S6: Assessment

After school staff training – 2018 assessment framework criteria

On 23.01.18 and 30.01.18, the staff meeting/training session was based on formative assessment for KS1 (23rd) and KS2 (30th). On the 23rd, the Year 2 class teacher talked to us about how the children are assessed in order to determine whether they are working ‘towards, at expected or at greater depth’ in their writing. She did this by providing us with children’s work in her class and letting us assess this against the KS1 Writing Assessment Framework – 2018. The training on the 30th followed on from this by providing the same structure by letting us read current year 6’s work and using the KS2 writing framework to assess where the children are in their writing. This allows the teachers to identify areas that need to be developed in order to achieve expected and how they can push the learners on to be the best writers they can be. TS6.1 – Know and understand how to assess the relevant subject and curriculum areas, including statutory assessment requirements

Both sessions were really useful as they demonstrated to me how children’s writing is assessed and I learnt better from it by being able to have a go myself, rather than being shown or told how this framework works. In some cases, it was difficult to do this as I was unsure whether to tick a section where they have only used an example once, to me this does not show a child is secure in what they have shown (for example using the co-ordination ‘but’). However, after speaking to the classroom teacher, she explained that the children will have several pieces of writing and therefore if it is consistently used in the majority of their writing, this then determines what is secure by the end of the year. Additionally, being the class teacher, she has an understanding of what the children should be able to achieve.

I found year 6 much more challenging. Unlike the KS1, it was rather ambiguous in the way they did not provide examples or clear expectations. I found this particularly in the ‘greater depth’ section and after a discussion with more experienced members of staff, we came to the conclusion that the differences between ‘working at expected’ and ‘working at greater depth’ came down to the maturity of the writing. An example of this is ‘exercise an assured and conscious control over levels of formality, particularly through manipulating grammar and vocabulary to achieve this’. This is hard to measure as it could be down to a matter of opinion.

I was astounded by the incredible outcomes that are expected from the children by the time they leave KS1 and KS2. After working intensely in a year 4 and a year 1 class, this has really helped me to understand the need to push children in order to get them to where they need to be. This has been useful also for my lesson plans as these are things I can be aware of, knowing the expectations that children are expected to meet.

By completing the example moderating task myself, I am more aware of the importance of learning practically as by doing this I developed a greater understanding. Therefore, it made me consider how children are more likely to retain what they have learnt by doing things things themselves and trying new ideas out – rather than being shown how to do it.

Focused next steps:

  • consider what the children can already do and what their areas for development are
  • be more aware of where the children are expected to be by the time they leave school
  • when back at Host School, ask to have a year 4 expectations guide to support teaching and learning
  • consider how I can incorporate practical and personalised learning to retain new skills