghill Community Academy

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Assessment at Burghill Community Academy:

The new National Curriculum has been statutory since Sept 2014 and the new National Curriculum is premised on the concept of mastery - something which every child can aspire to and every teacher should promote. It is about deep, secure learning for all, with extension of able students (more things on the same topic) rather than acceleration (rapidly moving on to new content).  Effective assessment will clearly show how secure pupils are in their learning and prompt the teacher into planning the most appropriate next steps for learning.

The overriding principle of good assessment is that it should be clearly tied to its intended purpose. There are three main forms of assessment: in-school formative assessment, which is used by teachers to evaluate pupils’ knowledge and understanding on a day-to-day basis and to tailor teaching accordingly; in- school summative assessment, which enables schools to evaluate how much a pupil has learned at the end of a teaching period; and nationally standardised summative assessment, which is used by the Government to hold schools to account. Good formative assessment ranges from the probing question put to a pupil as they think something through; quick recap questions at the opening of a lesson; scrutiny of the natural work of pupils; right through to formal tests.

As an academy we promote these key Assessment Principles:

  • Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning.
  • Assessment is fair and honest.
  • Assessment is ambitious and appropriate
  • Assessment is consistent.
  • Assessment outcomes provide meaningful and understandable information.

We view assessment as the starting point, not end point, for pupils’ learning. Continuous assessments are used by teachers to develop the next steps in pupils’ learning. Pupils then have an on-going dialogue about their ‘targets’. Written and oral feedback is used, including pupil self-assessment and peer assessment of pieces of work and work is planned against age related expectations and the ability of the children.

Ofsted expect the school to demonstrate good evidence of pupil progress over time and show clearly what ‘typically’ happens in school. The key evidence for this will be in the children’s books. However, we do need to demonstrate how children’s achievement is being recorded and monitored. The school is using ScholarPack as an on-line tool to record and measure pupils’ progress and assessment outcomes. Work is moderated in school and also across schools, through the Orchard Partnership and Activate (a group of around 40 primary schools and academies across Herefordshire)

Our aim is to give reliable information about how each child, and their class, is performing. To enable this we:

  • Provide information that is easily understood and transferable and covers both qualitative and quantitative assessment
  • Differentiate attainment between pupils of different abilities, giving early recognition of pupils who are falling behind and those who are excelling
  • Ensure assessment is closely linked to improving the quality of learning and teaching
  • Ensure feedback to pupils contributes to improved learning and is focused on specific and tangible objectives
  • Produce recordable measures which can demonstrate progress over time
  • Make comparisons against expected standards

Pupil and Group Tracking: Teachers can provide a summative assessmentThis enables progress to be tracked. Expected progress across a year is three points for children in years 2 to 6. The children in Year 1 are given a baseline score from their EYFS Profile, which gives them a starting point onto our assessment system. In year 1 the expected progress is four points. Groups of pupils can be generated in order to view their progress e.g. Pupil Premium or SEN. The number of children achieving the expected standard or above (Secure) at the end of each year would be 70% or above.

Early Years Foundation Stage

The Early Excellence Baseline is used to assess children upon entry into the school. This information is then fed into our monitoring system in order for school to assess the children’s progress through the year. Throughout the year, the children’s learning journeys are entered into 2Build a Profile, which is an online programme that allows children to be assessed against the EYFS stage, where photos, comments and next steps can be added. This is shared regularly with the parents throughout the year.

Assessment of Science and the Foundation Subjects

The school uses it's own system for tracking the progress of pupils in this area. This allows class teachers to assess on a termly basis how the children are achieving against the National Curriculum, where information can easily be passed on to prospective class teachers or fed back to parents.