At St Martins School, learners are assessed in ways which reflect their growth and progress as whole people. We use methods of assessment that identify each learner’s progress against their goals, set learning outcomes, and National Standards. The primary purpose of assessment is to enhance learning. Quality assessment also enables us to:
- identify the learning needs of individuals, groups and whole class.
- provide an individual learning profile and information on the progress of each student; identifying areas of next step learning.
- improve the quality of teaching programmes by analysing the data gathered, identifying areas of need and planning strategies, and allocation of resources to meet these.
- improve the quality of students’ learning programmes by evaluating the methods used in teaching and their effectiveness within the programme.
- facilitate reporting to students, parents and other professionals.
- assist in the preparation of class and school reviews and reporting on school effectiveness.
It is expected that at St Martins School assessment will provide information that will contribute to improving educational outcomes for all students through better teaching and learning programmes. Assessment information will also be used to help learners identify their own learning goals, for reporting achievement to parents, and for assuring the Board of Trustees that the school is meeting the requirements of National Administration Guideline 1 and the goals of the school’s Strategic Plan.
The school provides specific direction for teachers in assessment practise, and in particular, how assessment is expected to be used to improve teaching and learning.
Schools are required to assess children against the National Standards. Parents and caregivers at St Martins School receive information about their child’s progress against these standards in regular written reports.
It is also useful for us all to know how our school as a whole is performing. Following is a brief outline of St Martins School’s achievement against the National Standards for 2015 in Reading, Mathematics, and Writing. The data is collected by teachers from a number of sources over the course of the year, allowing them to make overall teacher judgements against the National Standards. We are now using our “School Management System” to manage and collate this data and this means that we will be more able to show year to year comparisons as we move forward.
- Reading – 89% of our children achieve at or above Standard for reading and many of those children are well above. We have a great culture of reading and our library is a very popular place for children. The progress in reading is consistently good across the school and children are identiﬁed early if they are having difﬁculties. These children are then given the support that they need to progress (reading recovery, reading support, parent reading tutors).
- Mathematics – We have a large number of our children working at, above and well above the Standard (85%). We are providing good opportunities to extend these children, we have high quality mathematics teaching happening in all areas of the school. For those children below standard across the school, many of these children will beneﬁt from intervention programmes, such as the pull out mathematics programmes facilitated by our Mathematics Specialist Teacher, (Carole Clark) as well as other extra support provided within their classroom.
- Writing – We have a large number of students who are working at and above the Standard for writing (77%). This is especially true in the junior area of the school. Senior writing continues to be an area that we need to focus on. We are exploring ways to increase engagement of senior children in writing and helping them to enjoy this area of the curriculum. We have also engaged a specialist writing facilitator, Murray Gadd, to work with our teachers and students to enhance teachers’ quality teaching and to improve student achievement.