Ashton, Manchester

Safe Start Assessment, Recording & Reporting Policy

Policy Created: January 2020
Reviewed by: Grace Speakman
Review Date: January 2021

Aims

Effective assessment provides information to improve teaching and learning. Safe Start undertakes two different but complimentary types of assessment: Assessment for learning and assessment of learning.

Assessment for learning involves the use of assessment in the classroom to raise pupil achievement. It is based on the premise that pupils will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and what they need to do to achieve this aim.

Assessment of learning (summative assessment) involves judging pupils’ performance against national standards.

Our pupils are given feedback on their learning so that they understand what it is they need to do to improve. We celebrate with our pupils their achievements and encourage them by involving them in the review process.

Objectives

  • The objectives of assessment are:
  • to enable pupils to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do in their work;
  • to help pupils recognise the standards to aim for and to understand what they need to do next to improve their work
  • to allow teachers to plan work that accurately reflects the needs of each pupil
  • to provide regular information to parents/carers that enables them to support their child’s learning
  • to provide the Headteacher and Management Committee with information that allows them to make judgements about the effectiveness of the school

Assertive Mentoring

At Safe Start we follow a system called ‘Assertive Mentoring’. The aims of which are:

  • to raise standards for all
  • to motivate and involve children in their learning
  • to inform and involve parents/carers in their child’s learning

Assertive Mentoring brings together our existing initiatives and policies. It targets what a child can do, and what they need to do to move to make progress. It reflects the new National Curriculum 2014 and allows teachers and children to set achievable targets in reading, writing and mathematics each half term. The system facilitates sharing these targets with parents/carers and stakeholders so that help can be given to children to achieve more quickly. Children know exactly what they need to learn in order to make progress.

Assertive Mentoring is based on a colour coding system

Green means that the child has met expectations in attainment, attitude, achievement and behaviour.

Yellow means that the child has nearly met expectations for learning.

Red means that the child needs further support with meeting their targets in attainment, attitude and/or behaviour.

The advantages of the system:

  • all staff in school use the same approach
  • children judge their own learning and behaviour
  • children are empowered to take ownership and control of the way they behave and their attitude to learning
  • children who have a good attitude to learning and school life are rewarded

Readiness for Reintegration Scale

In parallel to the academia part of the system we measure and record children’s behaviour and attitude to school life using our Readiness for Reintegration Scale, and set targets for improvements where they are needed. (See Appendix 1)

Mentoring files and meetings

Each child has Curriculum file which will stay with them throughout their time at the Safe Start. In the file is stored all the information the staff, children, SLT and stakeholders need to be aware of in relation to academic achievement. Some groups use books for their work which are popped into wallets within the file when complete.

In addition each Class teacher has a pastoral file which stores all the information regarding attitude and behaviour.

Mentoring takes place at least once every two weeks and the outcomes are recorded on a mentoring feedback form and then stored in the class teacher’s pastoral file. (See Appendix 2) Mentoring files are the focus of one-to-one meetings.

Planning for Assessment

We use the school’s curriculum plan and subject schemes of work to guide our teaching. In these we set out the aims and objectives and values of our school, and give details of what is to be taught in each half term. We identify opportunities for assessment within each broad unit of work. Lessons are planned with clear learning objectives. These are based upon the teacher’s detailed knowledge of each pupil. We ensure that all tasks set are appropriate to each pupil’s ability. Our plan makes clear the expected outcomes for each lesson.

Teachers share the lesson’s learning objectives with the pupils as the lesson begins. They also indicate the way in which the activity is linked to the learning objective and the criteria against which the work will be judged.

Teachers ask well phrased questions and analyse pupil responses to find out what they know, understand and can do, and to reveal their misconceptions.

We record on our planning sheets and in the children’s books, those individual pupils who do not achieve the expected level for the lesson, and we use this information when planning for the next lesson. We also keep this information as a record of the progress made by each pupil.

Monitoring and assessment

We seek to remove the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude individual pupils, or groups of pupils from assessing the curriculum. We achieve this by identifying the needs of our pupils, continually reviewing what we do, monitoring data and through asking ourselves questions about our performance and the performance of our pupils. This enables us to make judgements about how successful we are being at meeting the needs of our pupils.

Identifying the starting points for learning from which progress can be measured is an essential feature of our assessment system. Teachers gather information which helps to clarify pupils existing levels of development, knowledge, skills and understanding, as well as their:

  • achievements, strengths and needs, in order to determine future priorities and targets
  • priorities for learning
  • responses to teaching methods and plans, and how they prefer to learn
  • use of resources including staff, situations, rooms and materials
  • individual responses including those that may indicate progress is taking place, whether planned and targeted or unexpected
  • personal interests and motivation
  • support needs to access and/or complete tasks

Our systems are underpinned by the following key principles Assertive Mentoring:

  • accurate assessment
  • informed planning
  • focused teaching
  • relevant intervention
  • accelerated learning
  • pupil tracking

Upon entry to the school most pupils bring with them assessments from their schools which indicate curriculum achievements and skills across a range of subjects, particularly in the areas of literacy and numeracy. However, this information is not always provided or accurate.

All new pupils are assessed in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Maths within two weeks of joining the school to establish attainment upon entry. In addition, a screening assessment: Readiness for Reintegration Scale is undertaken to identify barriers to learning.

Recognising Achievement

Our teachers use PAM performance descriptors to assist them in recognising achievement. The descriptions are used by staff to:

  • develop or support more focused day to day approaches to ongoing teacher assessment in order to improve and develop a long medium and short-term planning
  • track linear progression
  • identify lateral progress by looking for related skills at similar levels across subjects
  • record pupils’ ongoing and overall development and achievement
  • decide which description best fits a pupil’s performance over a period of time and in different contexts using their professional judgement

For pupils, progress is about change and development. For most, achievements can be predicted and planned for and progress can be demonstrated in terms of increased knowledge, skills and understanding. Some may follow the same development pattern as their fellow pupils but not necessarily at the same age or rate. Progress may be made in some areas of the curriculum but not in others. For some of our pupils progress is very difficult to predict

Recognising attainment

Assertive Mentoring involving teacher assessment and SATs are used to recognise attainment.

Recording (see marking and feedback policy)

All information that affects future learning is recorded in pupil books/files and assertive mentoring criteria grids which are stored electronically on our staff share and a hard copy filed in the child’s assertive mentoring file. Assertive mentoring reports, half termly reports and end of placement reports are filed in the class teacher’s pastoral file. All assessment data is electronically stored in our pupil tracking data base.

Data is gathered and recorded in mark-sheets every half term.

A red, amber, green system signifying emerging, developing and secure is used to demonstrate achievement, effort and attitude in relation to lesson objectives, short term, medium term and long-term targets. This is an ongoing process whereby individual pupil tracking sheets are regularly updated.

We use the pupils’ books, teacher’s planning sheets and learning records to record progress: pupils who fail, partially meet or achieve learning objectives so that we can take into account when planning for the next lesson.

This data forms the basis of learning conversations between pupil and mentor and takes place every two weeks.

Teachers record the progress of each pupil using individual pupil tracking grids. This enables them to make a judgement about the work of each pupil in relation to expected outcomes and allows us to monitor the progress of each pupil.

Progress updates using target sheets are sent weekly to schools and stakeholders.

Data is collected on the penultimate week of every half term. It is presented for analysis to the SLT. Outcomes are then shared with staff. Pupils whose progress falls outside the expected range will require an intervention plan. A plan of action is agreed at the half termly progress meeting and an intervention diary filed in the assertive mentoring file.

Every term outcomes from data analysis is shared with the leadership team.

At the end of each half term a half termly progress report is sent to parents and carers, schools and agencies containing information regarding a child’s effort, attitude and achievement. (See appendix3)

At the end of a child’s placement, an end of placement report is sent to parents and carers, schools and agencies containing information regarding a child’s attainment, effort, attitude and achievement. (See appendix 4)

Moderation: (see appendix 5 for guidance and process)

To ensure that are systems are robust and data is secure, teachers, discuss progress and judgements so that they have a common understanding of the expectations in each subject. By doing this we ensure that we make consistent judgements about standards in the school.

Monitoring and review

The school’s lead of assessment, the SLT and the management committee are responsible for monitoring the implementation of this process.