At St Michael’s we believe that:
1. Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning.
a. Assessment provides evidence to guide teaching and learning.
b. Assessment provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate and review their progress.
2. Assessment is fair.
a. Assessment is inclusive of all abilities.
b. Assessment is free from bias towards factors that are not relevant to what the assessment intends to address.
3. Assessment is honest.
a. Assessment outcomes are used in ways that minimise undesirable effects.
b. Assessment outcomes are conveyed in an open, honest and transparent way to assist pupils with their learning.
c. Assessment judgements are moderated by experienced professionals to ensure their accuracy.
4. Assessment is ambitious.
a. Assessment places achievement in context against nationally standardised criteria and expected standards.
b. Assessment embodies, through objective criteria, a pathway of progress and development for every child.
c. Assessment objectives set high expectations for learners.
5. Assessment is appropriate.
a. The purpose of any assessment process should be clearly stated.
b. Conclusions regarding pupil achievement are valid when the assessment method is appropriate (to age, to the task and to the desired feedback information).
c. Assessment should draw on a wide range of evidence to provide a complete picture of student achievement.
d. Assessment should demand no more procedures or records than are practically required to allow pupils, their parents and teachers to plan future learning.
5. Assessment is consistent.
a. Judgements are formed according to common principles.
b. The results are readily understandable by third parties.
c. A school’s results are capable of comparison with other schools, both locally and nationally.
6. Assessment outcomes provide meaningful and understandable information for:
a. pupils in developing their learning;
b. parents in supporting children with their learning;
c. teachers in planning teaching and learning. Assessment must provide information that justifies the time spent;
d. school leaders and governors in planning and allocating resources; and
e. government and agents of government.
7. Assessment feedback should inspire greater effort and a belief that, through hard work and practice, more can be achieved.
Our approach to assessment
• Assessment is integral to high quality teaching and learning. It helps us to ensure that our teaching is appropriate and that learners are making expected progress.
• All staff are regularly trained in our approach to assessment.
• We have a senior leader who is responsible for assessment.
Our method of assessment
• Assessment serves many purposes, but the main purpose of assessment in our school is to help teachers, parents and pupils plan their next steps in learning.
• We also use the outcomes of assessment to check and support our teaching standards and help us improve.
• Through working with other schools and using external tests and assessments, we will compare our performance with that of other schools.
• We assess pupils against assessment criteria, which are short, discrete, qualitative and concrete descriptions of what a pupil is expected to know and be able to do.
• Assessment criteria are derived from the school curriculum, which is composed of the National Curriculum and our own local design.
• Assessment criteria for periodic assessment are arranged into a hierarchy, setting out what children are normally expected to have mastered by the end of each year. (see accompanying note)
• The achievement of each pupil is assessed against all the relevant criteria at appropriate times of the school year. (see Accompanying note)
• Each pupil is assessed as either ‘working below, towards, at, above or mastery standard towards the national standard
• For those pupils meeting and exceeding the expected standards, we provide more challenging work.
• Assessment judgements are recorded and backed by a body of evidence created using observations, records of work and testing.
• Assessment judgements are moderated by colleagues in school and by colleagues in other schools to make sure our assessments are fair, reliable and valid.