The way your child learns may be quite different from how you learnt at school!
At SMSP, we make sure our teachers keep up to date with the latest developments in teaching and learning. Central to this is having a whole-school ‘growth mindset’ learning culture, where challenges are embraced, questions are asked, where we persist in the face of set-backs and we learn from our mistakes and from feedback.
Regular assessments are made of each child’s progress and these are used by teachers to plan the next steps in learning. Formal termly assessments are also conducted in English, Maths and Science, and the next steps in learning are shared with parents at termly parent/teacher conferences. In addition, parents receive a written Annual Report in the summer term which summarises their child’s overall progress and attainment.
Early Years Foundation Stage
All Early Years providers complete an EYFS profile for each child in the final term of the year in which the child reaches the age of five. For most children this is the Reception Year.
The primary purpose of the EYFS profile is to provide a reliable, valid and accurate assessment of individual children at the end of the EYFS. The profile describes each child’s attainment against the 17 early learning goals together with a short narrative about their learning characteristics. This information is reported to parents in the child’s end of year report.
Within the first six weeks of children starting in Reception, the class teachers complete the statutory online Reception Baseline Assessment with each child. The purpose of the assessment is to create a starting point to measure the progress schools make with their pupils.
Key Stage 1
The phonics screening check is administered to children in June of Year 1. It is a short, light-touch assessment to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard and is administered on a one- to- one basis by the child’s class teacher. It is reported to parents in the child’s end of year report whether their child has met the age related expectations in phonics. Children who do not reach the expected standard will receive extra support to ensure they can improve their decoding skills, and will then have the opportunity to retake the phonics screening check in June of Year 2.
Throughout the whole of Key Stage 1 children are assessed on a regular basis through on-going teacher assessment and optional tests to track progress and attainment.
The Key Stage 1 Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs) are designed to test children’s knowledge and understanding in the core subjects of English and Maths. These tests take place towards the end of Year 2 and cover the areas of reading, arithmetic and mathematical reasoning. All test papers are marked by the class teacher. Test paper results are not reported to parents but are used by teachers, alongside class work, to produce an overall grading at the end of the year.
The children are assessed on an ongoing basis in reading, writing, maths and science on the Teacher Assessment Framework (TAFs). These are a series of statements outlining what a child needs to achieve in order to meet the expected standards for the end of the year. A child’s end of year report will give a teacher assessment grade for each of these areas based on observations, discussion with pupils, classwork, practical work and test results.
Key Stage 2
Throughout the whole of Key Stage 2 children are assessed on a regular basis through on-going teacher assessments and termly summative tests to track progress and attainment.
In Year 4, pupils are required to take a multiplication tables check (MTC): this is a statutory requirement from 2022. The purpose of the MTC is to determine whether pupils can recall their times tables fluently, which is essential for future success in mathematics. It helps schools to identify pupils who have not yet mastered their times tables, so that additional support can be provided. Schools have a 3-week check window in June to administer the MTC and teachers have the flexibility to administer the check to individual pupils, small groups or a whole class at the same time. There is no pass mark for the check but the results will be given to parents in the child’s end of year report.
The Key Stage 2 Statutory Assessment Tests (SATs) are designed to test children’s knowledge and understanding in the core subjects of English and Maths. These tests take place towards the end of Year 6 and cover the areas of reading, grammar, spelling and mathematics. The SATs are taken under full test conditions and marked externally.
The SATs provide a snapshot of a child’s ability at that moment; however, Year 6 teachers also provide their own assessment of a child’s written attainment based on their performance throughout the year following the TAFs (teacher assessment framework). These teacher assessments and the test results are reported back to parents in the end of year reports.