Assessment and Reporting
“Students no longer ask ‘Is this what you want?’ or ‘Is this going to be on the test?’ Instead learning goals and standards are clearly spelled out so that students understand them and what they are expected to learn…know how to demonstrate they have learned it…and know what to do to improve.” Grant Wiggins Educative Assessment, Designing Assessments to Improve Performance (1998)
Assessment is at the heart of all we do at BIS. Students can only achieve their best and continually improve if they understand where they are on their learning journey, where they are going and what they need to do next to help them get there. This is achieved by a continuous process of classroom assessment where students and teachers interact to plan the learning journey. It means that the teacher’s planning needs to be flexible, responding to the student’s needs on a daily basis. This process is called assessment for learning and consists of the following components:
- the active involvement of students in their own learning
- sharing learning goals and success criteria
- involving students in self and peer assessment
- effective questioning
- providing feedback that allows students to recognise the next steps in their learning and how to take them
- continually adjusting planning in response to the results of assessment
- a belief that every child can improve
In Key Stage 1 and 2 student’s attainment in mathematics, reading, writing and speaking and listening is judged against the UK National Curriculum attainment targets. Three times a year the teachers record their summative assessment for each child in these areas and this is recorded electronically in a database. This process is called assessment of learning and the information is used by the school in a number of ways all with the explicit aim of raising achievements and standards. In the Foundation stage the assessment of learning takes the form of the Foundation Stage Profile which parents receive when the children have completed that stage in their education.
To support and validate the teachers’ assessments the students in Year 3 and Year 6 take external tests produced by the National Foundation of Educational Research (NFER). These are online assessments and are taken by the students in June. Students in Year3 and all new students in Key Stage 2 also take cognitive ability tests (CATs). These are verbal and nonverbal reasoning tests and help the teachers analyse attitudes to learning as well as learning potential.
Written reports are prepared for the parents twice in the school year in December and June. As well as outlining the students’ achievements they also give levels of attainment in mathematics, reading, writing and speaking and listening. Parents are welcome to make appointments at any time during the school year to meet the teacher and discuss their child’s learning.