Assessment and Student Progress Policy

Koru Independent AP Academy has a whole school approach to assessment, measuring progress and reporting. We aim to ensure that all students make expected or better progress during their time with us, regardless of their ability or prior attainment. We set attainment targets that support students in making progress, which will lead to personal success.

Progress Model Baselines

In order to measure progress accurately a baseline/starting level of attainment must be decided. This is done during the initial weeks of a student joining KORU. Students join KORU with historical levels. These levels are used alongside any formative and summative assessment that the student’s teachers use within the initial starting period.

The purposes of assessment

Ensuring assessment directly evaluates students’ knowledge and understanding of curriculum requirements helps to create a virtuous circle of teaching and assessment. Teachers and Tutors assess students’ understanding of a topic and identify where there are gaps. This tells the teacher/tutor what to focus on in future lessons and prompts the teacher to consider how the teaching approach can be adapted to improve students’ understanding. This, in turn, informs the teacher’s/tutor’s thinking about which assessments to use to evaluate whether the new approach has been effective. In this manner, good teaching and assessment continually reinforce each other and generate continuous improvement.

Here at KORU our purpose is to create flexible individualised programmes of learning support for children and young people who, for a multiplicity of reasons are unable to access educational provisions. Working closely with the Local Authority, we provide outcomes that are in accordance with their strategic planning, for emergency, interim and short to long term placements.

The overriding principal of good assessment is that it should be tied to its intended purpose. There are three main forms of assessment each with its own purpose:

  • Day-to-day in-school formative assessment used by teachers and tutors to evaluate students' knowledge and understanding on a daily basis and to tailor teaching accordingly. Examples include question and answer sessions during class, marking of student work and regular short re-cap quizzes.
  • End of term summative assessment which enables schools to evaluate how much a student has learned at the end of a period of teaching.
  • Nationally standardised summative assessment which is used by Government to hold schools to account. Examples include standardised Functional Skills exams and GCSE’s.

Principles for assessment

  • Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning. It provides guidance to teaching and learning. Along with the opportunity for students to demonstrate and review their progress.
  • Assessment is fair, inclusive of all abilities and free from bias towards factors that are not relevant to what the assessment intends to address.
  • Assessment is honest, open and transparent to all and judgements are moderated to ensure accuracy.
  • Assessment is ambitious, places achievement in the context of national expectations (National Curriculum Framework 2015) and embodies a pathway of progress and development for each student. • Assessment is appropriate, clearly stated and draws on a wide range of evidence to provide a complete picture of student achievement. It should demand no more procedures than are practically required to plan future learning.
  • Assessment is consistent. Judgements are formed according to common principals and understood by all. Results are comparable with other Alternative Provisions locally and nationally through the use of National Curriculum expectations.
  • Assessment outcomes provide meaningful and understandable information for:
  1. Students in developing their learning;
  2. Parents in supporting their children with their learning;
  • Staff in planning teaching and learning;
  1. School Management and Governing Board in planning, evaluating and allocating resources.

Forms of Assessment Used

Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is a powerful way of raising students’ achievement. It is based on the principal that students will improve most if they understand the aim of their learning, where they are in relation to this aim and how they can achieve the aim.

Formative assessment:

  • Assess the performance of the children at all stages of the lesson adapting and refining the learning process where necessary
  • Provides students of all ages and abilities the opportunity to ask questions, learn, make progress and reach their full potential
  • Ensure questioning stretches the thinking of all students and provides opportunity for thought and challenge
  • Identify those students with particular needs so that any issues can be addressed in subsequent lessons and any appropriate intervention can be organised
  • Adjust plans to meet the needs of all students, differentiating learning objectives where appropriate
  • Ensure students are aware of the learning objectives and encourage them to evaluate their progress so that they understand the next steps they need to make
  • Set individual, challenging targets on a regular basis and discuss these with the students so that they are actively involved in the process
  • Encourage students to evaluate their own work against success criteria based upon specific, key learning objectives
  • Encourage students to self-assess their own work against their own individual targets and learning objectives.
  • Mark work so that it is constructive and informative
  • Assess all subjects half termly using a common format and make relevant comments about students’ progress, especially those working below or above the national average
  • Provide parents with a broad picture of where their children’s strengths and weaknesses lie and what they need to do to improve. This reinforces the partnership between parents and school in supporting children’s education
  • Provide parents with a broad picture of where their children’s strengths and weaknesses lie and what they need to do to improve. This reinforces the partnership between parents and school in supporting children’s education

Summative Assessment

Summative assessment is important for informing both parents and staff of a child’s attainment and progress. This will also inform whole school target setting and prediction of future attainment. Summative assessments:

  • Identify attainment through one-off standardised tests at any given point in time
  • Provides students with information about how well they have learned and understood a topic or course of work taught over a period of time. It is used to provide feedback on how they can continue to improve.
  • Record performance in a specific area on a specific date
  • Provide age related standardised information
  • Provide end year and end of key stage test data against which the school will be judged
  • Provide parents with information about the achievement, progress and wider outcomes of their children across a period, often a term, half-year or year
  • Provides school leaders with information to monitor the performance of students to identify where interventions may be required and to work with teachers to Assessment Policy Koru Spring 2019 to ensure students are supported to achieve sufficient progress and expected attainment.

At KORU we;

  • Follow an Assessment cycle and update the data on our MIS and For Skills.
  • Use information stored to analyse the attainment and progress of each student and discuss findings and outcomes at half termly student progress meeting with appropriate members of staff
  • Analyse the data and review targets for individuals and groups and use the information to identify intervention strategies
  • Analyse data at the end of the academic year to track ‘value added’ progress made by, groups of students and individuals
  • Staff use the outcomes of assessments to summarise and analyse attainment and progress for their students
  • Staff use data to plan the learning for every student to ensure they meet or exceed expectations
  • Staff and leaders analyse the data across the school to ensure that students identified as vulnerable or at a particular risk at KORU are making progress and that all students are suitably stretched.

Nationally standardised summative assessment

  • Provides information on how students are performing in comparison to students nationally
  • Provides a starting point for Ofsted’s discussions with schools when making judgements about their performance, as part of Ofsted’s wider judgements of a school’s overall effectiveness.

Arrangements for ensuring competency and confidence in assessment by staff

At KORU we are committed to continued professional development for all staff;

  • Teachers and Tutors are trained in use of all standardised assessments
  • Tutors are trained in assisting in the use of standardised assessments
  • Moderating meetings for all staff on assessments and progress
  • Supervision meetings provide for continued development
  • Staff meetings provide continued development for all staff
  • When appropriate external agents provide training for appropriate staff.

Reporting to parents

Reporting to parents/carers provides the opportunity for communication about their child’s achievements, abilities and future targets. The student reports are written so that they have a positive effect on students’ attitudes, motivation and self-esteem.

At KORU we;

  • Provide opportunities for at least one parent consultation evenings per year so that parents can discuss their child’s attainment and progress and overall performance at school
  • Provide written reports which include results of assessments and will give information relating to progress and attainment
  • Discuss student progress at the request of parent/carer by appointment.
  • The Head Teacher is also available for informal consultation.

Arrangements for the governance, management and evaluation of assessment

This policy is subject to annual review, as part of the school self-evaluation process. Its success in relation to the school’s attainment targets for assessment will be evaluated as part of the annual assessment audit. This policy will be revised in line with the School Development Plan targets about achievement and will point the way to any future learning objective. For those students with an Education Health and Care Plan statutory review reports are also provided on an annual basis.