At Chantry, we understand that learning is a complex process that cannot be observed directly. Assessment is the process by which we infer where pupils are on their learning journey, as shown in curriculum maps, and any gaps or misconceptions they may hold; it is the beginning of further learning, not an end point.
We use a range of different approaches to assessment which are dependent upon the purpose of the assessment. For example, multiple choice questions might be used as an assessment of prior knowledge before a topic is begun, an extended piece of writing might be used to assess a pupils’ depth of understanding of a particular topic or a summative test might be used at the end of a term including a mixture of question types that provides comparison of a pupils’ performance against their peers. Each assessment provides teachers with feedback on pupils’ strengths and areas of improvement so that they can adapt future learning appropriately.
During lessons, checks for understanding are used throughout to check pupils’ understanding against learning intentions. These approaches include question and answer sessions, the use of mini whiteboards or a brief task. This informal assessment provides the teacher with feedback on the next steps in learning.
Each department has its own approach to marking and feedback based upon the Education Endowment Foundations’ guide to effective feedback. We understand that feedback can have a huge impact on pupils’ attainment therefore we believe that the purpose and use of feedback is more important than the method of feedback. Marking may be done by the teacher, a peer or the pupil themselves; feedback will be provided by the teacher either verbally or in writing in relation to the learning intention of a given task.
In English and Maths, summative assessments are carried out at the end of the autumn term and the end of the summer term. These tests allow us to compare the performance of individual pupils and groups of pupils against national expectations as well as identifying individual strengths and areas for improvement.
Reporting to Parents / Carers
As we have done previously, we will continue to formally report to parents / carers three times each year. These reporting points will be in November, March and July. After the reports in November & March there will be the opportunity to attend a parents evening to discuss the report and any aspect of your child’s progress further.
We have developed the reporting process to allow you, as parents / carers, to have a greater understanding of the depth of understanding that a pupil holds for a particular subject. The varying depths of understanding will be identified as:
- Developing: a pupil has experienced the key components of learning within that curriculum area and is beginning to understand some of those components
- Expected: a pupil has understood the key components of that subject area and is beginning to use and apply them across other areas of learning
- Mastering: a pupil has a good understanding of key components and is able to make links to other areas of learning
We would typically expect a pupil to be working at the expected depth of learning by the end of the academic year that they are in. However, variation will exist and end of year expectations will be altered on the basis of the progress a pupil is making through the year.
Attitude to Learning
These are both important measures of a pupil’s approach to their own learning. In the pupil planners and on the walls around school, we constantly reinforce the characteristics required to be a successful learner. These characteristics form the basis of our assessment of a pupil’s attitude to learning, as set out in the table. Please click here to access it.
Our expectation is that all pupils are typically demonstrating an attitude to their own learning which is at least good.