Calibration as opposed to causation

The academy strongly believes that assessment should only be used to inform teaching practice and support learners without additional pressure, stress or teaching workload. To address this the academy has taken considerable steps to address the assessment routines and cycles in school. In class assessment follows a formative feedback model where pupils are coached, learning conferences take place and supported in making progress as opposed to written comments in books. The academy has maintained three formal assessment points for the 19/20 year as we fully transition into a new assessment regime. This is also reflective of the number of children who start mid-year who may otherwise have incomplete information and therefore a weaker picture for us in terms of the appropriate support.

Curriculum Assessment

How we know learning has taken place…

1. Low stakes quizzes and recall ‘check ins’- Learning is a change in long-term memory. This means that we can’t really assume our students have ‘learned’ something unless, at some point later, they can show that they can remember it. (Tom Sherrington 2017)

In every wider curriculum lesson, teachers will use a range of recall tools and strategies to ascertain what pupils can remember. This allows teachers to know where gaps in knowledge are and where further consoldatio is required and allows pupils to grapple with their understanding so that learning becomes long-term and sustained. Recall tools include: low stakes half termly quizzes, ‘tell the story’ using key words, summary activities, mind-mapping to promote links in thinking and understanding and private assessment e.g. silent self-quiz so pupils can attempt and then self/peer assess to close the knowledge gap.

2. Curriculum links-to-learning- Each time a concept is encountered within a different context, not only is the concept more likely to be remembered, the understanding of that concept becomes more nuanced. (Clare Sealy 2017)

As mentioned above, the ‘Do Now’ of each wider curriculum lesson is known as the link-to-learning and is an exploration of how the lesson links to previous learning, something the child has encountered in a different discipline or subject area and how this will provide them with crucial knowledge to access subsequent learning. Pupils explore- (a) how this links to last lesson/last week/last term (b) how this links to something I know from my own understanding (c) how this will link with what we learn next

3. Knowledge organisers to specify exactly WHAT needs to be learnt- Specifying the exact knowledge is just a starting point. Sequencing it, explaining it, checking it, quizzing on it, practising combining it, testing it, and revising it for years are vital if pupils are to remember it for years to come. (Joe Kirby 2015)

Each half-term, teachers are supported by curriculum faculties, subject leads and subject- specialists to create knowledge organisers capturing the knowledge that the pupil will acquire by the end of that half-term. This is shared with pupils and parents and is referred to at the beginning of every wider curriculum lesson so that is revisited and revised regularly. Pupils then add to it and supplement the knowledge organisers with additional understanding, questions, ideas and thinking. Thinking in the wider curriculum is also captured in our ‘thinking jotter’s’ – a place where pupils can articulate their thinking as they continue along their learning journey.


Schools are required to develop their own assessment systems to track the progress children in their school are making. Teachers continually assess children against the National Curriculum expectations, using their findings to plan for progression.

Our pupils are assessed every term, whether it is using teacher assessment or more formal assessments which follow the Ark guidelines. Pupils are assessed in reading, writing, mathematics and across the breadth of our wider curriculum. Assessment takes many forms: marking, questioning, work scrutiny, observations and short tests (specifically we use Hodder Pira and Puma assessments). This kind of ongoing assessment is vital at school, as it helps the teacher plan what each child needs to learn next.

Termly progress meetings are then used to moderate teacher judgements, to check children are making good progress and to inform the support we give. Within school we centrally track the progress each child makes. This is updated at least termly and is based on progress towards end of year expectations. We analyse the data each term to ensure children are being supported to reach high standards.

Attainment of the National Curriculum standards and the level of progress made are reported to parents during parent consultation meetings and in the end of year written report. In addition to commenting on progress and attitudes reports will indicate attainment against expected standards using the following categories:

  • Well Below Expectations - working significantly below the end of year expectation
  • Below Expectations - not yet meeting the end of year expectation
  • At Expectations - working at the expected end of year expectation
  • Above Expectations - securely working at expected end of year expectation
  • Well Above (Working at greater depth) - Demonstrating deeper understanding (mastery) of the learning objectives. This is unlike old levels in that children do not move onto new content, rather they achieve a deeper understanding through problem solving and applying their knowledge in a wider range of contexts.

National Assessments

Baseline Reception

Children will be given a short baseline assessment within the first few weeks of starting Reception class, completed by the teacher, to find the individual child's starting point.

End of Year 1

Children take an externally set Phonics Screening Test in June. Children will also be assessed on a regular basis using teacher assessment; you will be informed whether your child has met the required standard in phonics. If they have not met the expected level, they will be retested in Year 2.

End of Year 2 - (End of Key Stage 1)

In May, Year 2 children will be assessed using externally set tests; these will be marked internally by the teacher. The tests cover mathematics, reading and writing. The writing assessment also covers spelling, punctuation and grammar. Instead of a level, children will be given a scaled score which will be out of 100, where 100 is the standard for that stage. These tests are used to validate the school’s teacher assessments in these areas.

End of Year 4 - (Multiplication check)

In June, all year 4 children nationally will be expected to sit an online assessment of their competency with multiplication tables. This is an online assessment of mental arithmetic where the child will have 6 seconds to answer a multiplication check question between the x2 table and x12 table. This assessment will be used to validate the quality of the academies mental arithmetic provision.

End of Year 6 - (End of Key Stage 2)

Children will sit National Tests in May; these cover mathematics, reading and grammar, spelling and punctuation. Writing assessments continue to be based on ongoing teacher assessment; moderated locally. The tests will be externally set and externally marked. The format and level of challenge has changed. There is no longer a separate Level 6 paper. Children will no longer be given a level instead their raw scores in the tests are converted to a scaled score, where 100 is the standard for that stage.