As a school, we believe that formative assessment (Assessment for Learning – AfL) goes to the very heart of good quality teaching and learning.
For children: to develop keen, ambitious children with a thirst for learning by identifying for them where they need to target their efforts to improve.
For teachers: as reflective practitioners, AfL allows us to identify what a child knows and what they need to learn next. It supports us to provide appropriate support or extension. It supports our evaluation of what is working well in our teaching and what we might need to develop to impact on outcomes.
For parents and carers: it provides you with rich, constructive information and a broad picture of your child's strengths and areas for improvement.
At Abbey Gates, our assessment system is based on formative assessment - What can a child do? What do they need to do next? We use an online assessment system 'OTrack' to record and track assessment data. Based on this information we are able to monitor whether a child is currently where they 'should' be based on their starting points and national age-expected standards, whether they are currently doing better than the national standards, or whether they are not currently at age-expected.
Our rigorous process that ensures we are clear where children currently are in their learning. We use this to inform what we need to do to further develop individuals' skills, knowledge and understanding.
Children also regularly complete summative assessments. We currently use NFER assessments for core subjects to provide us with valuable information regarding how a child is getting on and to support our children in developing their skills needed when taking a test. Children also take the statutory national tests: At the end of Year 1 children will be tested on their phonic knowledge; in Y2 children do their SATs in reading, maths, and spelling, punctuation and grammar, in Y4 children complete a Multiplication Tables Check and in Y6 children will do their SATs, again for reading, maths, and spelling, punctuation and grammar.
We have the very highest expectations for all our children in these tests and set aspirational targets. We are proud that our children make excellent progress through the school and score very highly in the tests. We are acutely aware that these are not the only indicators of your children's success. We work hard to try to limit any anxiety that children may feel around any of these tests and we always ensure that the children know they are hugely successful in so many ways, whatever the outcome of a one-off, one hour test may be.
Ultimately, the main purpose of all of this information is to support us in identifying any areas where your child may need further support and to help us in developing that support and improving their learning. We have developed a strong partnership with our feeder school: Joseph Whitaker - to further improve their understanding of the children who will be going there in Y7, so they can continue to develop your children's skills, knowledge and understanding. We also communicate with parents regularly, mainly through Learning Reviews and also through daily conversations in the playground.
If there are ever any areas of your child's learning you would like to discuss, please do speak to the class teacher or arrange a meeting for a convenient time. We are always keen to talk to you about ways to work together to improve your child's learning.