At the Vale Federation we aim to promote an inclusive and holistic approach to assessment, in order to enable students to progress in their learning across a range of relevant contexts, whilst developing students’ self- esteem and confidence, preparing them for future destinations, and valuing them as individuals.
1. Principles and aims
Assessment policy and practice is holistic and inclusive of all abilities and special educational needs, and includes wider outcomes e.g. independence skills, communication, social skills, transferable skills, confidence and self-esteem.
Assessment should establish starting points and should support progress in a range of contexts.
Teacher assessment should be informed by the views of parents, students, LSAs and multi-agency professionals, as relevant. E.g. Physiotherapists, Speech and Language Therapists,
Policy and practice should ensure high expectations of progress in relation to individual starting points, and take into consideration each student’s learning difficulties.
Assessment should enable teachers to know enough about each student’s skills, knowledge and understanding to be able to help identify next steps to help them to progress and for teachers to adapt the curriculum accordingly.
Relevant and timely interventions, support and changes will be put in place where it assessed students are making less than expected progress.
A range of methods and tools will be used for formative and summative assessment in order to address the special educational needs of different students and to involve students as much as possible in feeding back on teaching and learning. E.g. visual, oral, observational, use of switches, use of new technologies.
Staff development programmes and opportunities will provide support to teachers and LSAs to be equipped and confident in understanding the principles of assessment for learning.
Systems for recording and reporting progress should be manageable, accessible and fit for purpose.
2. Arrangements for governance, management and evaluation of assessment
The assessment policy will be reviewed annually by the Senior Leadership Team, in conjunction with Heads of Department and their teams, and presented to governors for approval at Schools Committee and Full Governors meeting in the Summer Term of each year.
Heads of Department will monitor the effectiveness of policy and practice against agreed and established student outcomes, reporting to SLT in advance of the Autumn Term Schools Committee meeting. SLT will present Progress data/outcomes to governors in the Autumn Term (Schools Committee and Full Governors).
The Schools’ SEF will provide an evaluation of effectiveness, with any steps for improvement reflected in the School Development plan.
Governors will monitor whole school progression data/outcomes annually through Governors meetings and visits to schools. Governors will have access to development opportunities, to develop understanding of assessment, in school and/or through external courses.
Heads of Department and teachers will ensure a variety of assessment techniques are built into the process of teaching and learning, and will be involved in evaluating their effectiveness.
Teachers will work with students, parents and multi-agency professionals to agree targets for learning, keep assessment records up to date, identify any underachievement and put in place timely and appropriate interventions and/or make necessary amendments to curriculum, and contribute to analysis of progression data.
Monitoring and evaluating effectiveness:
i. Through teachers’ meeting agendas:
- agreeing schemes of work
- setting individual student targets
- work scrutiny
- moderation and standardisation (internal and external)
- identification of any student underperformance
- teacher and Head of Department analysis of data/outcomes and related reports to SLT/governors
- identification of interventions or changes to curriculum provision
- monitoring quality of assessment records
- peer observation
ii. Through observation of teaching and learning; to include peer observation.
iii. Teaching and Learning weeks: SLT will co-ordinate three annual Teaching and Learning weeks (one per term on each site) providing the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of formative assessment and assessment records, in relation to the curriculum and teaching and learning. Senior leaders will sample students’ termly targets, Annual Reports to parents, and Annual Review Reports. Feedback from parents will be gained as part of the Annual Review process and annual parent surveys.
iv. Advice and guidance will be sought from the School Improvement Advisor and through liaison with selected schools
3. Information: how assessment outcomes will be collated and used
Purpose: to inform teaching and learning, gain student feedback and help teachers identify next steps in teaching and learning, with input from class team.
‘…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. Such assessment becomes ‘formative assessment’ when the evidence is actually used to adapt the teaching work to meet the needs’
Inside the black box, Black and Wiliam,nfernelson,1998.
Through ongoing formative assessment, as part of everyday teaching and learning and interactions in the classroom, for example as evidenced in students’ workbook/folders/record sheets and through verbal feedback or photographic evidence, teacher and LSA comment and annotation of work, and/or verbal feedback, student feedback (self and peer assessment): this may be written, verbal, and/or through observation, questioning.
In school summative
End of KS1 & 2 teacher assessment against established outcomes
End of KS3 & 4 teacher assessment against established outcomes
End of KS5 accreditation and assessment against established outcomes
Purpose: to evaluate students’ learning and progress at the end of a period of teaching; to inform parents and students of progress against agreed outcomes and review/ agree next priorities:
Student starting points and initial targets will be established at the beginning of academic year and through the EHCP process These will be agreed and progress reported to/reviewed with parents formally through the Annual Review process, and at parents’ evenings and informally through discussions and feedback which may occur during the academic year.
Assessment of progress against individual targets will be shared through written termly feedback (Autumn, Spring). The Annual Report (Summer Term) will include feedback to parents on progress against individual termly targets and wider outcomes. Student and parent involvement in target setting and review forms as integral part of this process.
Nationally standardised summative (selected students only as appropriate)
Purpose: To provide national comparative data, to form part of reporting and evaluation process for governors, Ofsted, LA, parents.
End of KS1 teacher assessment
End of KS2 teacher assessment and SATs results
Phonic screening- Year 1 (June) and Year 2 where appropriate.
4. Arrangements for ensuring teachers are able to conduct assessment competently and confidently
Opportunities to keep up to date with practice through professional development opportunities, these to include:
- Relevant agenda items on scheduled curriculum meetings (e.g. moderation, work scrutiny)
- Staff development days and related opportunities
- Feedback from observation by SLT
- Peer observation
- Visits to other schools
- Access to advice from School Improvement Advisor
- Activities identified as part of the performance management process.
- Provision of/access to relevant tools/packages
- The provision of a clear timeline/calendar for assessment and reporting
Recording systems should be manageable and timely, with clear expectations for how and when these are completed.
- Through dissemination and discussion of assessment policy with staff (INSED, twilights, teacher meetings, staff meetings, class team meetings, classroom practice)
- Publication on website, with related materials/exemplar
- Discussion with parents at annual reviews, parents’ evenings
- Building bank of exemplar work using multi- media approach