Junior School Assessment Policy

St. Conleth’s Junior School Assessment Policy

Assessment is the means by which the progress and achievement of all children is monitored and is a tool to inform curriculum planning in all areas of learning and development.

The purpose of assessment is to communicate accurate information about a child that is useful to teachers, parents and other educational agencies.

Aims

  • to ensure consistency of approach and provide a clear framework for assessment
  • for children to develop an understanding of their own progress through Assessment for Learning
  • to ensure positive Home/School partnerships

At St. Conleth’s Junior School we believe in the important relationship between educational achievement and well-being. Children learn and thrive when they are healthy, safeguarded from harm and engaged.

Equal Opportunities

At St. Conleth’s Junior School we believe that all children, regardless of first language, disability, race, gender, cultural or socio-economic background, should receive equal access to the full school curriculum.

Special Educational Needs Statement

St. Conleth’s Junior School is proud to be an inclusive organisation. We are able to offer access to the full curriculum for children who have a specific learning disability. As with any additional needs the school works closely with parents and appropriate outside agencies.

At St. Conleth’s Junior School we acknowledge that assessment, based on observation of children’s learning and development is an integral part of a pupil’s education.

Principles

  • We recognise the value of a whole school policy for assessment that ensures the school complies with statutory requirements.
  • We use assessment to reveal children’s strengths and identify areas where support is needed.
  • We use assessment to inform future planning and target setting: to ensure continuity and progression in learning and development.
  • We recognise the importance of the interaction of the three key elements of effective assessment-: Assessment, Teaching and Learning and Curriculum.

Values

  • We acknowledge that clear and accurate assessment of learning enables progress to be recognised, celebrated and built upon.
  • We acknowledge that a consistent approach leads to the successful identification of children with special educational needs.
  • We acknowledge the importance of having clear, shared and consistent approach to assessment.

Strategies for Effective Assessment

  • Pupils know how they will be assessed
  • Learning Objective shared with the children
  • Work assessed/marked against learning Objectives
  • Feedback from the teacher on how they have performed and in what way they can improve further

Assessing Pupil Progress in St. Conleth’s J.S. Primary Learning Programme

The overarching pillar of the St. Conleth’s Junior School PLP is the idea of personalised learning. Assessing pupil progress is a structured approach to personalised assessment, enabling teachers to make secure judgements about the standard of pupils’ work, refine teachers’ understanding of progression and help pupils understand what they need to do to improve. This also enable teachers to track pupils’ progress over time, provide diagnostic information for planning and interventions, support the transfer between classes and inform curricular planning.

Assessment for Learning in St. Conleth’s Primary Learning Programme

Formative assessment is the process for identifying what the learner has achieved in order to plan the next steps in teaching and learning. Feedback is provided to the learner in such a way that either the teacher adjusts the teaching to help the learner learn more effectively, or the learner changes her/his approach to the task, or both. Unlike assessment of learning (see below), AfL can be a joint activity between pupils and teacher which moves both forward.

A range of AfL strategies are used to monitor progress towards these targets. Some are    written, others are verbal.

  • Verbal assessments to individuals.
  • Written comments in logbooks, copies and projects.
  • Self assessment using various methods.
  • Peer assessment where a peer measures the pupils learning against the objective.
  • 6th Form My Educational Passport

Assessment of Learning (summative assessment)

Assessment of Learning describes retrospective assessment of learning that has taken place. It includes both internal school tests and assessments and external and standardised tests.

For all pupils in St Conleth’s Junior School summative assessment data is collected via logbooks in to which exercises are entered weekly. In the first term all pupils from Senior Infants to 6th Form undergo standardised assessment in numeracy and literacy. Exercises completed in the IXL adaptive learning resource create data models unique to individual pupils which inform lesson planning.

Use of summative assessment data Grades derived from assessments are used to monitor the progress of individuals and groups of pupils. This identifies areas that need improvement or specific development so we can intervene and tackle it. Teachers also use summative data in a formative way with pupils by giving feedback for each assessment exercise to include an explanation of the standard achieved with respect to the relevant criteria and targets for further improvement towards the next level or grade. Pupils should then be given opportunities to improve. In this way summative assessments also serve as an invaluable formative teaching and learning tool.

Feedback on Learning

The feedback of pupils work is an important assessment tool which is essential for both progression in pupil learning and effective teaching. Giving specific feedback helps pupils to understand how they can improve.  Good practice is promoted through regular, accurate and consistent marking by all staff as part of a whole school approach to teaching and learning.

Sharing Learning Objectives and Success Criteria

All staff should share learning objectives and success criteria for each individual lesson. These should be displayed in the classroom as a point of reference for pupils and staff to enhance assessment opportunities. This enables the class to focus on the learning that is taking place.

Oral Feedback

Teachers and practitioners should ensure that there is a continuous dialogue with pupils throughout the lesson. This enables pupils to reflect upon, improve, refine and ultimately be successful in their learning. The use of open ended questioning is vital to this process.

Written Feedback

Marking is specifically linked to the learning objective and success criteria (I can…). It should identify elements of success and either an area to improve upon or a next step target. Pupils are given time to read their feedback or have a discussion with a teacher to enable them to carry out any improvements.

Peer and Self Assessment

Peer and Self Assessment are important ways in which pupils are engaged in becoming self-critical and independent. Teacher modelling and whole class marking enable pupils to identify their own successes and improvement needs. A recommended technique within peer assessment would be to give two positive comments and an area to improve upon to create a mutually supportive atmosphere.

Marking Guidelines

Written feedback should provide evidence of the following:

  • What has the pupil done well?
  • Where has an error occurred?
  • What can the pupil do next to improve their work?

Staff will use their professional judgment as to the format written feedback will take, this should allow for variations in ages, learning styles and curricular area.