The right kind of assessment is at the heart of successful learning. At The Latham School we recognise the interdependence of teaching, learning and assessment. Our approach to assessment is to ensure that there is a constant dialogue between pupils and their teachers. Teachers make it clear in each lesson what learning outcomes are expected and pupils receive positive and constructive feedback on their progress towards those outcomes. We understand the importance of pupils knowing their achievements and areas for improvement.
Assessment for Learning
Our key approach to assessment is known as Assessment for Learning. Teachers are on the look-out for learning in every lesson. This entails a variety of assessment methods and is geared toward an appraisal of a broad range of concepts, attitudes, knowledge and skills. For example, there is scope for pupil self-assessment, assessment of oral work, group as well as individual work, end of unit quizzes, drafting and redrafting to produce a final piece for presentation, and also standardised assessment tests. The objective is to have a sufficiently detailed and valid a picture of pupil learning to enable the teacher to identify ways to help individual pupils meet the standards expected of them. It is not a ‘first passed the post approach’ but rather an ‘everyone passed the post’ approach. Notwithstanding the aim for all children to make significant and well-grounded progress against the National Curriculum (England) Statements of Attainment, teachers at The Latham School will ensure that no pupils are marking time and that they are given every opportunity and encouragement to exceed standards.
The most familiar way of recording assessments is the marking of children’s work. This may include a mark, but will also normally include a teacher’s comment.
Teachers also keep running records as well as an Assessment Portfolio of a range of work pupils do throughout the year. This enables them to track progress and to pass this information on the next year so that the new teacher will have a full picture of pupils’ strengths and weaknesses from the outset and can immediately start to address this in their teaching.
Reporting to Parents
Reporting to parents is an important part of assessment. The four reports parents receive during the year provide them with the information that will enable them to support their children with their learning.
All reports to parents provide an assessment of where pupils are in relation to National Curriculum attainment standards and the expectations for their year. In addition, parent/pupil conferences with teachers are scheduled each time a report is issued (4 times a year), providing a regular forum for mutual feedback. End of Term/Year Reports are not send home with pupils in advance of parent/pupil conferences, but are handed over at the meeting. All parents are expected to, and indeed we hope should wish to, meet the teachers to discuss the progress of their child.