Assessing a child’s achievement in writing is notoriously difficult. Firstly, there is a vast range of skills upon which we draw to compose and create a piece of writing, including vocabulary, grammar, spelling, style, handwriting, organisation, time-management and more. In addition, each type of writing, from non-fiction reports and stories to letters and diaries, requires a different set of features.
A writing assessment based on a single piece of work will only ever provide a snapshot of a child’s skills. However, it is useful to gauge which elements of the curriculum the child is able to use independently and which still require consolidation.
At Heywood Prep, our writing assessments are conducted according to our own writing criteria, which are designed to reflect the requirements of the National Curriculum. Children’s work is compared against a list of skills they are expected to be able to demonstrate by the end of the appropriate academic year. A piece of writing that demonstrates the majority of these skills is deemed to be at the expected level; below this it is seen as working towards the level, and beyond this it is seen as working beyond this level.
In some cases, if children still need to consolidate skills from an earlier standard, they may be assessed against that standard in order to give meaningful information and more accurately monitor their progress. Similarly, if a child is well beyond the expected standard then they may be assessed against a later standard.
The termly grade cards indicate which standard was used for the assessment, and what level the assessed piece was deemed to achieve. Teachers will be able to provide more information about exactly which criteria children need to work on in order to make further progress.
If you would like more information about the criteria expected in each standard, please speak to your child’s teacher.