The New National Curriculum is now operational across the whole school and the teachers plan engaging programmes of study with the statutory frameworks to ensure coverage across all subject areas. We usually run mixed age classes (i.e. mixed Years 4 and 5 and mixed Years 1 and 2), so we have to operate a rolling programme across two years to ensure a class will have experience of the curriculum for both age groups in each class.
We make use of the Assertive Mentoring assessment system for Maths across the year groups from Year 1 to Year 6. It provides tracking and target setting information for teachers that is regularly shared with the pupils and their parents. It identifies through regular assessments, the standard that the children are working at, their targets to aim for and the progress they are making towards those targets on a half-termly basis. We use the information to identify specific targets that should be attained in order to make progress. It identifies those children who are not reaching their expected levels and signposts the focus needed for the intervention support that will help them to improve. It also provides a skills assessment that helps us to identify gaps in knowledge in the basic mathematics skills and ensures we can track progress on a weekly basis.
In writing we work in a broad range of genre to ensure the children can write on a range of subjects in different genre, using real experiences where we can. The assessment of writing is based on teacher’s judgement of whether the children have matched the age related expectations laid down in the National Curriculum.
We currently use Rising Stars as additional information to enable teachers to assess the children’s capability in Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation (SPaG) and reading.
We no longer assign a level of achievement to a child as we have moved to a “life without levels” as dictated by the Department for Education. We are developing assessment and tracking systems using the Pupil Asset tracking system where we record the children’s achievements against the age related expectations. This is constantly under review as it is for most schools and we will share more information as it develops but it will be based on whether your child is at an emerging, expected or exceeding level (although the language to be used is under review).
We track progress of individual children, groups of children and classes half termly and write an annual record of achievement in the Spring term for all pupils except those in their Reception year; their report will come out in the Summer Term.
We know well how beneficial parental support can be to a child’s education. We can offer support and guidance to parents if you are at all unsure how best to help with your child’s learning. Your time, full attention, praise and interest in what they are doing at school and in their homework is a really good place to start.
Homework comes in three forms: regular reading, spelling practice weekly; Maths and/or English exercises that build on work done in class; and half termly Home Challenges which are a creative opportunities that can be interpreted by the children in a range of ways.
The “jigsaws” reflect a breakdown of the curriculum into year group allocations of the National Curriculum. There is variation in this for our school as we have to run the rolling programme of curriculum maps to ensure we can teach our mixed age classes with one topic at a time but still meet the requirements of the curriculum. Over the two year period, the teachers blend topics from both year groups relevant to their class.
School performance: we are waiting for the validated results to be released for June 2015. These will be available later in the academic year. However, invalidated data shows that the school performed well and was recognised by Ofsted in July 2015 to be Good.