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Assessment For Learning

Children do not learn in a linear way... their minds flip and switch, weave, retread, dip and soar across a year! 

At Fishbourne, we seek to personalise children's journey of learning during their time with us to ensure that they make the best possible progress and we do this by getting to know them as well as possible as learners. Ongoing formative assessment is an essential ingredient of this journey - with children receiving personal feedback about their learning as readers, writers, mathematicians, scientists... this feedback may be individual group or whole class; written or verbal; peer reflections or self-reflections with a framework to support their thinking. Teachers are empowered to identify the optimal way to give feedback at different points in a journey of learning.  

As a learning community, we have reflected carefully on what we want to know about our children's learning and how we will use this knowledge to help us to make a difference to the education we provide within school. Ultimately, we want to know where the challenges are, how our children develop over time, where to focus our efforts and whether or not these actions have been effective. 

Outlined here is the thinking behind our approach at Fishbourne: 

WHY do we assess children?

*We seek to know our children exceptionally well in order for us to respond to the needs of the children by adapting and refining our practice.

*It provides clarity about what we expect children to know and confirmation that they know it.

*To support the development of the school by identifying potential lines of enquiry.

*To investigate the effectiveness of provision.

*To build a picture that informs discussion.

WHO is it for?

*For children to know how well they are doing and their families.

*For teachers who need to know how effective their provision is and personalise provision where needed.

*For leaders to inform the direction of school development.

*For governors who hold leaders to account for school development and to inform strategic direction.

WHAT are we setting out to achieve?

A balance between:

The Quality of information

Impact on learning

Effect on teacher workload

HOW do we achieve it?

*Standardised Tests will be delivered in mid-February and late summer to children in year groups 2-6. A late summer test may also be used with children in Y1 where staff feel the children are able to confidently access it.

The core purpose of the first testing period will be a focus on Gap Level Analysis which will critically feed into medium term planning and inform children’s / staff reflections for their Mid-Year learning reviews.

The core purpose of the second testing period will be to measure progress between academic years and ARE. 

*Refined Key Performance Indicators will be used to track children’s progress in writing twice a year and 2 writing assessments will be set in each of the testing windows to use to support evidence in Learning Journals. Key Performance Indicators in reading and maths will only be assessed where there may be anomalies in data (e.g. where a child scores unexpectedly high/low), the KPI’s will be used to build a picture of a child’s strengths and areas for development.

We recognise that the progress made will look different from child to child, depending on their need. The effectiveness of provision is measured on a case by case basis, presenting individualised data that provides important contextual information and assessment data over time to build a picture of learning that informs discussion. Many of our children with SEND will continue to access the appropriate standardised test but with different access arrangements. Some of our children with SEND will take a different pathway and use tests that have been identified that give appropriate information to plan for their provision. In termly SEND meetings, Individual Learning Plans are reviewed and progress measured towards highly personalised targets. New targets are set and strategies explored. ILP’s are shared with children where appropriate and with families.

Closing the Gap meetings are a key strategy for the leadership team to support and challenge staff through discussion about the progress that children are making and identification of barriers to learning that may need to be addressed. Discussion focuses on those children who are not on track to meet the end of year expectations and who appear on our ‘wobbly venns’, interventions and strategies are reviewed, alternatives explored and next steps planned. These meetings are planned to take place at five key points during the year.