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Assessment Information

Assessment at Walford Nursery & Primary School

We believe that effective assessment provides information to improve teaching and learning.  At Walford Nursery & Primary School, we aim to produce independent learners, therefore, we encourage our children to be creative and imaginative and to develop a lifetime love of learning.  Research has shown that formative assessment can improve both children’s motivation and capacity to learn.  We believe the key purpose of assessment is to move all children on in their learning in order for them to be well equipped with the necessary key skills.  Continued monitoring of each child's progress gives a clear picture of what each child can do and their next steps for effective learning. 


Through assessing, recording and reporting on pupils’ work, we aim to:

  • enable pupils to understand what they have to do to reach end of Year and Key Stage expectations;
  • allow staff and children to plan more effectively;
  • involve pupils and their parents/carers in their own learning;
  • provide our school with information to evaluate teaching;
  • give pupils helpful feedback on their achievements and areas for development, in order that they can learn more effectively;
  • ensure that our practices in this area adhere to the equal opportunities policy of the school. 


How do we assess pupils' learning?


The school welcomed the changes in the National Curriculum in 2014 and saw it as an exciting opportunity to review our assessment and reporting systems to create a more holistic approach.  We were very clear that whatever assessment tool we used, it needed to be robust and track pupils’ progress across the school and not just at the end of a Key Stage.


The principles that underpin assessment at Walford Primary School are:

  • to provide information to support progression in learning through planning;
  • to provide information for target setting for individuals, groups and cohorts;
  • to share learning goals with children;
  • to involve children with self-assessment;
  • to help pupils know and recognise the standards they are aiming for;
  • to raise standards of learning;
  • to identify children for intervention;
  • to inform parents and other interested parties of children’s progress;
  • to complete a critical self-evaluation of the school;
  • every child can achieve;
  • the National Curriculum objectives will be used as the expectations for all children;
  • the Assertive Mentoring programme will be used to assess children in writing, Mathematics and Science.  PiRA (Progress in Reading Assessments) will be used to assess children in reading alongside the Read, Write Inclusive programme.
  • most pupils will make age appropriate progress – 12 months in 12 months or 3 tracking points on School Pupil Tracker Online (SPTO); those who need to ‘close the gap’ will  be required to make more progress;
  • teachers are experts at assessment - assessment will be effectively used to ensure the correct scaffolding is be built into lessons to ensure all children achieve.


All teachers assess their class or group on a daily basis so that they can plan the next steps in each child's learning.  It assiststeachers monitor progress, provide motivation for the children and helps inform planning. These types of assessment take place on a regular basis:


  • Self and Peer assessment
  • Next step marking (see Marking policy)
  • Learning conversations
  • Rich, probing questioning using Bloom’s Taxonomy
  • Assessments in Mathematics and writing every six weeks.  Assessments in reading every term and assessments in Science at the end of each topic.
  • Cold and Hot tasks at the beginning and end of new topics in Mathematics, Science and Topic to assess prior learning (cold tasks) and progress (hot tasks).

All of the above feed into 'Data snap-shots' taken every six weeks.


Statutory Assessments (End of Key Stage)


In addition to the above assessments, pupils also complete the following statutory assessments: 


  • Reception:  Baseline (September) and EYFS profile.
  • Year 1:  Phonics Screening (repeated in Year 2 if not achieved in Year 1).
  • Years 2 and Year 6:  SATs (end of Key Stage assessments).


Removal of Levels

Alongside the introduction of the new National Curriculum, levels were removed for all Year Groups.  Instead, at the end of KS1 and KS2, pupils will be given a scaled score and a ‘performance descriptor’ against the expected standard.


Golden Codes

In order to achieve the ‘expected standard’, children need to meet the required end of Key Stage 2 expectations; this is broken down into key outcomes for each curriculum year.  We use the National Curriculum objectives to assess outcomes for children at the end of each curriculum year.  For example:  Y2S = a child who has achieved all or the vast majority of the objectives set out for Year 2 (and no further) would be said to be ‘secure’ and working at the end of Year 2 expectation. 


Tracking Points are used to examine progress and attainment numerically (as an average).  There is an expectation that all year groups move on 3 tracking points in a year, one for each of the golden codes. Expectation is that most pupils make 12 months progress in 12 months.


We use the following 'Golden Codes' to assess pupils’ knowledge of the curriculum, against age-related expectations, in each core subject area:

  • Emerging
  • Developing
  • Secure (reflecting that age-related objectives have been achieved).

In addition to assessing curriculum knowledge we also assess the way pupils apply their skills and knowledge. This is known as the 'Depth of Learning' rating.  There are four Depth of Learning ratings:

  • #1 Shallow learner
  • #2 Expected depth for age
  • #3 Deeper learner
  • #4 Deepest learner


The depth and application of a child’s learning is an important marker of their achievement and progress.  To assess Depth of Learning, pupil’s learning will be examined over a period of time.  


Pupils' assessments are made up of two components, their Golden Code and their Depth of Learning rating, for example: a pupil who has been assessed as Y3S #3 has achieved the expected outcomes for Year 3 and has achieved above the standard expected for their depth and understanding of learning therefore they have a good application of the knowledge they have learnt.  

Early Years Foundation Phase

Class teachers use a combination of the EYFS profile and the NfER baseline assessment to measure children's progress.  The baseline assessment will result in a score that forms part of each child’s baseline profile.  By having a good understanding of the child’s abilities when they start school, class teachers are able to measure each child's progress and plan for next steps in learning.  The baseline assessment is face-to-face with a mixture of tasks and observational checklists.


The EYFS profile assessment is carried out in the final term of Reception with snapshots being taken at the end of each term to monitor progress.  The main purpose of the EYFS profile is to provide a reliable, valid and accurate assessment of individual children at the end of the EYFS.   EYFS profile data is used to:

  • Inform parents about their child’s development against the early learning goals (ELGs) and the characteristics of their learning.
  • Help year 1 teachers plan an effective, responsive and appropriate curriculum that will meet the needs of each child. 

Children in Reception are assessed against the Prime and Specific areas of Learning in the EYFS profile.  These are recorded on our on-line system, School Pupil Tracker Online. Assessments are based on observation of daily activities and events.  At the end of Reception for each Early Learning Goal, teachers will judge whether a child is meeting the level of development expected at the end of the Reception year:

  • Emerging, not yet reached the expected level of development
  • Expected
  • Exceeding, beyond the expected level of development for their age

Phonics Screening Check Year 1

The Phonics Screening Check demonstrates how well pupils can use the phonics skills they have learned up to the end of Year 1 and to identify those who need extra phonics help.  The checks consist of 40 words and ‘alien’ words that your child will be asked to read with a teacher.  ‘Alien’ words (or nonsense words, or pseudo words) are a collection of letters that will follow phonics rules your child has been taught, but don’t mean anything.  The 40 words and non-words are divided into two sections – one with simple word structures of three or four letters, and one with more complex word structures of five or six letters.


Pupils will be scored against a national standard, and the main result will be whether or not they fall below, within or above this standard.  Pupils who do not meet the required standard in Year 1 will be re-checked in Year 2.


Reporting to Parents

Reporting not only fulfils legal requirements but also is vital part of our relationship with parents and the wider community, serving to support and promote the child’s learning.  Parents are invited to a parents’ consultation each term and their child’s Pupil Profile is shared with them.  Annually, the Pupil Profile Annual Report is sent to parents in July of each academic year.  At the end of EYFS, Year 2 and Year 6 a written report which include results of statutory tests and assessments and gives information relating to progress and attainment.  Each year reports will identify whether children are working at national expectation for their age, below or above.  Parents are also encouraged to make appointments to meet with their child’s class teacher at any point during the year to discuss their child’s progress if necessary.