Please find below a more detailed description of the attainment and effort grades we give with our termly grade cards.
A child can receive one of three levels of attainment in each subject. These attainment levels are not based on a single test or assessment. The pupils are discretely assessed constantly; we use our professional judgement and a variety of assessment methods to place a child at a certain level. The levels are:
- Working towards – The child is working towards the nationally expected attainment level for their age group. Strategies for support will be communicated by their Form Tutor. In the Autumn Term, we would expect most children to fall into this category.
- Expected – The child is working at the nationally expected attainment level for their age group. We would expect most children to be at this level by the end of the year but we wouldn’t expect many children to be working at this level in the Autumn Term.
- Beyond – The child is working significantly above the nationally expected attainment level for their age group. It would be extremely rare for a child to be working at this level in the Autumn Term.
A child can receive one of three effort grades. We will award a grade taking in to account all factors of the academic structure. Effort is not linked to academic attainment. Effort grades will reflect preparedness and organisation for each and every lesson.
The grades are:
- Improvement Needed – The child needs to ensure that they are properly focused in their lessons and that they try their best when contributing in class and completing work. They are likely not on track to fulfil their potential in this subject area. Specific pointers for improvement will be communicated by their Form Tutor.
- Good – The child displays a good and consistent attitude to learning. They participate willingly in class discussion and complete written work to the best of their ability.
- Very Good – The child consistently displays high levels of focus, involvement, enjoyment and contribution in all lessons and works to record work to the very best of their ability.
Each report card will include attainment data in Maths and English comprehension and writing. The judgements next to the data are to demonstrate the progress the children are making through the year and are set against end of year expectations; we would expect initial judgements early on in the year to be low. The grades should increase over the year until most children achieve ‘Expected’ attainment. In maths not every strand is tested every term.
These scores are not intended to be shared with the children. A low score can be upsetting and demoralising for a child. Especially if the child is not fully aware that the papers are assessing against end of year expectations
At the end of the year every child sits a Progress Test that gives a Standard Age Score (SAS) a score that takes in to account the child’s age and is comparable with a nationally representative sample of students. These scores are included in the final report of the year.
Children’s individual progress in Maths is tracked using a variety of methods. The objectives are grouped in blocks which are then broken down into progressive steps to enable the children to master the skills involved. Mini tests and teachers’ judgement are used to provide indicators as to whether the child might need further support or is fluent enough to apply the knowledge reasoning mathematically.
At the end of each term, the children complete an ‘arithmetic’ and ‘problem solving and reasoning’ performance assessment, reported to you on their termly grade card. Each assessment is based on the concepts taught that term, building upon learning in previous years. The score is given as a percentage. In Maths, the year’s objectives are taught in blocks and this results in different units being taught each term. As a result, a child’s score may fluctuate termly in relation to their understanding of the objectives being taught.
In the problem solving and reasoning tests, mathematical problems are presented in different formats to ensure children can fully demonstrate mathematical fluency, problem solving and reasoning. These higher-level skills indicate the children’s mastery of concepts, demonstrating they have a deep understanding.
Assessments, although valuable data, only offer a snapshot of a child’s progress at any given moment which is why teacher’s summative judgement is extremely important. Heywood teachers use a combination of the assessments, classroom performance, mastery tracking to produce a considered judgement of a child’s trajectory towards the end of year assessments, indicated in the final column of your child’s data table.
If you would like further information regarding assessment in Maths please do not hesitate to get in touch with Mrs Gilmore, Head of Maths at Heywood (email@example.com).
In English, children are assessed termly on reading and writing in addition to the informal in-class assessment that teachers conduct as part of their regular practice in lessons. It is these termly assessments that form the basis of the information on the grade card.
For reading and comprehension, children in Years 1 to 6 now complete the New Group Reading Test published by GL Assessment. This is a change from previous terms as we feel that this test is a more valuable indication of a child’s attainment level. This test is completed every term, either on paper or on computer. The tests assess the reading skills specified in the National Curriculum, including decoding and comprehension. The assessment results in an age-standardised score, with 100 being the national average score for a child of any given age. Because the score is age-standardised, if a child’s score remained the same from term to term, this would indicate having made the expected level of progress.
In writing, Heywood uses termly assessments of children’s ability to write independently and use the skills taught up to that point in their education. The criteria by which work is judged are adapted from the National Curriculum for England, which sets out a list of skills and knowledge that children should have attained in writing at various ages. These encompass content, grammar, spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and handwriting. Because it is not always appropriate for a child to use all features of writing in every piece, teachers must use their judgement in evaluating whether children have shown enough of the requisite skills. Each child’s work is assessed against the list of criteria, with a final evaluation based on the overall mix of skills shown in the work. * Please reference separate writing level explanation here.
As in Maths, teachers’ judgements of children’s attainment and progress are based not only on stand-alone assessments but also on overall performance in class.
If you would like further information regarding assessment in English, please contact Mr G Edwards, Head of English (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you would like further information or to discuss any details of your child’s grade card, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Mr L Martin, Director of Studies on email@example.com or your child’s form teacher.
Leonora Martin, Director of Studies