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Brandlehow Primary School

Approaches to Assessment

Assessment is an integral part of teaching at Brandlehow to ensure children reach their potential.

What do we mean by assessment in school?

Assessment is the collection of information about children’s learning, which is then review with the purpose of improving learning and development.

  • In other words, a picture about children’s learning and understanding is created by looking at a range of evidence
  • This is used to make improvements in teaching and decisions about provision for children
  • Doing regular assessments and systematically means that quick changes can be made in response to fluctuations in children’s academic achievement

What is ‘achievement’?

Achievement is the word educators use to describe the combination of two factors:

  1. Attainment – which means how each child is doing in relation to their peers in the school.
  2. Progress –which reflects how well a child is doing in relation to how they have done previously.

Why do we assess children?

At Brandlehow we check, regularly, where children sit in terms of attainment and progress, so we can ensure that all our pupils are getting on as well as possible.

When we assess a child as either falling below national expected standards, or slipping in terms of their previous progress arte, we can take effective action to improve this:

  • Explore reasons for the problem, talking with the class team, the child and the family… if we can do anything to improve causes for difficulty, we make the changes necessary.
  • Change our approach to teaching that subject for that child or for a group of children or the whole class if necessary.
  • Put additional provision into place to help improve progress and/or attainment.

Different forms of assessment may serve different purposes for different people and organisations:

  • Pupils
  • Teachers and support staff
  • Parents
  • Teachers and support staff
  • School leaders and governors
  • The government

What do we assess?

In Early Years, 7 areas are assessed regularly through topic-based learning opportunities:

Prime Areas Specific Areas
Communication and Language Literacy
Physical Development Mathematics
Personal, Social and Emotional Understanding the World
  Expressive Art and Design

Years 1- 6

The biggest focus is on assessment of the core subjects:

Literacy (reading and writing) and Numeracy are assessed in most depth, with Science attainment also monitored closely.

Other subjects are assessed regularly with a lighter touch, eg: ICT, History and Geography, Personal, Social and Health Education, PE and Art.

How do we assess children’s learning?

Two kinds of Assessment

Formative Summative
Dialogue Tests
Observations Formal Assessments
Children’s answers  


What are the systems for assessment at Brandlehow?

Formative Assessment happens every day and helps us to build a rich detailed picture of everyday achievement of pupils:

  • Whether they understand what we’re teaching
  • How soon they’re ready for us to move on
  • What misconceptions we need to address
  • When children are very confident and need to be pushed on more

Summative Assessment is completed every half term and helps to track progress more formally:

  • We identify children whose overall picture suggests we have to make some changes to how we help them learn