At Blackwell First school we use assessment as a means of working out what the children know and what skills they have, in order to help them along their learning journey by planning the right next steps for them. The children are assessed in an informal way (formative) throughout the school day and are also assessed more formally (summative) at various times during their time at Blackwell, in line with national assessments. We assess the children on entry to and exit from Nursery and then from entry to Reception as below.
- Entry to Reception – baseline assessment using a nationally accredited assessment from Early Excellence, this involves assessing the children’s personal and social skills as well as their knowledge of Language and Number
- Exit from Reception – end of Foundation Stage assessment using the national criteria for Early Years which assesses all areas of learning including personal and social development.
- End of Year 1 – national phonic check to assess children’s ability to read phonetically.
- End of Year 2 – national tests in reading, writing and maths to establish whether children are meeting the expected level for their age (new tests in 2016).
In Years 3 and 4, the children do not undertake national tests and the school uses internal systems to assess children’s progress.
From the end of Reception to the end of Year 4 the school has devised its own assessment systems in line with Charford and Millfields First Schools. The children are assessed informally through their everyday performance in school and then judged to be at one of the following stages:
- Emerging – this means they are working below national age expectations
- Developing – this means that they are working well towards national age expectations
- Secure- this means that they are comfortably working at national age expectations
These assessments are in place to ensure that children are making good progress in school. It is the progress that is rigorously monitored by teachers in school. It is important to remember that in 2014 the curriculum and assessment procedures changed and that the children are working against very different criteria now from prior to 2014. The children’s school reports inform you about both the standards that they are working at and the progress that they are making. This will help you monitor the progress that they make across the school.