At school when we talk about assessment we mean two things; formative assessments and summative assessments.
Formative Assessment is the name given to the ongoing gathering of information about your child’s learning and their progress. This information is collected in a variety of ways including: observation, questioning and discussion, marking and children’s own self assessments using traffic lights. We believe children should be involved in the assessment process and we provide them with success criteria to inform them about what their learning should look like. In Heath class this might be success criteria for a successful snack time and in Year 2 it might be success criteria for writing a really good story. If children know what success looks like then they are more likely to achieve it and be able to talk knowledgably about why they have been successful.
Summative assessments are more like snapshots of what children can do at a particular time. Tests and checks are examples of summative assessment. The common theme with summative assessments is that data from these is shared with County and with the DfE.
At the end of Foundation Stage teachers assess children using the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile. This is a set of 17 Early Learning Goals and for every goal teachers report whether a child is emerging, expected or exceeding the criteria of that goal. In addition to these Early Learning Goals teachers report to you on your child’s Characteristics of Effective Learning which includes information about the levels of motivation, perseverance and engagement your child demonstrates to learning at school.
In June of Year 1 all children work with their teacher to complete a Phonics Screening. This checks children’s ability to read words including sounds they have learnt in daily letters and sounds sessions as well as some sight vocabulary. At the end of Year 2 there are new summative assessments to be carried out in accordance with statutory guidance.
Children in Year 2 in schools across the country will complete new style assessments in Maths and English towards the end of the academic year. We will share more information with you about this early in the spring term.
At Bernards Heath we believe the assessments that have the biggest impact on learning are the formative assessments that inform planning and help children move on. Assessment has even more of an impact when children can talk about why their learning is good, what they have done well and how they can improve. These reflective skills encourage resilience and a growth mindset.
We report progress and attainment to you at two consultation evenings and an end of year written report in Year 1 and 2. In Foundation Stage we report progress to you using learning journals as a basis for these discussions at three meetings throughout the year and culminating in an end of year written report.