Assessing Pupil Progress
At Palatine we recognise that high quality teaching and learning is informed by regular, accurate assessment that can guide teaching and enable pupils to be challenging, stimulated and motivated in their learning. This is effective when there is regular communication between all members of the school community (i.e. parents/ carers/ support staff and multi professionals) which leads to effective, individualised learning plans and constructive feedback conversations for pupils that enable best practise to continually be evaluated and adapted as necessary.
We know that current and historic research into the qualities of feedback and marking describe that it is at its most effective when good quality feedback and marking enable both pupils and teachers to know;
- what learning is taking place
- how individuals own learning compares to the desired outcomes and objectives and
- what the next steps are to move forward on their learning journey.
For pupils at Palatine school this will inevitably cover and encompass a variety of strategies that will support the range of pupils learning needs, styles and levels of understanding and accessing the environment around them.
We aim to;
- give timely, accurate and constructive feedback to pupils in response to learning steps
- listen and respond to pupils appropriately so that each small step is valued
- demonstrate clear and accurate feedback when giving information i.e. between parties mentioned above
- Deliver feedback and marking that is appropriate for individual pupils learning levels, styles and needs. This will be evident when reviewing evidence collections of pupils.
- Use feedback and marking to inform next steps, future planning and formative assessment
- Use well established class based assessment and feedback systems that promote the values of the Learning Response policy
- Share feedback with pupils regarding next steps and where appropriate include pupils in reflecting on their own successes and targets.
At Palatine we use the following evidence gathering strategies;
- Observations of adult led learning recorded either on a class observation form or a post it.
- Independent learning observations – where evidence is gathered of children using and applying their skills away from the point of teaching
- Observations of pupils achievements towards individual targets recorded on either class target gathering sheets, observation slips or post its
- Observations of WOW moments – where children demonstrate a key progress or exceptional skill beyond that of which they are normally showing. Examples might be when a child communicates a piece of knowledge, is able to tolerate an experience beyond that which they normally are able, achieve a personal learning goal, demonstrate a learning behaviour that is enabling them to be able to attend to learning more readily.
- Observations of children reading within reading records
- Photographic and video evidence which captures pupils achieving. These are then annotated with observations of their achievements.
- Teacher judgement
- Work samples which are completed as part of adult led or discrete teaching sessions which is annotated for the level of independence that is has been completed and how the pupil achieved the task. Where marking of answers is required, this is completed and worked through with pupils verbally also to ensure understanding and to address any misconceptions.
We use the following Feedback strategies;
- Feedback is immediate and is related to learning outcomes, is specific to what pupils have achieved and enables the learner to know what they have done well.
- Feedback is used to promote positive self-esteem and self-reflection meaning that individual feedback is presented in a personalised way (including considering pupils preferred method of communication)
- Feedback enables the learner to understand what they have done well, so feedback presented will use communication strategies that are appropriate to the learner. i.e using visual feedback for pupils yet to be able understand verbal phrases or written feedback.
- Feedback is used to celebrate success and address misconceptions, adults will ensure that errors in learning are addressed with pupils and enables them to extend their learning.
- We encourage pupils to be able to take ownership of their learning. Approaches in which we do this are:
- Choice making: when pupils are given real choices within activities. Choosing may involve words, objects, signs, symbols and or actions and takes as long as the student needs to understand the options and respond
- Continuing an interaction by taking turns with others (peers and adults)
- Adapting the environment to provide enhanced sensory feedback for example using a resonance board for musical activities, textured wallpaper instead of plain for mark making
- Independent learning: where pupils make their own choices of learning to engage with through continuous provision that supports learning outcomes and engagement aspects
- We provide feedback to pupils about their actions and achievements to reinforce pupils own awareness. We do this by:
- Using actions or pupils own actions and gestures that indicate their achievement, adults will use the same actions or gestures in response. For example if a pupil claps their hands, staff may copy and continue
- Non-verbal feedback may be presented through an individual sign from a pupil and their key adult such as a light touch on the shoulder. Additionally other forms are use of tone of voice, songs, and objects of reference, symbols or key phrases.
- Extrinsic rewards such as smiley faces, stickers, dojos, class rewards and taking work or achievements to show someone else or put on the WOW work board or “Great work we have done” whole school display.
- Feedback from pupils to staff is an important as feedback from staff to pupils. We encourage pupils to show us which activities, approaches, environments and people they like and which they don’t. This is so adults can model identifying and responding to feedback and because we recognise and promote negotiation between staff and students as the basis for pupils ownership of learning and independence
- We recognise that feedback takes place between all members of our school community. It is a dialogue that takes place;
- Between learner and teacher
Teachers give feedback to learners in a range of contexts primarily through verbal communication but also through use of positive rewards such as stickers, signing, gesture, use of voice, facial expression and singing. This dialogue reflects the immediate nature of feedback and enables learners to gain instant adult interaction that informs their learning. This feedback is positive, constructive and is explicitly linked to learning and next steps.
- Between learner and learner
Pupils for whom it is appropriate may be encouraged to be able either assess themselves or each against a success criteria and give verbal or symbol feedback in the form of thumbs up or thumbs down or showing a smiley face or sad face symbol.
- Between support staff and teacher
Support staff serve an important role in being able to give feedback to the teacher when working individually with pupils and in small groups. This is necessary and important for supporting the teacher assessment and the creation of next steps in learning. This feedback will be learning centred and where appropriate will contain annotations and comments in line with best practise. Each teacher and class will use systems that are appropriate for their way of working. These will be evaluated for their effectiveness on a regular basis and will support the teaching and learning processes that take place within the classroom.
- Between teacher and teacher/ HLTA
Teachers who work with a range of children i.e. with streaming sets or across phases or for PPA purposes will need to liaise with other teachers from those children are their primary responsibility. This feedback will be verbal and/ or written and evaluate the learning that took place in the absence of or in place of the regular teacher. This feedback will have the same qualities as feedback between TA’s and teachers and will support the continuing learning journeys of pupils. Written feedback will be given in a way that is synonymous with class systems. These systems may vary between classes to suit the learners that they accommodate.
- Between multi-agency professionals and teacher
It is important that all professionals involved within a child’s learning journey are able to contribute to discussion. This will be through verbal feedback after specific intervention as well as regular written reports that are also shared with parents. Where appropriate written feedback may be shared for pupils individual evidence collections i.e. topic books or learning journals or as intervention records for pupils.
- Between parents/ carers and teachers
To capture the entire child’s learning journey, feedback may be gathered from parents about how children are progressing within their home environment. This may be verbally at parents meetings or liaisons (such as collection or drop off), written such as within the home school books or using creative strategies such as WOW slips or home observation sheets. This feedback can be used within pupils individual evidence collections i.e. topic books or learning journals.
- Between teacher and Senior Leadership Team
Teachers will feedback an overview of their evidence collated within bi-annual pupil progress meetings that will evaluate the whole child i.e. attendance, behaviours for learning, academic progress and success against AR targets. Teachers will present a clear picture of the evidence collected as well as identifying potential barriers to learning and possible solutions to overcoming these.
We use our assessment and reporting arrangements to support our gathering and recording of pupils achievements and attainments which includes details of how and when we report to parents and collate summative assessment data.