How we assess at Derwent
In EYFS the children have a Baseline Assessment within the first six weeks of their arrival into Reception. This is a simple set of fun iPad led interactive questions which help the teachers know what prior knowledge the children have on arrival in school.
At the end of EYFS prior to their transition to Year 1, pupils have an end of EYFS series of teacher judged attainment based on the Development Matters Framework. This informs the teaching in Early Years.
In Year 1 the children sit a Phonics Screen Test - this is done in class at the end of Year 1 with an adult who is very familiar to them and who is trained in phonics. The series of words the children decode are short, and there are 40 in total. The national pass mark for this (i.e. your child is considered to have reached an age appropriate level for decoding) is 32.
We do not teach to this test, and follow our phonics teaching scheme consistently, however, when your child has done this assessment, the outcomes will be given to you in their annual report. Where a child has SEND or other social or emotional needs, we will discuss with parents and carers, what the best path forwards is for them. This might be to do the test later or even not at all, if it isn't appropriate.
At the end of Year 2, children have Standard Assessment Tests (SAT's) in reading and mathematics. These are linked to the curriculum they have learned from EYFS to the end of Year 2. Again, they are not delivered in a formal way, and often children are in small groups to ensure that they are not anxious. We don't teach to these tests and they are simply administered during a week in June which isn't shared with the children prior to it taking place. These are no longer statutory but the teachers use the outcomes of these assessments and their teacher judgement from their learning in class (including their books) to decide the attainment and progress of each pupil. This will be shared with parents in the annual report and through ongoing teacher discussions with parents.
In Years 3 and 4 there are informal school level mathematics or reading assessments and these are carried out internally. Additionally in Year 4 there is a Multiplication Tables Check. By year 4 children are expected to have been taught their times tables up to 12 x 12. This is measured using a computer programme during June each year and there are 25 questions and 6 seconds to answer each and type it in There isn't a pass mark but the outcomes will be shared with parents . We don't tell the children when this is happening and to them, the assessment will seem much like a TT Rockstars session.
In year 6 at the end of their primary years, the children have more formal assessments (along with every year 6 pupil in the country). These are newly published each year and externally marked. They are for reading, mathematics and spelling, grammar and punctuation. There is a parents evening during the spring term to explain the assessment process and how we manage it in school. We don't teach to the test and ensure our children have the best teaching across the primary range of subjects. If our children are taught well, with rigour and careful sequencing and with retrieval practice, they will know all they should for assessments in the SAT's. Of course, these assessments are not appropriate for some pupils and there will be individual conversations with parents and carers in this case, about the best way forwards prior to secondary transfer.
We share all assessment information with parents and carers and it is passed forwards to any new school the child subsequently attends.