Assessment

"Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think. "

Albert Einstein (March 1879 - April 1955)

Assessment at Chase view

 

How we assess your child...

September 2014 saw important national changes for schools. The new National Curriculum came into being and together with this, the old ‘level’ system of assessing pupil progress was abolished; schools are now expected to make their own assessment systems and to also articulate them to parents.

The information below will explain how Chase View assess pupil progress.

In the Foundation Stage (FS), pupils are assessed using the Foundation Stage Framework which assesses their progress and attainment in all areas of the FS curriculum. The pupils will be assessed as a 1 - Working Towards the Expected Standard, a 2- at Expected Standard or 3 - Exceeding Expected Standard at the end of the Foundation Stage year. These levels will be reported to parents.

For years 1 to 6, we assess the pupils using the Symphony Assessment System for the non-core (Foundation) subjects. This uses statements in: Maths, Art, DT, Music, PE, RE, MfL (French), Geography, History and Science, which are available in each year group and the pupils are assessed against them. For computing we use the Purple Mash statements. If a pupil is assessed at the end of the year as attaining the majority of the statements for their year group, they will be assessed as 'Expected' in that particular subject. If a pupil does not attain the majority of statements for their year group, they will be assessed as 'Working Towards the Standard'. If a pupil attains all of the statements for their year group, and the majority of the following year's statements, they will be assessed as 'Greater Depth'. Statutory end of Key Stage assessments (y2 and y6) will take place each year. All of these levels will be reported to parents at the end of the academic year.

Read & Writing

When we assess our children’s Reading and Writing skills we use the Staffordshire Assessments Grids which are extremely comprehensive and are underpinned by the requirements of the National Curriculum – as are all of our assessments.

 

Low stakes assessment

At Chase View Primary School, all teachers believe in the importance of tests (quizzing). Lots of
them, and often. In fact, tests happen so frequently that it may feel to our pupils like they’re
happening all the time. Our teachers’ beliefs aren’t simply based on a random ideology. As with all
aspects of our school, we have looked carefully at the evidence around how testing can improve
outcomes for children.
Some of you reading this may think that if a child hated tests at primary school then Chase View
Primary wouldn’t be the school for them. I would argue the opposite. That’s because tests at Chase
View Primary are different. If reports of increased stress in children associated with Key Stage 2
SATS are reliable, then this is a sad outcome and one that perhaps Ofsted, the DfE and primary
school leaders should reflect upon. After all, as we have told our pupils, whether you score 85, 100
or even 120 in your KS2 SATS will make no direct difference to the course of your life. Nobody will
ever ask you about it again!
Tests at Chase View Primary rarely take the form of ‘high stakes’ summative assessments. Instead,
at least once a week in each subject children have the chance to show off how much knowledge
they have acquired and retained in ‘low-stakes’ quizzes. These quizzes are a chance for children to
recap what has been covered in the lesson or the previous series of lessons – whether that’s a new
way of working out complex calculations in maths, knowledge relating to people and places in
History or Geography, or conjugation of a new tense in French.
The quizzes benefit the learning of our children in many ways, which include, but aren’t limited to:

 They exploit the slightly surprising but well-documented ‘testing effect’ – this is the phenomenon
that, following the teaching of a topic or concept, it is more likely to be remembered and recalled
successfully if repeatedly tested on it (as opposed to simply studying the concept over again).
 They complement classroom practice on topics in a helpful way – raising the stakes very slightly
and resulting in significant effortful practice by pupils.
 They offer the chance for children to celebrate their learning. This success is celebrated loudly and
proudly with either the giving of dojos or (just as valued) teachers making an overt fuss over great
performances or improvements by pupils. Regular, low-stakes testing is a great way for Chase View
Primary’s teachers to show just how proud they are of the pupils day-in-day-out.
 Last but not least, they offer a chance for children who may previously suffered from exam anxiety
to realise that the world doesn’t end if you do badly on a test! Pupils know that underperformance in
a test or quiz can be a really good thing. Teachers seize the opportunity to fill the gaps and pupils
really appreciate the extra help and support.

We make no apology for the frequency of quizzing and assessing at Chase View Primary School.
There is a strong (and still growing body of evidence) that frequent testing and deliberate practice
of newly acquired skills leads to significantly improved retention of these skills in long term memory.
Once knowledge and skills are in long term memory, and easily retrieved, we can consider them to
have been successfully learnt. Without the effortful retrieval practice that testing offers, the risk of
forgetting new knowledge is treacherously high.
Designing, delivering and observing the results of quizzes also gives us classroom teachers an
invaluable insight into how children are performing. We get to see whether what we have taught has
actually ‘stuck’. This is particularly valuable when certain topics are re-tested after a gap of some
weeks or months.

Pandemic – Loss of Learning
The recent Pandemic has impacted negatively on children’s learning – creating gaps in knowledge
and skills. Our low-stakes testing approach is enabling our children to catch-up that missed learning
in a fun and non-debilitating way!
Chase View Primary pupils also sit quizzing in Maths (Fast 10); Grammar; (Fast 5), daily Reading
retrieval quizzing, Spelling Shed, Maths Shed, Times Tables Rockstars (TTRockstars), Pre and post
assessment (quizzes). These ‘tests’ share many of the benefits of quizzes but their role is wider. In
particular, we want our pupils to see the link between their effort and their success. This is a key
message repeated often by Chase View Primary teachers and we want children to appreciate that
it exists, regardless of starting point. We also want our children to practise giving 100 per cent whilst
still working independently. Crucially, even these tests are structured to inform future teaching – our
assessment cycle has been designed to allow for significant time to be allocated for consolidation
of taught content, which may include going to greater depth in some topics. This also means that
teachers aren’t forced to move on to more advanced concepts before the foundations of knowledge
are secured.

PROUD
All in all, our pupils have adapted brilliantly to the demands of quizzing and assessments at Chase
View Primary School. And they are so much a part of the routines that it’s not unusual to have
children cheering (very quietly, under their breath) when a teacher announces that “it’s time for a
knowledge quiz”!
Our children really reflect the principles enshrined in PROUD:
Our children Persevere
They are Respectful
They are Open-minded
They Show Understanding
We embrace Diversity

Year 3 Autumn 2 Quiz

 
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Year 5 Autumn Quiz

 
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Year 6 Autumn Quiz

 
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