At Richmond Hill School, effective assessment provides information to improve teaching and learning. It is key in our special school that all practitioners know how pupils learn best and can provide accurate assessment to ensure next steps maximise progress. The key questions that our class teams ask are - What can the pupil do now? What does the pupil need to learn next?
All pupils at Richmond Hill School have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). Annual outcomes are set for all pupils and are broken down into Communication & Interaction, Cognition & Learning, Social, Mental and Emotional Health Development and Sensory & Physical Needs targets. Shorter term targets are then set out in IEPs to enable pupils to work towards the annual, and eventually, long term targets. These targets are reviewed and evaluated by teams termly.
Pupils are given regular feedback on their learning, through marking, verbal feedback and praise so that they understand what to do in order to improve. This allows us to personalise our lesson plans using a detailed knowledge of each pupil. Parents and Carers attend two parent’s evenings a year, alongside an Annual Review of the pupils' Education Health and Care Plan outcomes.
| || |
The aims and objectives of assessment at Richmond Hill are:
• to enable our pupils to demonstrate what they know, understand and can do in their work and life skills;
• to help our pupils understand what they need to do next to improve their work;
• to allow teachers to plan work, opportunities and experiences that accurately reflects the needs of each child
• to provide regular information for parents/carers that enables them to support their child’s learning;
• to provide the Headteacher, Senior and Middle leaders, Subject Leaders, Class teachers, Multi-Agency Teams and governors with information that allows them to make judgements about the effectiveness of the school and to bring about improvement.
There are different types of assessment:
Formative assessment is the on-going assessment carried out by teachers both formally and informally during lessons and units of lessons. The results of formative assessments have a direct impact on the teaching materials and strategies employed immediately following the assessment.
Summative assessment occurs at pre-defined periods of the academic year which determines a pupil’s attainment against a year group’s programme of study objectives. For those pupils who it is appropriate this could include tests or screening such as Phonics. Summative tests help teachers to benchmark pupils and also to make mid-year and end of year assessments.
Assessment at Richmond Hill:
At Richmond Hill, we use an assessment platform called SOLAR (Special On Line Assessment Records). On this platform we use the Looking at Learning descriptors to track progress. This assessment package replaces what was formerly, nationally known as P-Scales.
The assessment package has been developed alongside Woodlands Secondary School. This creates a more cohesive assessment tool that can show continued progress from the time a pupil starts Richmond Hill to the time they leave Woodlands.
In September 2020 we began adding the pupil’s IEPs onto the platform. The software enables us to track a pupil’s progress across the year towards their IEP targets.
EYFS SEN (Luton’s Framework) - Children in early years will all have a learning journey. These are documents which record observations about the child. EYFS practitioners will observe children as they play to understand the child’s current attainment and to plan for their next steps. These observations form the majority of EYFS SEN assessments and are shared with parents and carers.
Phonics Assessment - Pupils are assessed against RWI (Read Write Inc.) sound sets at the beginning and end of year.
Additional assessment and observation tools:
- PSHE Skills Checklist
- Busy Birds
- Cookery Skills
- Gardening Skills
- Floor Books – Leaves Pathway currently trialling the use of this to enable pupil self-reflection on their knowledge at the start and end of a thematic unit of work.
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
The school is required to carry out the government phonics screening check with pupils functioning at a level to access the test. This is normally carried out in with Year 1 pupils in the Summer Term.
Reception Baseline Assessment
- The RBA is an assessment of early mathematics and literacy, communication and language. It is administered within the first six weeks of a pupil starting reception.
- The assessment has two components, each consisting of practical tasks using physical resources.
- The RBA will be used by the Standards Testing Agency to create school-level progress measures for primary schools which will show the progress pupils make from reception until the end of Key Stage 2.
The Engagement Model
- The engagement model is a new form of assessment for pupils who are working below the standard of the national curriculum assessments.
- It is an assessment system for pupils who are not engaged in subject-specific study both at key stage 1 (KS1) and key stage 2 (KS2).
- The engagement model replaces P Scales 1–4
Pre-Key stage Standards
The pre-key stage standards are provided for the statutory assessment of pupils engaged in subject-specific study who are working below the overall standard of the national curriculum tests and teacher assessment frameworks.
Teachers complete the standards assessment in the Summer Term on pupils in Year 2 & Year 6.
We have two moderation processes to ensure that our assessments are accurate. We have in-house moderation meetings each half term. We also take our results to a cross authority moderation group of other special schools to compare and benchmark. We use data produced from assessment at this group of Good and Outstanding schools to act as a comparison tool for our Key Stage Data.