Case Studies

Case Studies

St Stephens Primary School


Assessment in the New National Curriculum


We believe that effective assessment provides information to improve teaching and learning. We give learners regular feedback on their learning so that they understand what it is that they need to do better. This allows us to base our lesson plans on a detailed knowledge of each pupil. We give parents regular written and verbal reports on their child’s progress so that teachers, children and parents are all working together to raise standards for all our children. 

Currently we are in a transition period, since the removal of National Curriculum Levels descriptors and the implementation of the New Curriculum.  During this period of transition (2014 - 2015/2016) we have continued to use the existing national curriculum levels and have been phasing in the assessment of children’s attainment and progress are judged against the national level. 2016 will see us just using the without levels systems. When assessing children’s attainment we use the language of Emerging, Expected and Exceeding against age-expected outcomes.

Our school statement needs to be read in conjunction with our Assessment, Marking and Feedback and Teaching and Learning policies.


Aims and objectives

The aims and objectives of assessment in our school are:

  • to enable our children to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do in their work;
  • to help our children understand what they need to do next to improve their work;
  • to allow teachers to plan work that accurately reflects the needs of each child;
  • to provide regular information for parents that enables them to support their child’s learning;
  • to provide school leaders and governors with information that allows them to make judgements about the effectiveness of the school.


Assessment is not a singular activity; it is about measurement of performance at a given point in time and a way of gaining information to promote future learning. Our first point of principle should be to hold on to aspects of assessment that aim to measure what we value rather than simply valuing what we are able to measure. Secondly, we acknowledge that there are two distinct types of assessment used by the school. These include:

  • Assessment for learning helps to identify the next steps needed to make​ progress. It takes account of pupils’ strengths as well as weaknesses
  • Assessment of learning is more associated with judgements based on grades​ and ranks and with public accountability.

Therefore we use the following formal assessment procedures to measure outcomes against all schools nationally:

  • end of EYFS
    • o (% of pupils achieving a “Good Level of Development”)
  • Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1 o (% of pupils achieving the required screening check)
  • End of KS1
    • o ( % of pupils achieving Level 2c and above in reading, writing, maths and teacher assessment in speaking and listening, science) and (% of pupils achieving Level 3 in reading, writing, maths and teacher assessment in speaking and listening, science)
  • End of KS2
    • o (% of pupils achieving Level 4c in reading , writing and maths) o (% of pupils achieved 2 levels or more than 2 levels in reading, writing and maths


Good assessment practice will:

  • raise standards of attainment and behaviour, and improve pupil attitudes and response
  • enable the active involvement of pupils in their own learning by providing effective feedback which closes the gap between present performance and future standards required
  • promote pupil self-esteem through a shared understanding of the learning processes and the routes to improvement
  • build on secure teacher knowledge of pupils
  • enable the teacher to adjust teaching to take account of assessment information and to focus on how pupils learn and draw upon as wide a range of evidence as possible using a variety of assessment activities
  • track pupil performance and in particular identify those pupils at risk of underachievement
  • provide information which can be used by teachers and managers as they plan for individual pupils and cohorts
  • provide information which can be used by parents or carers to understand their pupils’ strengths, weaknesses and progress
  • provide information which can be used by other interested parties
  • provide information which can be used to evaluate a school’s performance against its own previous attainment over time and against national standards.


The purpose of Assessment for learning is to:

  • Provide insight into pupils’ learning for both pupils and teachers
  • Promote success for all
  • Enable continuous reflection on what pupils know now and what they need to know next (feedback and feed forward)
  • Measure what is valued
  • Promote immediate intervention and link judgements to learning intentions
  • Raise standards by taking pupils to the ‘edges of possibility’


Implications for teaching The teacher will:

  • Provide continuous oral and written feedback which identifies strengths and the next step for improvement
  • Promote pupil involvement in self-assessment
  • Act on insights gained to inform personal targets
  • Plan against what children know/can do/understand
  • Provide opportunities for all pupils to demonstrate their achievements ● Make standards and objectives explicit to pupils
  • Promote inclusion by attending to all pupils’ learning needs, particularly for pupils who are at risk of underachievement
  • Engage pupils in rich questioning
  • Build in time for focused observation of teacher-directed and child-initiated activity


Impact on learning and the learner The pupil will:

  • Know what to do to improve
  • Know what standards are required
  • Know what has been achieved against known success criteria and what to do next
  • Gain confidence, motivation and self-esteem as a learner
  • Improve own self-evaluation skills
  • Make progress


The purpose of Assessment of learning is to:

  • Provide a summary judgement about what has been learned at a specific point in time
  • Establish national benchmarks about what children can do and about school performance
  • Show what pupils can do without support
  • Hold the school to public account

Implications for teaching The teacher will:

  • Provide a periodic summary through teacher assessment and formal tests ● Identify gaps in pupils’ knowledge and understanding
  • Identify weaknesses in the taught curriculum and in specific areas of learning through analysis of performance which can guide future planning
  • Implement strategies to accelerate progress to meet local and national expectations (narrowing the gap)
  • Mark and measure against expectations outlined in the National Curriculum

Impact on learning and the learner The pupil will:

  • Be able to gauge own performance against previous performance
  • Be able to measure own performance against externally agreed criteria and standards
  • Have a measure of performance at specific milestones in life
  • Know what standards and expectations are required


At St Stephens we will use teacher assessment to moderate children’s progress in maths and writing through the use of specific tasks which are then assessed against a set of agreed criteria (ladders) which are National curriculum objectives. This will be through teacher observation and through specific tasks which are recorded in progress books. Progress books will go with the child throughout their time in our school and can be used to illustrate progress and to evidence judgements against age expected outcomes.

Progress books will be discussed at least once a term in whole school moderation meetings where progress is noted, consistency across teams is checked and any slow progress is challenged.

In addition we will engage with other schools locally in agreed sessions for teachers to discuss evidence and agree judgements.

From Autumn 2015, all assessment will be recorded using Emerging, Expected or Exceeding. These will be recorded on the school tracking system so that progress and attainment can be monitored.

Children will be expected to move from E1 to E2 or E3 within a year depending on their year group.

In Lower KS2, a year 3 pupil could be expected to not reach E4 until Year 4 summer as the objectives here are continuous. This is also true for upper KS2.

Bench marking

In order to ensure accuracy and continuous progress each year all pupils will take a standard assessment. We are using GL assessment and the results of this will be checked each year as they are completed in late summer.