Assessments at Ferndale Primary School
Assessment is at the heart of every lesson, our teachers and support staff are skilled in using a range of strategies to know where the children are at every point during a lesson in order for them to make rapid progress. This approach also allows us to identify misconceptions, which can be addressed immediately via verbal and written feedback, staff input and modelling or through a specific intervention if needed.
In lessons where the skill being taught needs careful differentiation, we use our metal system of Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum outcomes, these allow children to move between levels as they progress throughout the lesson.
Interventions are planned half termly to address any gaps in learning or to develop a skill further, these are planned by class teachers based on their assessment for learning from the previous half term. Interventions are sometimes delivered in small groups if there is a specific skill that needs developing, however, we attempt to use additional; staff to support ‘in class’ interventions through specific differentiation.
Marking and feedback is used to check understanding, address misconceptions, to develop a skill further and to encourage children to move on to the next step in their learning. We use verbal feedback during lessons so that children receive immediate feedback, which they can then act on within the lesson. Children use green pens to show the impact on feedback and to improve their work.
At the beginning of each academic year, teachers set challenging targets for each child in their class with a member of the SLT (senior leadership team), we use historic data and the teacher’s knowledge of the children to do this. Termly pupil progress meetings allow teachers to discuss each child’s progress towards their targets with a member of SLT and if there are concerns, specific plans are made to address these, which are monitored by the assistant head teacher for the year group.
We formally assess the children at the end of each term, this is logged on our SIMS (school information management system) assessment system. Reports to parents are sent twice a year, a short version in February before our Spring parents’ evening and another, more detailed summer report at the end of the year. These reports will inform parents of their child’s current level compared to ARE (age related expectation) and how well they have progressed so far.
National assessments take place throughout a pupil’s time at primary school. Parent information meetings about these assessments are delivered by staff each year to ensure all parents are fully informed about how the assessments are delivered, there is also an opportunity to ask questions about the tests and to see examples of past papers.