Assessment and Marking Policy

 

1         Introduction to Assessment

 

1.1      We believe that effective assessment provides information to improve teaching and learning. We also believe that assessment is neither wholly formative, nor wholly summative but embedded in the classroom. Regular written and verbal feedback from students, peers and teachers are given based on their learning so that they understand what it is that they need to do better. This allows us to base our lesson plans on a detailed knowledge of each pupil. We keep parents informed of their child’s progress through parents’ consultation evenings, where we provide and discuss targets specific to each child. Written reports are issued each term. This ensures that teachers, children and parents are all working together to raise standards for our children at all levels.

 

2          Assessment Aims and Objectives

 

2.1      The aims and objectives of assessment in our school are to:

  • enable our children to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do in their work
  • help our children honestly evaluate their work and understand what they need to do next to progress
  • track children's progress and ensure all children are achieving to their full potential
  • allow teachers to plan work that reflects the needs of their pupils appropriately
  • provide regular information for parents, distinguishing between effort and achievement, enabling them to support their child’s learning
  • provide the Head Teacher and Governors with information that allows them to make judgements about the effectiveness of the school

 

3         Planning for Assessment

 

3.1      We use our school’s policies on theCurriculum and Teaching and Learning to inform our teaching practice. The Staff Handbook and Parents’ Guide set out the aims, objectives and values of our school and we broadly follow the National Curriculum in conjunction with our cultural subjects.

 

3.2      We plan our lessons with clear learning objectives. We base these upon the teacher’s detailed knowledge of the children in each class. We strive to ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to the level of ability of the group or class.  We also assess informally through observations and work completed to make changes for the next lesson.

 

4         Assessment Types and Schedule

 

4.1      We recognise various methods of assessing a child’s learning. The type of assessment that we make varies from subject to subject.  Throughout the school, formal exams and unit tests are undertaken three times a year from Years 3 to 6. 

 

            We use the following the types of assessments:

 

  • Criterion Referenced Assessment

            Each student’s achievement is judged against specific subject level criteria. PiRA                            (Progress in Reading Assessment), PUMA (Progress in Understanding Mathematics)  and GaPS (Progress in Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Assessment) are exams  used to assess, predict and track pupil progress and the criterion assessments.   Reliability and validity are assured given these are standardised tests, results are compared to the national average and in the analysis of data used to inform planning and practice.

  • Formative Assessment

Feedback and marking relates to learning objectives and success criteria, identifying areas for improvement and targets for learning; formative assessment is used to inform summative assessment.

  • Summative Assessment

Averages taken from criterion referenced assessments at end of each term demonstrates the extent of a learner's success in meeting the assessment criteria used to gauge the intended learning outcomes of a module or programme and compared against the national average. Termly and annual summative statements inform progress judgments on attainment.

  • Diagnostic Assessment

Reflective deep learning conversations and evaluations of learning. Like formative assessment, diagnostic assessments are used to improve the learner’s experience and their level of achievement. However, diagnostic assessment looks backwards rather than forwards. It assesses what the learner already knows and/or the nature of difficulties that the learner might have, which, if undiagnosed, might limit their engagement in new learning. It is often used before teaching or when a problem arises. Prior attainment is used as a diagnostic measure.

  • Assessment For Learning (AFL)

We use a variety of AFL strategies to ensure that students are part of the assessment process such as: 

  • verbal feedback – teacher and student
  • self assessment
  • peer feedback – student to student 
  • planned opportunities for discussion either as a whole class or in group deciding which areas of their work they need to focus upon over the following week, month or term ie. setting short or long term goals
  • creating a dialogue about the work with their teacher via ‘Growth Mindset’ thus assessing their own work eg. by use of a written or verbal comment 
  • recognising their own strengths and also recognising areas that need additional attention (targets) through choice of lesson activities

 

4.2       The following is our Assessment Schedule for Reception to Year 6:

 

4.3      PiRA (Progress in Reading Assessment), PUMA (Progress in Understanding Mathematics) and GaPS (Progress in Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling Assessment) produce standardised results and age related scores to enable schools to track pupil progress term by term, predict future progress and benchmark performance against national averages.

 

4.4      CATs (Cognitive Ability Tests) are commenced in the Autumn Term by incoming Years 3 students. New admissions complete the test at the beginning of their first full term at school.

 

4.5       At the end of each term in Key Stage 2, and at the end of Year 2, children take exams in English and Maths provided by Scholastic. At the end of the year in Year 3 to Year 5 children take exams in English and Maths provided by Rising Stars.

 

4.6      We do not take part in formal Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2 SATs but Year 6 pupils do sit SATs informally at the end of the Summer term.

 

4.7      Topic Tests in Geography, History and Science are based on the curriculum and skills taught and are developed by class teachers with support from the Records and Assessment Coordinator and Assistant Head. These tests are delivered every half term. They test a range of schools and are encouraged to be practical, to assess pupils’ ability to apply knowledge and develop skills in a format that is different from work in class. In the same vein, subject specialists create bespoke exams to deliver exams each term.

 

4.8      We support our children to prepare for entrance to reputable grammar and other independent schools. Previously, we have been proud to have our pupils accepted to grammar and independent schools like QE Boys, Merchant Taylor, Henrietta etc.

 

4.9      Children who score highly, over an observable amount of time, in standardised tests are recommended for the MAGT register and are tracked. Likewise, children who have difficulty are supported and observed by the SEND Coordinator.

 

4.10    In the Foundation Stage, assessment and progression are recorded in the Learning Journey of each child. The progression through the Development Matters of the seven Learning Areas is noted with supportive and cross referenced evidence. The evidence is both teacher-initiated (the summative and formative assessments) and child-initiated (the focused observations and photographs of the child during play). By the end of the Reception year, the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) is completed for each child and the scale points are sent to DfE via the Local Authority.

 

4.11    The Prep School enters annually in a wide range of school, national and global competitions raising the standards for our pupils, especially those identified as MAGT pupils. Spellathon, Readathon, Times Tables Blitz, Public Speaking Competition, Primary Maths Challenge, Junior Maths Challenge and World Maths Day, among others, accompany and compliment a stimulating variety of lunch and after school clubs.

 

5         Record Keeping

 

5.1      We believe that it is necessary to keep a formal record of assessment across the school and subject areas.

 

5.2      The school has a designated Records and Assessment Coordinator. Their roles and responsibilities are detailed in the relevant document. Primarily, they must ensure class teachers are supported in entering exam scores into the relevant tracking document and in using data to inform data driven teaching and learning.

 

5.3      Data recorded by class teachers automatically updates a central Prep School tracking document used primarily by the Records and Assessment Coordinator, Head Teacher and those responsible for MAGT and SEND pupils to track progress in a whole school context and ensure all children are monitored and supported to achieve their full potential.

 

5.4       Class Overviews are maintained by current class teachers and used in transition meetings with prospective class teacher.

 

5.5      Data meetings are held every term after the delivery of standardised tests. The Records and Assessment Coordinator and Assistant Head meet with each class teacher to discuss strengths and weaknesses of pupil performance and consider appropriate next steps and the support needed for both teachers and pupils to move forward successfully.

 

6         Reporting to Parents

 

6.1      In addition to termly reports, we have a range of strategies to keep parents fully informed of their child’s progress in school. We encourage parents to contact the school if they have concerns about any aspect of their child’s work.  Parents are also able to do this through the use of the school diary, Class Dojo, writing letters and by phoning the office to make an appointment. The Head of Prep and core subject coordinators issue regular letters with curriculum guidelines which keep parents informed of ways to assist their children’s learning. The summary letters, issued at the start of every term, provide further information about planning and assessment.

 

6.2      In Autumn and Spring terms, we offer parents the opportunity to meet their child’s teacher. At the first meeting of the school year in the Autumn Term, the class and specialist teachers meet the parents informally to discuss areas of strength and those for further development. Targets are given to pupils to work on areas of improvement. This process enables the teacher and parents to strengthen their partnership, enabling them to work together for the good of the child. Alongside these initiatives we also host an annual Parents’ Information Evening at the beginning of each academic year which provides an opportunity for the parents to meet with the teacher to discuss routines, expectations and timetables.

 

6.3      Written reports are given at the end of every term. In these reports we state what the child can do and provide targets for future learning. The Spring Term report includes a self-evaluation completed by the pupil. We write individual comments on all subjects of the National Curriculum, including Gujarati, Religious Studies, Performing Arts and French.

 

6.4      Meetings between parents and the class teacher (Head of Prep when necessary) are held for those who require or need support.

 

7         Pupil Self Evaluation and Next Steps

 

7.1      Children throughout the school use different means of self-evaluation. Children complete traffic lights emphasising whether they have understood and met the learning objective. Pupils often discuss with each other and give each other verbal feedback. Children also write self and peer feedback at the end of lessons using What Went Well (WWW), Even Better If (EBI) and, similar to teacher feedback, give positives and next steps.  

 

8         Monitoring and Review of Assessment

 

8.1      The Head of Prep School, together with the Records and Assessment Coordinator, share the responsibility for monitoring the implementation of this policy, the school’s action plans, the school’s self-evaluation form and the school’s self-improvement plans.

 

8.2      Our Governing Body’s Link committee is responsible for monitoring the progress of our pupils. Annual Governors’ Report. The Head of Prep, together with the staff, reviews this policy every two years or as needed.

 

9         Marking Rationale

 

9.1      At The Swaminarayan Preparatory School, all children are entitled to regular and comprehensive feedback on their learning, whether given verbally or written. Therefore, all teachers will mark work and give feedback as an essential part of the diagnostic, formative and summative assessment process.

 

10       Marking Aims and Objectives

 

10.1    We mark children's work and offer feedback in order to:

  • show that we value the children's work, and encourage them to value it too
  • boost the pupils' self-esteem, and raise aspirations, through use of praise and encouragement. The main objective of marking and feedback is not to find fault, but to help children learn. If children's work is well matched to their abilities, then errors that need to be corrected will not be so numerous as to affect their self-esteem
  • give the children a clear general picture of how far they have come in their learning, and how they can improve their work in the future
  • promote self-assessment, whereby the children recognise their difficulties, and are encouraged to accept guidance from others
  • gauge the children's understanding, and identify any misconceptions
  • provide a basis both for summative and for formative assessment
  • provide the ongoing assessment that should inform our future lesson-planning

 

11       Principles of Feedback

 

11.1    We believe effective feedback should be:

  • manageable for staff
  • positive, motivating and constructive for children
  • at the child’s level of comprehension. Comments are appropriate to the age and ability of the child, and vary across year groups and key stages
  • encouraging and not critical of children’s attempts to expand their vocabulary
  • written in handwriting that is legible and a model for the child
  • frequent and regular, with at least every third piece of work marked in detail (English and Maths) and every piece seen  
  • given specific time for the children to read, reflect and respond to marking
  • a product of all adults working with children in the classroom
  • an opportunity for children to become aware of and reflect on their learning needs
  • recognising of excellent work and provide appropriate praise for achievement
  • clear in regards strategies for improvement
  • a process where the children are directly involved (whether oral or written, self or peer), to ensure equity across subjects and abilities. The younger the child, the more important it is that the feedback is oral and immediate eg. focus groups and one on one meetings with teachers to move the pupil’s learning forward
  • used to inform the teacher on the success of the teaching
  • related to the Learning Objective and Success Criteria of the work set eg. science should be marked mainly for the science content, not the punctuation
  • consistently followed by teachers and support staff across the school in line with this policy
  • in accordance with the Suggested Marking Scheme (see Appendix 1) to correct errors that go beyond the learning objective
  • positive, with pride of place given to recognition of the efforts made by the child

 

12       Implementing Effective Feedback

 

12.1    The extent of the teacher's response to a piece of work is determined not by the number of errors found in it, but by the teacher's professional judgement. Consideration is given to what a particular child is capable of, what the next learning stages involve, and what should now have priority. Children should not receive the impression that things are right when they are not; on the other hand, they should not be discouraged from being adventurous for fear of having faults emphasised.

 

12.2    In order to encourage a positive response, teachers need to include constructive statements on how to improve the pupil’s work.

 

12.3    Ticks are normal where work is correct, and crosses or a dot where errors have been made. Other symbols may be used once their meaning has been explained, e.g. a Sp beside a spelling mistake. Children may mark their own work when appropriate.

 

13       Effective Feedback Strategies

 

           The following strategies can be used to mark, assess and provide feedback.

 

13.1    Verbal Feedback

           This means the discussion of work and direct contact with the child. It is particularly appropriate with younger, less able or less confident children. A discussion should be accompanied by the appropriate marking code symbol in the child’s book or remark to serve as a permanent record for the child, teacher and parent. In some cases it may be helpful to add a record of the time taken and context in which the work was done. A VF symbol should be used to acknowledge verbal feedback has been given.

 

13.2    Success Criteria Checklists

 

           Success Criteria checklists can be used in all subjects and may include columns for self/peer assessment and teacher assessment. These should be differentiated where appropriate. The following is an example for older children:

 

Success Criteria Checklist

Learning Objective: To practice writing a formal letter

1. First paragraph: explain what your letter is about

2. Use at least 2 different connectives

3. Include no more than 2 rhetorical questions

4. In the last paragraph, summarise your main points and demand compensation

 

13.3    Peer Marking

 

           From Key Stage 1, children are encouraged to support each other and feedback on learning and achievement. Children should be given the opportunity to act as response partners and pair mark work. This is often linked to ‘talk for learning partners’. Children should be trained to do this and ground rules set and displayed (see Appendix 2), such as listening, confidentiality, etc. Children should first point out things they like then suggest ways to improve the piece but only against the learning objective or success criteria. The pairing of children should be based on ability and trust. Children could highlight evidence of success or write a comment(s) in another child’s book in a different colour pencil, which is then initialled.

 

13.4    Quality Feedback Comments

 

           Personalised Quality Feedback Comments should be used frequently in all subject areas to extended learning and must be differentiated appropriately. When marking, staff may see a piece of work that requires clarification or is a good opportunity to extend that child’s learning. The emphasis when marking should be on both success and areas for development against the learning objective and success criteria. A focussed comment should help the child in ‘closing the gap’ between what they have achieved and what they could have achieved.

 

           Useful ‘Closing the Gap’ comments are:

           Reminder prompt – e.g. “What else could you say here?”

           Scaffolded prompt- e.g. “What was the dog’s tail doing?”, “The dog was angry so he…”, “Describe the expression on the dog’s face”.

            Example prompt – e.g. “Choose one of these or your own: He ran around in circles              looking for the rabbit / The dog couldn’t believe his eyes”

 

Time is then given for the child to respond to the written prompt, thus enabling them to ‘close/ bridge the gap’ and improve their work further.

 

14       Self-Assessment and Reflection

    

14.1    Self-Assessment

 

           We believe that self-assessment plays an important role in pupils development and understanding of their own learning.  In school we have pupils self-assess in a number of different ways:

 

  • We utilise the traffic light system where pupils rate their understanding of the lesson and learning that has taken place with either a green, orange/yellow or red.
  • All pupils are encouraged to self–assess, mark and peer assess with green pens.  This way we can tell what pupils managed on their own, what they added in afterwards, and what they thought about the lesson.  
  • In KS2 pupils often write a comment at the end of lessons to demonstrate what they have understood or are still struggling with.

 

14.2    Reflection

 

           In order for feedback to be effective we believe that all pupils need to be given time in which to respond or think about the feedback they may have received.  To this end we allow time, when appropriate, for pupils to reflect on what it is that they have learnt from the previous lesson.

 

15       Monitoring and Review of Marking

 

15.1    We are aware of the need to monitor and update the school's marking and feedback policy on a regular basis, so that we can take account of improvements made in our practice. We will therefore review this policy annually or earlier if necessary.

 

Reviewed by:

Chris Robinson (Records and Assessment Coordinator)

Robert Knapper (Curriculum Coordinator)

 

Date:

September 2018

 




 

 

Appendix 1

Suggested Marking Scheme

 

This work is correct

 

This is incorrect

There is a mistake here that needs fixing.  

?

Something here doesn’t make sense.  You need to read your work carefully and check it for mistakes.

tuEsdAy

Incorrect use of capital or lowercase letters

^

Missing word

/

Space needed

[

New Paragraph here

Date?

No date on work

LO/Title?

No LO on work

VF

Verbal Feedback - My teacher has talked to me about my work

A.C.

(initials of teacher or TA)

Marked by my teacher/ TA

Supply

Lesson was delivered/marked by a supply teacher

S

I had support from an adult

G

Group work

I

I did this work independently

You have understood this work

You need help.  Come and ask!






Appendix 2

Peer Feedback

 

When we become marking partners, we agree to:

  • respect our partner’s work because they have done their best and so their work should be valued
  • try to see how they have tackled the learning objective and only try to improve things that are to do with the learning objective
  • tell our partner the good things we see in their work
  • listen to our partners advice because we are trying to help each other do better in our work
  • look for a way to help our partner achieve the learning objective with more success
  • try to make our suggestions as clear as possible
  • try to make our suggestions positive
  • get our partners to talk about what they tried to achieve in their work
  • be fair to our partner. We will not talk about their work behind their backs
pramukh swami maharaj

" The heart of Education is the Education of the heart, of the mind and of the spirit. "
Pramukh Swami Maharaj