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How We Assess

At Lowbrook we believe assessment is an essential ingredient of outstanding teaching and learning. Quality assessment is of fundamental importance to all teachers, parents and children. They provide vital information required for planning the whole curriculum and for measuring learning outcomes.  It is an ongoing process undertaken on a formal and informal basis.  It is an essential feature of the effective practice at the Academy.

We ensure that there are both:

  1. Assessment for Learning (formative)
  2. Assessment of Learning  (summative)

Assessment for Learning

What this involves for teachers is best described as a cyclical process, in which they gather data about pupils’ current understandings and skills by observation, careful questioning, gathering children’s views and studying pupils work, then interpret this information in relation to the lesson goals to decide the next steps in learning. 

The cycle is repeated by gathering more data in the next activity, having the effect of regulating learning so that the pace of moving forward is adjusted to ensure the active participation of learners. The value of children’s participation at all stages in this cycle is widely recognised. It requires that children as well as teachers have a clear idea of what they should be aiming for, thus enabling them to take part in assessing their work and gaining some independence in learning. Teachers will continuously assess their children during the course of every day’s teaching. Central to this process ensures that teaching:

  • Shares learning goals with pupils.
  • Helps pupils to know and to recognise the standards to aim for.
  • Presents the learning intention as a question– Can I calculate … ?).
  • Provides feedback which leads pupils to identify what they should do next to improve.
  • Has a commitment that every pupil can improve.
  • Involves both teacher, TAs and pupils reviewing and reflecting a pupil’s performance and progress.
  • Involves pupils in self-assessment.
  • Provides opportunities for revisiting prior work with limited input. We recognise that repeated testing using varied time intervals improves long term memory. Goodbye to “Cramming,” and an endorsement of the phrase, “Use it or lose it.”

There are many opportunities that allow for these assessments.

For example:-

  • Immediate, oral feedback with the child.
  • Marking of work against the learning objective.
  • Discussion with individual and groups of children.
  • Discussion with teaching assistants and other professionals working with children.
  • Targeted questioning.
  • The use of whiteboards during the introduction of a lesson
  • The use of response partners during a lesson
  • Revisiting learning objectives throughout the lesson and in the plenary.
  • The setting and evaluation of clear targets.
  • Use of response partners.
  • Re-testing, cold tasks, delayed feedback

Assessment of Learning

Summative assessment is a judgement made on what a child has learnt. This data is used to ascertain and recognise levels of pupils’ achievement on a standardised basis, to compare and analyse progress and to assess the quality of learning within the Academy. Summative assessment at the Academy is carried out through testing and teacher assessments. It is used largely to inform parents how their child is progressing, allowing the school’s leadership and teachers to diagnose anomalies or problems with teaching or pupil groups and to report on school progress and effectiveness to bodies such as governors and Central Government.  Data is recorded and analysed within the school, by the DFE and by the Fisher Family Trust (FFT).

At Lowbrook Academy we ensure that throughout the year judgements about pupils’ performance in relation to national standards are made.

These judgements are made through:

  1. Formal testing
  • On entry to Foundation Stage all children are assessed using NFER Reception Baseline Assessment. The EYFS profile (Development Matters 0-60) is completed throughout the year until the end of the Foundation Stage.
  • Phonics Screening Checks are completed towards the end of year 1.
  • Formal testing of Y2 is continuous throughout the year; the teacher’s assessment will be used to inform the standard given at the end of the Key stage. A variety of assessments are used, these include the Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs) for English grammar, punctuation and spelling, Reading and Maths. Monitoring of teacher assessment is essential and is carried out in school, with colleagues from surrounding schools and by the local authority. 
  • Formal testing of Year 4's recall of times tables is carried out through the Multiplication Tables Check (MTC) in June.
  • At the end of KS2 the school administers the Standard Assessment Tasks (SATs) for English grammar, punctuation and spelling, Reading and Maths in accordance with National Policy.
  • All Domains have agreed assessment schemes and schedule as outlined within the assessment rota schedule. Re-testing of spellings, times tables, competencies and key facts are the norm and ensures that we are building the neural plasticity and long term memory of our learners.
  1. Teacher Assessment.

Teacher assessment is an essential part of the Curriculum. The results from teacher assessments are reported alongside test results. Both have equal status and provide complementary information about children’s attainment. The tests provide a standard snapshot of attainment at the end of each year group, while teacher assessment, carried out as part of teaching and learning in the classroom, covers the full range of scope of the programmes of study, and takes account of evidence of achievement in a range of contexts, including that gained through discussion and observation. Moderation of teaching assessments is the norm and often external. Teacher assessment is rooted in the level descriptions of the National Curriculum and agreed syllabus for Faith and Belief.

The way this is achieved is through:

  • On going standardised reading assessments.
  • Weekly unaided writing activity.
  • End of topic assessment and review activities in maths.
  • On-going standardised maths assessments.
  • Regular mental maths testing of times tables and the Lowbrook Competencies.
  • End of topic assessments in Science.
  • Regular topic and domain knowledge and skill assessment.
  • Weekly spelling tests.
  • The review of Pupil Passports.

Reporting To Parents/Carers

We are committed to fulfilling our statutory obligation in reporting to parents as we believe it is vitally important in developing positive relationships with parents. 

If you wish to talk to your child's teacher, it would be preferable to arrange a mutually convenient time, but if you have a particularly urgent concern it may be possible to see your child's teacher or Mr Rooney at short notice. 

We hold Meet the Teacher information evenings in the first term and parent consultations in the Spring term (Term 3) to discuss children's progress and to set future aspirational targets. 

Written progress reports are completed in the summer term (Term 6), on which you and your child can comment on if you wish.