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Assessment Principles

Birch Hill Primary School’s Assessment Principles

Our assessment procedures are an essential part of how we help children achieve high standards. We regularly evaluate children’s knowledge, skills and understanding through daily formative assessments and termly summative assessments. These assessments help establish children’s abilities and current strengths, as well as their next learning steps.

Teachers use assessment information to inform their planning, ensuring lessons continually build on children’s strengths and address areas for development improving the quality of teaching and learning.

Children are actively involved in our assessments, as they become better learners when they are given time to reflect on their success in lessons and are aware of their own learning goals.

Qualitative and quantitative assessment information is shared regularly with parents throughout the year so that teachers and parents can work together to help children succeed.

We are committed to:

Continually providing clear, comprehensible, feedback, verbally and in writing, which supports children’s learning.

  • Feedback is a vital element of assessment. Effective feedback is positive, constructive and ensures pupils understand what they have done well and what they need to do to improve.
  • We recognise that the most effective feedback is immediate.

Ensuring children engage in their feedback, through discussion or in writing, to show that they understand how to improve further.

  • Children are frequently given opportunities to respond to teachers’ next steps, which consists of them improving past work and further developing particular skills that were identified in teachers’ marking.

Using assessment strategies within lessons to systematically check children’s understanding so we can intervene with noticeable impact on children’s achievement.

  • By using targeted questioning techniques, teachers are able to understand how best to support or challenge particular children.
  • Creating clear learning intentions and appropriate success criteria for all children, so they understand the aim of the lesson, how to achieve it and can access and are challenged by their learning.

Encouraging children to take the lead in their own assessment.

  • This is facilitated through self-assessment and peer-assessment activities, children creating their own success criteria. These enable children to reflect on the standard of their work over a longer period of time.

Using summative termly judgements as a mechanism for tracking children’s progress over the course of the year.

  • We use summative judgements to help monitor whole-school standards; analyse the performance of key groups; ensure all children can access and are challenged by their learning; provide additional support for those who are finding learning more difficult and provide additional challenge for those who are ready for it; and to ensure that every child is supported to meet their full potential.
  • We prioritise the moderation of summative judgements to help refine the accuracy of these assessments.

Ensuring assessments provide information that is of value and justifies the time teachers spend on them.

  • We continually reflect on our assessment procedures to ensure they are valid and reliable, giving us the information needed.
  • We reflect on the time teachers spend on tracking, delivering and marking assessments to ensure it justifies the outcomes. 

Giving reliable, meaningful and regular information to parents about how their child, and the school, is performing.

  • This information will be clear, transparent and communicated in a format that parents can understand and also use to assist their child’s future learning.

Making sure the school is keeping up with external practice and innovation.

  • We continually reflect on our assessment policy and practice. We do this by ensuring we are aware of high quality work locally, nationally and internationally.