Placement A Primary Academy is a smaller than average school of approximately 200 pupils from age four to eleven. Originally built for two form entry in an 'open-plan' style, it now offers pupils large classrooms with just one class per year group. The school achieved academy status in August 2011 and as part of the ‘Academies Enterprise Trust’ the school works closely with other academies in the local area. Most pupils are from White British backgrounds, with the proportion of pupils from minority ethnic heritages and of those who speak English as an additional language being much smaller than found nationally (as shown in appendix A). The proportion of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs (SEN) is lower than average and a very small minority of pupils are known to be eligible for free school meals. The Primary Academy was graded ‘good’ under all inspection judgements in the Ofsted inspection of April 2012 (as shown in appendix B). The Academies results are higher than both County and National Averages at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 and children make good to outstanding progress from their starting points at all stages of their school life, as defined by the performance table shown in appendix C.
The focus of this assignment will be to evaluate the use of assessment to inform pupils’ learning through planning, teaching and the assessment cycle. I have selected three pupils, of varying abilities, that are currently in year three. I will be focusing on their attainment, progress and understanding in my writing of this assignment.
Overview of Assessment
Placement A Primary Academy uses data to identify which children are not making expected progress, according to their own individual prior attainment and also national expectations. The senior leadership team and subject leaders analyse and evaluate the progress of individual pupils and identified groups of pupils across the school against individual targets, class targets and school targets. Termly meetings are held with class teachers to assess the progress of children in their class. Class teachers, subject leaders, the SENCo and the senior leadership team collaborate to identify where intervention programmes are needed and to ensure they are put into place. The impact of the intervention programmes are reviewed termly to ensure effectiveness.
The ‘RAISEonline’ report is designed to help schools identify how effectively they are performing in terms of the achievement of its pupils. The report is made available to schools to help with their self-evaluation and planning to raise standards, and is used by inspectors to generate questions and hypotheses to explore during an inspection. As the assessment co-ordinator, it is the Principal’s task to analyse the data provided by ‘RAISEonline’ to identify areas of weakness or strength within the school, in order to raise standards for learning. Appendix D shows the attainment of mathematics at key stage 2 between 2008 and 2012. The data shows a decrease in attainment in 2010, which the Principle has explained as the result of inconsistent teachers throughout that year. Unfortunately, some decreases in attainment cannot be avoided and are the result of staffing issues, as in this case, but this information can be really useful for schools in informing their planning.
Placement School A and many other schools in the Essex area use a pupil tracking programme called ‘Target Tracker’. It is designed for assessment for learning and is used by Head Teachers and classroom teachers to enter, analyse and share assessment data. Powerful and flexible reports are generated automatically for schools, including comparisons with national data and expectations. However, the Academies Enterprise Trust have recently decided to move over to another pupil tracking provider called ‘Go 4 Schools’ which provides a very similar service of tracking and analysing pupil progress. For that reason the…