Doha British School is teaching a new National Curriculum for England, introduced in the UK in 2014. At the same time as this was introduced, the UK Department for Education also scrapped levels as a way of assessing children. In response to these changes schools are now able to develop an assessment process that is robust, easily understood by parents and governors and measures progress as well as attainment.
It should be noted that the primary national curriculum programmes of study for English, Maths and Science are more demanding than the previous national curriculum. They align England with those countries that have the highest-performing school systems.
By raising standards in basics such as reading, grammar, fractions and basic scientific concepts, children will be equipped to do more advanced work once they start secondary school.
Assessment now falls into two distinct categories: Formative and Summative.
- Formative Assessment or Assessment for Learning (AfL): a process of continual, lesson by lesson assessment that responds to the learner’s needs and delivers a curriculum that is personal, challenging and motivating.
- Summative Assessment: focuses on the outcome at the end of a unit of work or term – a test.
|Formative - Assessment FOR Learning||Summative - Assessment OF Learning|
|• Measures few things frequently.||• Measures many things frequently.|
|• Identifies which students have learned a skill and which have not so that those who have not can be given additional instruction.||• Attempts to determine if students have learned and met intended standards by a specified deadline.|
|• Provides students with input on how to improve.||• Provides useful information regarding strengths and weaknesses of curricula and programmes in a school.|
|• Can inform teachers individually and collectively of the effectiveness of their practice.||• Allows comparisons against international standards.|
Teachers are expected to deliver lessons that continually assess learning. This will be achieved through daily marking which should provide a positive comment and a next step or question for the child to answer, verbal feedback, discussion and peer assessment (child to child). These are all designed so that your child knows their strengths and areas for development in all subjects.
|Three Strategies for Assessment FOR Learning|
|• Know where the students are going|
|• Know where they are now|
|• Know how to close the gap|
At the end of a unit of work teachers will use more summative measures to gain an understanding of progress to date. This will often be a short test or, in Literacy, could be a piece of work which has been written under exam conditions then moderated amongst the teachers in the year group, to ensure continuity and a shared understanding of expected levels.
In order to track and measure attainment and progress, teachers need both of these approaches. At DBS we have developed a tracking system called CAD (Child Assessment Data) which each teacher uses to record the progress children are making against the National Curriculum objectives being taught. The process of moderating work happens so that teachers are accurate in their assessments.
Summative Assessment (PiM and PiE – Progress in Maths/Progress in English)
PiM and PiE are standardised tests for English and Maths that provide an age related score, allowing us to view progress and attainment against children of the same age. These tests will be given at the end of each academic year allowing us to thoroughly track pupils.
The value of PiM and PiE is to provide independent outside assessment of the children to see if they are achieving in a similar way to the rest of the international population. More information can be gained from reading the following link:
Language of assessment
The removal of levels has resulted in a change in the language of assessment. We have replaced numerical levels with the statements:
- Working below the expected level
- Working towards the expected level
- Working at the expected
- Exceeding the expected level
The school will report where your child is against these statements in Literacy and Maths, three times a year, and if your child is below the expected level for a child of that age, a meeting will be called to share with you the steps being taken to support your child.
Assessment and Reporting in Primary