Assessment has been at the forefront of our policy work for the past year. We believe that assessment is important to establish an indication of how our children are developing the skills needed for later life. We seek to contribute with a focus on how assessment specifically affects SEND learners, ensuring that appropriate test design and arrangements are in place to make the exams process as inclusive as possible.
Assessment testing has undergone a drastic number of changes in recent years, here is a brief outline of assessment at primary level:
This is the day-to-day assessment that all teachers carry out. It helps them understand learning needs, and informs future planning.
Where a learner has SEND, it can also mean formal assessments in reading, observations by an Educational Psychologist (EP), Speech and Language Therapist (SaLT), Occupational Therapist (OT) or other professional.
Formative assessment is an ongoing process.
In 2014, National Curriculum Levels were removed, giving schools freedom to create their own systems for communicating progress. This also applies to learners with SEND who are working below the standard for their year group.
The teacher gives a summary of the child’s learning to date. Until 2014 this was in the form of a level. Currently, we are in an interim period where descriptors for children’s progress and learning are under review until 2018-19.
Statutory assessments (Year 1 phonics check, KS1 tests, KS2 tests) and reports to parents form part of a school’s obligation to give a summary of learning.
Any change to primary assessment must consider the way in which assessment affects both the content of the curriculum and classroom practice.
When considering reform to primary assessment we recommend that:
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