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Westmeads Community Infant School

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Assessment is a way for teachers to check children's understanding of new concepts and identify any misconceptions that can then be addressed. It happens formatively (ongoing and often in the moment) on a day-to-day basis in order to ensure that the teaching and learning in the classroom is as successful as it can be, with every child making progress from their individual starting point. Teachers use a variety of developmentally appropriate assessment strategies within individual lessons and across sequences of learning, as well as retrospectively to check that prior learning has been retained. Some of the research-informed strategies we use include questioning, observation, working alongside a group and opportunities to draw, write or talk about what they know at different points.


This ongoing assessment enables teachers to identify any misconceptions to address or barriers to overcome at both an individual and at a class level in any given subject. It then informs subsequent teaching, feeding directly into the planning process to ensure continuity, relevant next steps and progression in learning.


Fundamental to our approach is “teach not test”. We are intentional in the design of our learning environment, curriculum and text spine so that opportunities to activate prior learning are always explicitly available to our children. Research in cognitive science tells us that this is what will enable children to accumulate new skills and knowledge successfully.


Class teachers, the Special Education Needs Co-ordinator and the leadership team meet termly to discuss children's progress and identify areas where additional support may be needed for individuals, groups or the whole class. Teachers will communicate with parents on both progress and attainment (whether children are on track in their learning, working towards age related expectations or working beyond age related expectations) in parent consultations in Term 1, Term 3 and through a written report that includes information on both progress and attainment for all subjects in Term 6.


There are statutory assessments in Reception and Year 1 in which all children are required to participate. In the final term of Reception, teachers use the Statutory Framework for the EYFS to assess children. It gives a holistic picture of a child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels, and their readiness for Year 1.


Children in Year 1 also take a Phonics Screen in June to check their ability to decode words. They complete the screen again in Year 2 if they don’t reach the expected standard in Year 1. This is a short assessment which assesses whether children are able to decode real and nonsense words using the phonic knowledge they have accumulated throughout their time at Westmeads.


If you have any questions regarding assessment, please talk to your child's teacher or Amie Powell, Assessment Lead.


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