Thornham St. James’ C.E. (controlled) Primary School



        Revised and updated March 2018



This policy and procedure has been produced based on recommendations in the Final Report of the Commission on Assessment without Levels (Sept 2015) and in line with the ‘Purposes and Principles of Assessment without Levels’.





“Assessment involves two distinct but linked processes, mapped across the whole school and the distinct features of individual subjects. Assessment comes in two forms:


  • Summative assessment - those assessments concerned with making judgments about the overall achievement of a child or group over a period of time … assessment of
  • Formative assessment – the assessments that happen day by day and lesson by lesson – as part of good teaching practice … assessment for” (Garwood 2006)


At Thornham St. James’, assessment is an integral part of the educational process, not an end in itself. From an assessment of children’s progress, next steps for learning must be formulated so that the child moves continually forward. Target setting and evaluation are the driving force behind our School Improvement and the raising of standards.




Aims and Principles of Assessment

Using the principles and processes of assessment, we aim to ensure that:


  • Assessment is an integral part of teaching, based on best practice, focusing on the curriculum and that it lies at the heart of promoting children’s education.
  • High quality, in-depth teaching is supported and informed by high quality formative assessment (on-going assessment).
  • The school ethos promotes and emphasises the opportunity for all children to succeed when taught and assessed effectively.
  • There is a clear purpose for assessing and assessment is fit for its intended purpose.
  • Assessment is used to focus on monitoring and supporting children’s progress, attainment and wider outcomes.
  • Assessment provides informative and productive conversations with pupils and parents and informs parents and the wider community of pupil achievements.
  • Children take responsibility for achievements and are encouraged to reflect on their own progress, understand their strengths and identify what they need to do to improve.
  • We achieve our assessments without adding unnecessarily to teacher workload, whilst ensuring that it enables teachers to guide future planning, teaching and curriculum development
  • Assessment is inclusive of all abilities and recognises the achievements of all pupils.
  • A range of assessments are used including: Abacus half-termly maths; White Rose Termly maths; ‘Focus’ materials for Spelling and Grammar; the use of past papers in Year Two and Year Six.
  •  Information is provided to ensure continuity when the pupil changes school or year group
  • Statutory requirements are met and complied with.



Assessment Guidelines


  1. Work is planned with assessment in mind. Teachers’ weekly planning files identify clear learning objectives, against which progress can be measured. Differentiated work is set to meet individual needs; an I.E.P. being formulated where necessary.


  1. Teacher assessment is on-going. Samples of children’s work are kept in ‘best work’ files and progress books as evidence of attainment.



  1. In addition, termly ‘Progress Weeks’ afford teachers the opportunity to concentrate upon focused assessment of work in the Core subjects. This work, undertaken by children in a ‘Progress Book’, is where a child’s attainment can be clearly evidenced over the course of the year.


  1. Personal targets are set on a regular basis for each child; older children have input into their formulation. Parents are actively encouraged to support their children in working towards their targets.



  1. Individual children’s progress is tracked termly, based on summative teacher assessments and supported by end of key stage tasks and tests, alongside termly interim assessments (as mentioned earlier, Abacus/White Rose maths/ ‘Focus’ and ‘Not as we Know it’ Spelling and Grammar assessments) throughout key stages one and two.


  1. Assessment data acquired from pupil tracking indicates a child’s strengths and weaknesses, so that appropriate action can be taken to further progress.



  1. Monitoring of each curriculum area is carried out on an annual basis by the subject co-coordinator. Feedback to staff identifies areas for development in order to improve standards further.



Standardisation and Moderation

The process of moderation is an essential part of the assessment system.  Teachers are involved in the moderation process to ensure agreement on criteria for attainment in the following ways:

  • With colleagues in school
  • By attending LEA moderation sessions to ensure our judgments are in

   line with other schools

  • By using the DfE and SAT’s exemplification materials



National standardised summative assessment

Nationally standardised assessments are used to provide information on how children are performing in comparison to children nationally. They provide parents with information on how the school is performing in comparison to schools nationally. Teachers have a clear understanding of national expectations and assess their own performance in the broader national context. Nationally standardised summative assessment enables the school leadership team to benchmark the school’s performance against other schools locally and nationally, and make judgements about the school’s effectiveness. The government and OFSTED will also make use of nationally standardised summative assessment to provide a starting point for OFSTED discussions, when making judgements about the school’s performance.


A range of ‘Nationally standardised summative assessments’ are used:

  • A Baseline Assessment in the Reception Year (at present, non-statutory)
  • A phonics test in Year 1
  • National Curriculum tests and teacher assessments at the end of Key Stage 1
  • National Curriculum tests and teacher assessments at the end of Key Stage 2.



Assessment in the Early Years’ Foundation Stage

On entry to the school reception children will be informally assessed (non-statutory at present). Results are used to inform planning, set targets and aid early identification of special needs.  As in both Key Stages, children will be assessed each half term to ensure that the next steps in learning are appropriately planned in order to help children make progress.  During their reception year children will be assessed using the Foundation Stage Profile, which is based on the teacher’s on going observations and assessments in the six areas of learning.  Each child’s typical developments and achievements are recorded in the Profile.

Note: As yet, progress will continue to be measured from KS1 only to the end of KS2, with plans for a new reception baseline assessment to be introduced by the DfE in 2020.



Assessment for Learning:

Within our school, Assessment for Learning is a ‘live’ and continuous process which involves the seeking and interpreting of evidence for use by children and teachers to decide where children are in their learning, where they need to go next and which is the best way to get there.


Embedded in our assessments are the ten principles of Assessment for Learning as outlined by ‘The Assessment Reform Group’ (See Appendix).

Assessment for Learning should:

  • Be part of effective planning of teaching and learning.
  • Focus on how children learn.
  • Be central to good classroom practice.
  • Be regarded as a key professional skill for teachers.
  • Be used sensitively and constructively with regard to the emotional impact any assessment, be it verbal or written, may have.
  • Take account of the importance of learner motivation.
  • Promote commitment to learning goals and a shared understanding of the criteria by which they are assessed.


We believe that children should be aware of how to be successful in a given task or learning opportunity, when they have been successful and why. They should receive constructive advice, feedback and guidance from teachers about how to improve, while, at the same time becoming more reflective and self-managing in assessing their own learning and performance. This enables the full range of achievements of all our children to be recognised.


An inclusive approach to assessment 

In addition to the assessments above, the school will make use of additional diagnostic assessments to contribute to the early and accurate identification of children’s special educational needs and any requirements for support and intervention.




 Assessment of children’s progress and attainment is on-going throughout each curriculum area, although the type of records kept varies from subject to subject. Record keeping is kept as manageable as possible; the main aim being to highlight strengths and diagnose weaknesses. In addition, teachers use records to review pupil’s progress, set appropriate targets for the future and to form the basis of reports.



The following is a summary of the records kept in each of the core subjects:



  • Foundation Stage Profile
  • Phonic recognition chart (K.S.1.)
  • Reading records
  • Reading tests: Salford Reading Test~ termly

                                                 Primary Reading Test ~ annually.

  • Spelling: assessments of year group word lists
  • Key Comprehension (Y1-Y6)
  • Oracy (Y3-Y6)
  • Study Reading(Y3-Y6)
  • Primary Curriculum - medium/ weekly - teacher’s own records
  • Termly tracking and recording of children’s reading and writing levels measured against Primary Curriculum Key Performance Indicators.
  • Results from ‘Focus’ assessments – SpaG
  • Termly tracking from ‘Assessments without Levels’



  • Newly introduced Abacus Individual/Cohort Records (K.S.1. and K.S.2.)
  • Primary Curriculum – medium /weekly – teacher’s own records
  • Termly recording of children’s individual maths and termly targets, measured against Primary Curriculum key performance indicators.
  • Results from White Rose assessments – Arithmetic and Reasoning
  • Termly tracking of ‘Assessments without Levels’




  • Termly Tracking of ‘Assessments without Levels’ based on teacher assessments




  • Half-termly lesson plans
  • Skills checklist
  • Termly individual progress report




At Thornham St. James’, we believe that reports should promote and provide:

  • Good home-school relationships
  • Information for parents
  • An opportunity for discussion with parents and children
  • Targeted advice for children


During the course of the academic year, and at regular intervals, both verbal and written reports are given to parents:

  • An oral report half way through the year in the form of a formal Parents’ Evening. This informs parents about their child’s general progress in all National Curriculum subjects and offers ways in which parents can continue to support their child’s learning.
  • A less formal Open Evening approach mid-way through the Autumn Term allows parents the opportunity to gauge how their child is settling into their new Year group.
  • Two written Progress Reports at the end of the Autumn and Spring Terms respectively. These contain information about children’s progress in all Core subjects and relate particularly to effort, achievement and attitude to work plus an up-to-date attendance record. In addition, individual learning targets are discussed with children and recorded in their Home-School folders
  • One End-of-Year Report at the end of the Summer Term. This is based on the same format as the Progress Reports, but in addition contains further information on the curriculum areas covered during the year, detailed teacher comments on the child’s achievements and attitude to work and individual learning targets and areas for development in Literacy, Numeracy and Science. In line with the government policy of ‘assessing without levels’, parents are informed as to whether their child is exceeding, meeting, working towards or working below age-related expectations. Parents are invited to discuss the report should they wish to do so.
  • At the end of K.S.1. and K.S.2., statutory assessment results are given, along with national comparative information. These are based on Standard Attainment Test results plus teacher assessments (see below).


KS1 and KS2 Teacher Assessments


  • The Standards and Testing Agency (STA) has published frameworks for teacher assessment for both key stages and we use these frameworks to support the judgements made for pupils at the end of KS1 and KS2.
  • Pupils working below the test standard are assessed using the STA’s Pre-Key Stage standards.
  • Currently interim teacher assessments frameworks and pre-Key Stage standards are for the 2017-18 academic year only.



  • Pupils taking part in National Curriculum assessments (SATs) will receive a raw score, a scaled score and confirmation of whether he/she attained the expected standard.
  • Raw scores are converted into scaled scores, and the expected standard is a scaled score of 100



In Conclusion:

At Thornham St. James’, assessment lies at the heart of the process of promoting children’s learning. It provides a framework within which educational objectives may be set and children’s progress expressed and monitored.  This should be done in partnership with the children.


We believe that assessment should be incorporated systematically into teaching strategies in order to diagnose any problems and chart progress.  It helps the school to strengthen learning across the curriculum and helps teachers enhance their skills and judgments.  Our assessment procedures are free from bias, stereotyping and generalisation in respect of gender, class, and race

and disability.




Monitoring and Evaluation

The Assessment Co-ordinator is responsible for updating this policy in line with any new developments in the school and new government guidance. All staff are expected to follow the policy and the Leadership team, following regular ongoing reviews of classroom practice, will be responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of practice across the school, reporting to the relevant Governing Committee as required.


Data Protection Statement

The procedures and practice created by this policy have been reviewed in the light of our Data Protection Policy.

All data will be handled in accordance with the Data Protection Policy.



Agreed by:


Reviewed and revised March 2018