Headteacher's Blog Updates
- Assessment for Learning
- Every day matters!
- Values Matter
- Please help us to support your child
- The 5 minute routine that makes a MASSIVE difference!
- Smiles Everywhere
- New beginnings
- Together Everyone Achieves More
- In full swing...
- Attendance Matters
- A sense of community
- Delighted and honoured
- We need to talk ...
- Dear Year 2 children,
- Dear Year 6 children,
- A plea ....... (or two!)
- Welcome to the Summer Term
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- A picture paints a thousand words
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- It's been a busy term!
- Safer Internet Day 2017
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- A buzz in the air!
- Term 4 already!
- We are Outstanding!
- As busy as ever!
- Wow - what a week!
- We have an exciting week ahead!
- A fabulous first few days!
- Our new arrivals
- Principal's Blog
- Week Four!
- Week Three!
- Welcome Back!
- Ready for this!
- The Mayor's Service
One of the things we're working hard to improve this year, is how we use assessment to help the children attain highly and make progress more quickly. We've reviewed our Assessment for Learning policy, which you can read in full by following the links in the Information sidebar of this website. Here are the headlines of the changes we've made.
Assessment for Learning - Principles and Practice
1. Assessment is at the heart of teaching and learning.
a. Assessment provides evidence to guide future teaching and learning.
b. Assessment provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate and review their own progress.
2. Assessment is fair.
a. Assessment is inclusive of all abilities.
3. Assessment is honest.
a. Assessment outcomes are conveyed in an open, honest and transparent way to assist pupils with their learning.
b. Assessment judgements are moderated by experienced professionals to ensure their accuracy.
4. Assessment is ambitious.
a. Assessment places achievement in context against national standards.
b. Assessment defines, through objective criteria, a pathway of progress and development for every child.
c. Assessment objectives set high expectations for learners.
5. Assessment is appropriate.
a. The purpose of any assessment process should be clearly stated.
b. Conclusions regarding pupil achievement are valid when the assessment method is appropriate (to age, to the task and to the desired feedback information).
c. Assessment should draw on a wide range of evidence to provide a complete picture of student achievement.
d. Assessment should demand no more procedures or records than are practically required to allow pupils, their parents and teachers to plan future learning.
6. Assessment is consistent.
a. Judgements are formed according to common principles.
b. The results are readily understandable by third parties.
c. A school’s results are capable of comparison with other schools, both locally and nationally.
7. Assessment outcomes provide meaningful and understandable information for:
a. pupils in developing their learning;
b. parents in supporting children with their learning;
c. teachers in planning teaching and learning;
d. learning support assistants, to move learning forward
e. school leaders and governors in planning and allocating resources;
f. government and agents of government.
We have a comprehnsive and detailed assessment calendar, which you can read in full in our full policy.
But where has marking gone?
Here at The Grange School, we know that feedback is crucial in moving learning forward. We value the importance of feedback and insist that it is an integral part of every learning opportunity. Feedback takes the form of:
. verbal feedback throughout learning experiences
. high quality conversations
. peer marking
. self-evaluation against success criteria checklists
. peer evaluation against success criteria checklists
We believe that written feedback (marking) over-scaffolds children’s work; demotivating them and promoting too much dependence upon the teacher. Previous practice has shown us that often, where marking is concerned, it is the teachers who work harder than the children!
In our school, there is an assumption, which is valued and upheld at all times, that all children can work independently given the correct prior input. We know that children need to think for themselves, as this increases the chances of knowledge being retained in the long term memory. We aim to increase independence in learning and so the school has adopted the following process and principles, which it applies to the marking of children’s work .
. Teachers only provide written feedback if they are working with the child in the lesson, and it is accompanied by high-quality verbal feedback. This is completed at the time the learning is taking place and never without the child present.
. Learning opportunities include time for self-checking, which promotes independent learning behaviours.
. Teachers and support staff evaluate all outcomes and identify what went well in a piece of work and what children need to do next, in order to move on. This then directly feeds into the following learning experience. This is recorded by annotating planning. Teachers may choose to keep any additional records / means of recording this information to suit their own preferred methods.
. Subsequent learning experiences begin with the teacher/ support staff modelling how to bring about the improvements identified from analysis of the previous outcomes. This will often involve using ‘real’ work from the children’s previous learning experience. This may not be the same for all children - differentiation is key.
. Children will also be taught to self-mark and peer-mark their work. This will always be valued by school staff as another opportunity for learning and children will be taught how to complete these and given appropriate time to do so.
Having introduced our new system in September, we're already seeing positive impact from it. Obviously, we'll keep reviewing our policy and practice to make sure that we are the very best we can possibly be. We'll communicate any changes with you. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss this further, please pop in for a chat.
Every single day of your child's schooling matters!
Regular attendance at school goes hand in hand with good academic achievement. Your child must attend school for 190 days each year. This is a legal requirement from the age of 5. The only exception to this is when there are legitimate reasons for your child’s absence. Not all illnesses need your child to be absent from school, a cold for example, and if you need advice, please ask. Please be assured that if your child is too unwell for school, we will always contact you. Last year, children missed too many school days due to minor illnesses - we'd like your support to help us improve this.
This then leaves 175 non-school days each year. These days are when shopping, holidays, family time, visits and appointments should take place.
Our whole school attendance last year fell below the national average of all other primary schools. This is not good enough and we are doing everything in our power to improve attendance this year.
Please be aware that, as communicated to you previously, we will be following Northamptonshire County Council policy and referring any unauthorised absence (including term-time holidays) of longer than 10 sessions (5 days) to the Educational Inclusion Partnership Team. This team will consider taking further action and I am reminding you that the outcome of this could be a Penalty Notice, payable directly to the Local Authority.
The penalty notice is £120 per parent/carer for each child. This must be paid within 28 days. If the fine is paid within 21 days, this is reduced to £60 per adult per child.
I realise that the vast majority of parents do not take family holidays in term time as they recognise the significant impact this can have on their child's education. As a parent (and someone who can only take holidays outside of term time), I truly appreciate the difficulties in only being able to travel during school holiday periods. However, it is vital that we work together to ensure that all children are in school for the full 190 days each year.
Thank you for your support with this matter.