Please find below a more detailed description of the attainment and effort grades we give with our termly grade cards.
In the majority of subjects, a child can receive one of three levels of attainment. These attainment levels are not based on a single test or assessment. The pupils are discreetly assessed constantly; we use our professional judgement and a variety of assessment methods to place a child at a certain level. Pupils are judges against the objectives and standards for work completed in the academic year to date. 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.
- 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.
- Beyond – The child is working significantly above the nationally expected attainment level for their age group.
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.
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, and 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 formally assessed on reading, writing and spelling, in addition to the informal in-class assessment that teachers conduct as part of their regular practice in lessons. Your child’s grade card reflects a combination of formal assessment grades and teacher judgements.
For reading and comprehension, children in Years 1 to 6 complete the New Group Reading Test published by GL Assessment. This test is completed every term, either on paper or on a 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.
For spelling, children in Years 3 to 6 also complete the New Group Spelling Test, also from GL Assessment. As with reading, this results in an age-standardised score. This test is only completed twice per year.
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. The final judgement for writing is based on a combination of this assessment, and the teacher’s observations of the child’s achievement in lessons.
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).
In addition to the above termly assessments, 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. The new scores are included in the final report of the year.
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 Mrs L Martin, Director of Studies on email@example.com or your child’s form teacher.
Leonora Martin, Director of Studies