EastBergholt CEVC Primary School
Assessment, Feedback and Target Setting Policy
Prepared by: Lee Abbott (Headteacher) June 2011
Approved by: _______________
(Chair of the Curriculum Committee)
Authorised by: ______________________
(Chair of Governing Body)
“The term assessment refers to all those activities undertaken by teachers, and by their students in assessing themselves, which provide information to be used as feedback to modify the teaching and learning activities in which they are engaged” (Black and William, 1998)
“Assessment for Learning (AFL) is the process of seeking and interpreting evidence for use by learners and their teachers to decide where the learners are in their learning, where they need to go and how best to get there.”
(Assessment Reform Group, 2002)
Aims of the policy
To ensure learning is linked to the needs of the children using effective Assessment for Learning (AFL) strategies including target setting, questioning, observation, use of assessment data.
To ensure effective discussion and feedback is provided to learners to facilitate learning progress.
- All assessment must be used for learning.
- AFL is an essential part of learning and teaching.
- AFL is underpinned with the confidence that every learner can improve.
- AFL involves all learners through the school.
- AFL involves sharing learning goals and helping others to understand what they are aiming for.
- AFL involves learner (self assessment), teacher (peers and parents) reviewing and reflecting on assessment information
- Feedback (written and oral) should lead the learner to celebrate their successes and recognise next steps and how to take them.
- Assessment can be informal (i.e. through discussion and observation for example) and is reactive (i.e. acted upon in response to an assessment)
Our good lesson practice
We believe it is important that assessment strategies are not “bolt on” but are central to learning and teaching. AFL strategies which can be observed in lessons will include a variety of strategies:
- Teacher/Teaching Assistant introducing the learning intention for learning zones and focus groups.
- Children and teacher/TA discussing success criteria (individual learning points to remember) for learning zones or focus groups.
- Paired discussion on prior learning on a related objective.
- Teacher/Teaching Assistant discussing understanding, knowledge or skill development with children.
- Teacher questioning, discussing, observing and adapting teaching according to needs of learners in focus groups and zones i.e. adaptable and flexible differentiation.
- Children discussing their learning progress with peers and offering feedback on task feedback sheets. What have I done well? (star) What could I do better? (peer assessment/talk partners/show a friend/learning buddies)
- Children reflecting on their own learning and progress (self assessment). e.g. children use learning journals (virtual and “real”) to reflect on their learning.
- Teacher/TA and pupils discussing and reflecting on their maths, literacy or skills target and explaining how they can demonstrate achievement (pupil progress meetings)
- Teacher/TA observing and recording learning progress of pupils to inform future learning.
- Children refocused on their success criteria throughout the lesson to judge whether they are doing well and where they need help – from each other or an adult.
- Children encouraged to reflect on their most successful learning (using success criteria) perhaps in a plenary or at the end of a day/week. What have I done well? (star) What could I do better? (target) – traffic lighting/thumbs up, thumbs down.
- Children and staff using a ‘working wall’ to support and share learning.
- Wow! boards used to evidence and celebrate children’s learning from home and in school.
- Celebration (e.g. assemblies) and Rewards (e.g. merits, stickers) motivate learners.
Feedback to Learners
“Learners need information and guidance in order to plan next steps in their learning.” (Assessment Reform Group 2002)
We believe quality feedback is vital for learning progress. Quality feedback shows where children have been successful and identifies a specific next step that will help them make progress.
We believe that the day to day strategies of analysing responses to questioning, observing and discussing understanding, knowledge and skills acquisition are elements of effective feedback. We give verbal feedback on pupils’ work usually during the lesson although sometimes feedback is given before the start of the next session or between lessons.
If verbal feedback is given by an adult, the adult marks the piece of work or home/school diary with a “t”. This may include homework where “t” will be written (with the date and a stamp) in the child’s home/school diary to acknowledge that the homework has been discussed with the child or used as part of teaching and learning.
Verbal feedback allows for a swift turnaround of assessment – feedback – adapting/developing the learning of the child.
We recognise that verbal feedback is often more effective than written feedback. However, when it has not been possible to offer verbal feedback, a comment will be written on children’s work or in their home/school diary in a colour of pen which is different to the child’s.
We encourage children to be the first contact for feedback (“Ask three before me”) so peer or self assessment may appear following a piece of work.
A Teacher/TA/peer may place a comment on a child’s work which is appropriate to the needs of the child and reflects the learner’s success criteria. A comment will consist of a positive and constructive observation.
Each week, the teacher will give written feedback on that week’s themed learning. Again, this comment will consist of a positive and constructive observation.
Teachers/TAs will also use the following specific, simple demarcation (or combinations) to support learning. These demarcations will be displayed in each classroom (in years 1-6) so children are aware of them:
Demarcations used in Feedback (oral or written)
General demarcation (Each inside a circle with a short date):
t – Discussed with Teacher/TA
I – Independent work
FG – Focus group
S – Supported in a focus group/zone
A – Objective achieved
Literacy objective specific demarcation:
sp (in margin and word underlined) – Spelling error.
P (in margin and omission/error circled) – indicates punctuation omitted or incorrect punctuation used. Correct punctuation placed in circle.
// new paragraph required here
↔ (over letters which have been reversed)
Guided reading – it will be made clear that a child has been heard read in a guided reading group. The adult will stamp, date and initial the child’s reading diary. In addition, they will give an indication of the specific learning objective.
Maths objective specific demarcation:
O (around an error) – indicates where an error in a calculation has been
(alongside an error) – indicates that a child needs to ‘check this’. A child may use this symbol to ensure they go back and check their own work.
ü (alongside a calculation) – indicates the calculation is correct
↔ (over numbers which are reversed)
Children are aware and frequently reminded of these demarcations. Demarcations and written feedback will be in accordance with the age, needs and progress of the individual child.
Curricular “Next Step” Targets
Curricular targets are set in collaboration with pupils for maths, English and key skills.
A next step target is based on the APP guidelines, which are used to assess pupil’s National Curriculum levels formatively. The teacher may adapt the objectives from the APP guidelines to make them more accessible. The teacher may write the child’s next target on the reverse of their current target during a teacher/child discussion.
Strands are often selected by the teacher due to a common area of focus for a particular cohort of pupils. Once a strand is selected, a next step is selected from the pupil’s own APP grid. The curricular target is discussed with the child and recorded on a target card which is kept in the child’s home/school diary so parents are aware of them and can support their child when working towards targets.
When the child has demonstrated their target three times independently their target is achieved (or in the teacher’s professional judgement “achieved”) the target card is displayed in the classroom to celebrate their success. A subsequent next step target is then introduced. If a target is not achieved within a half term, it is not considered a “SMART” target (i.e. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time specific) so the teacher will adjust the target to make it more achievable and accessible while remaining challenging enough to move learning on.
Equal Opportunities and Inclusion
We believe that educational inclusion is about equal opportunities for all learners, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, impairment, attainment and background. We pay particular attention to the provision for and the achievement of different groups of learners.
This does not mean that we will treat all learners in the same way, but that we will respond to learners in ways which take account of their varied life experiences and needs.
We see the inclusion of children identified as having special educational needs as an equal opportunities issue which can be addressed by the provision of a differentiated but equally broad and enriching curriculum.
Individual personalised assessment and target setting ensures that children are able to progress at their own rate without comparison with peers which can be damaging for self esteem.
Assessment Records and Tracking
We believe that formative assessment is the most accurate, constructive and informative judge of pupil attainment.
Teachers keep detailed records of assessment (such as APP) based on, for example: questioning, observation, work scrutiny.
Learning journeys are used to gather evidence of pupil progress in a broader way (not just written evidence) e.g. photographic, video, audio.
Teacher judgements are moderated formally (regular staff meetings with a moderation focus, Local Authority [Foundation and end KS1]) and informally (professional discussions) to ensure teacher judgements are sound. Moderation is evidence based and rigorous to minimise errors of judgement.
In core subjects (reading, writing, maths and science) pupil progress is tracked by the class teacher using the Suffolk Progress Tracker and the school tracking grids. This gives the teacher (and parent at parent interview) a clear indication of pupil progress across each term of the child’s time in years 1-6.
This data is scrutinised by the Assessment Leader (Head teacher) or subject leaders who in turn discuss action points with the class teacher (Pupil Progress Meetings) to identify what went well for learners making good progress and what support/action is required for pupils who are not making expected progress.
Qualitative information regarding pupil progress, learning, motivation and engagement is gathered in the form of pupil perception surveys, pupil interviews and theme feedback.
SATS and Foundation Stage Profile
Year 2 use the QCDA materials available for KS1 assessment to corroborate their judgements made using APP guidelines and to substantiate their evidence for moderation. The materials are used as the teacher feels appropriate for each child through the year.
Year 6 SATS are administered in the specified week according to the QCDA guidelines.
As in other year groups, assessment in the Foundation Stage is formative across the six areas of learning and records are kept using the Foundation Stage Profile.
Pupils’ levels on entry are assessed against the Foundation Stage Profile within the first days of the child’s attendance in school so judgements on progress across the Foundation Stage, KS1 and the school, can be made.
End of Key Stage data is scrutinised by the Assessment Leader (Head teacher) using Raise Online and issues are shared and discussed with staff (pupil progress/subject leader SLT meetings). In addition, the Head teacher scrutinises the data returned termly in order to monitor progress and attainment across the school. Qualitative information is also scrutinised to inform practise.
The Head teacher reports termly to the Curriculum Committee of the Governing Body on pupil progress and attainment across the school and at the end of the Key Stages, using Raise Online.
Raising Attainment Plan (RAP) Targets and National Targets
During the autumn term, the Head teacher will agree numerical Rasing Attainment Plan Targets for each year group with class teachers. These targets are forwarded to the Department for Education and the Local Authority if required.
Each term, the school’s progress towards these targets is monitored and scrutinised by the Head teacher and the Governing Body.
The Head teacher’s performance management targets are directly related to the school targets and are agreed with the Head teacher Performance Review committee.
Numerical Pupil Estimates
At the start of each year, numerical end of year estimates are set for pupils in each class, and recorded on the data tracking grids. These estimates relate to the RAP Targets set with the Headteacher (as above).
In Key Stage 2 these estimates are set with the Fischer Family Trust (FFT) estimates in mind and the expectation that children will make above expected progress in each year group across the Key Stage (i.e. 2 or more sub levels each year or more than 3 sub levels across two year groups).
In Key Stage 1, these estimates are set with the Foundation Stage Profile in mind and the expectation that children will make above expected progress in each year group across the Key Stage. (i.e. 3 or more sub levels each year or more than 6 sub levels across two year groups)
Numerical estimates are not set for individual pupils in the Foundation Stage.
Class teachers have performance management objectives linked to pupil progress and attainment.
Each term, the Head teacher receives a data return from each class teacher (tracking grids and FSP) which can be used to scrutinise progress against Annual Targets and enables the Head teacher, subject leaders and SENCO to monitor pupil progress. Pupil progress meetings are held to challenge and support teachers to facilitate progress in their classes.
The Local Authority (and DfE) request data returns throughout the year and a final data return at the end of the academic year (e.g. KS2 teacher assessments) which are returned using SIMS assessment manager.
- Teacher and Headteacher Performance Management indicating pupil progress as a priority.
- Raising Attainment Plan (RAP) Target grids
- Pupil Progress Meeting records
- Curriculum Committee of the Governing Body minutes.
- School Leadership Team and Staff Meeting Minutes.